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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Death in Prison and the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Q: Can an inmate’s estate sue for wrongful death?

New York City wrongful death attorneys and the rest of the country have been watching with interest the Jeffrey Epstein case. At the time of his death in his Manhattan jail cell in August, the disgraced billionaire financier –  who had been socially connected to multiple high-profile personalities and socialites from, American presidents to British royalty and beyond – was being held “on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges”. 

Scores of alleged victims were anxiously awaiting their chance to see him face charges in criminal court. Many of them reportedly planned to pursue or already commenced civil suits for personal injury as well. 

Now, much has changed as a result of his death. 

Despite conspiracy theories alleging Epstein’s death was the result of foul play or suspicions that the marks and injuries to his neck could be consistent with strangulation or assault instead of hanging, the medical examiner declared his cause of death to be “suicide by hanging”. His attorneys have “significant doubts” about the cause of death.

The inmate had previously been placed on suicide watch in July, but then was removed from suicide watch about a week later. Reportedly, authorities were still required to check on him “every 30 minutes, but the protocol was not met the night before he was found dead”. In addition, in another alleged violation of procedure, he was also “housed alone” at the time of his death. Had he had a cellmate to alert guards of a suicide attempt, he might still be alive.

A wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate in instances where someone dies as the result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of another person or entity. When someone owes someone else duty of care and breaches that duty and the breach is responsible for the person’s death, the victim’s estate and/or their closest surviving relatives may be entitled to compensatory damages. 

In the case at hand, if protocols designed to keep Epstein safe from either committing suicide or from harm from other persons were not followed, and the failure to follow them resulted in his death, his estate may have a wrongful death claim. 

Contact the Law Office of Ryan S. Goldstein Today

If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, as a result of the actions of someone else, the Goldstein Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

From our office in the Bronx, New York, we represent injured victims and their families throughout New York City and New York State as well as those injured while visiting New York. 



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