$2.75 Million To Family of Inmate Who Died In Prison

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A federal jury has awarded $2.75 million dollars to the family of an inmate who died in a state prison in 2002.

Jeffrey Clark died of dehydration at an Ionia correctional facility after five days in confinement following a seizure.

The award was announced Friday.

The suit contended Clark's civil rights had been violated because prison employees failed to give him water or medical attention.

The 39-year-old was a paranoid schizophrenic. He was serving nine to 30 years after being convicted of robbing a liquor store with a beer bottle in 1987.

Named in the suit were the prison warden and several other corrections employees.


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  • by Amy Location: Michigan on May 8, 2007 at 10:18 AM
    Tax Payer, in response to your comment, your example of an "average tax payer" who dies "in a car wreck/robbery/death at work," indicates that you believe those deaths are wrongful. This was a *wrongful death* suit, not a suit against God or Fate. If this prisoner was, in fact, denied medical attention and water for 5 days, then it was absolutely a wrongful death, and the family had every right to sue. Whether that amount was too much is a mater of personal opinion (and I happen to think it *was* too much), but your statement seems to indicate that, because this was a prisoner, his death couldn't possibly be considered wrongful.
  • by Tax Payer Location: Michigan on May 7, 2007 at 08:49 PM
    If the average person dies in a wrongful death situation, their heirs can indeed sue the alleged perpetrator(s), or more likely, the partys' insurance company. Generally, the court will take items like loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses into consideration. Now, considering Clark had no job for over a decade, provided no financial support, and his medical expenses were paid by the taxpayers, HOW does a jury award 2.75 million????? If he would have been average tax payer with a 35K/year job, and died in a car wreck/robbery/death at work, the family would be lucky to get a couple hundred thousand dollars after a dragged out lawsuit with an insurance company, not to mention the hefty legal fees. If this jury doesn't have some problems sleeping at night, they should. It appears the State of Michigan needs better legal representation.
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