In February, a 56-year-old man died in a New York City jail when the temperature in his cell reached at least 101 degrees. Preliminary investigations revealed that Jerome Murdough’s internal body temperature reached 103 degrees, but nobody answered his pleas for help at the Riker’s Island complex he was confined in.
Victim Jerome Murdough was a former Marine who was homeless and struggled with psychological illness. He was incarcerated for a trespassing misdemeanor because he was unable to post bail.
Murdough’s mother, Alma, is pursuing a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against New York City. The suit argues that the Department of Corrections employees’ negligence caused Murdough’s untimely death.
Without knowing more details, the lawsuit certainly appears to have merit. New York City jails have a duty to keep inmates reasonably safe; this includes regulating the temperature to avoid extremes. Someone should have noticed the inhumane conditions in Murdough’s cell and prevented this tragedy.
Source: NewsOne, “Mother Of Man Who ‘Cooked’ In NYC Jail Cell Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit,” May 18, 2014