New York City has reached a Settlement with Rikers Island for $2.6 million over Wrongful Death Suit

New York City, NY: Court documents indicate that New York City has reached a settlement agreement worth $2.6 million to address a lawsuit concerning the demise of a suspect held captive on Rikers Island. The lawsuit exposed significant deficiencies on the part of correctional and medical personnel.

The correction officers’ union filed a brief in federal court opposing an outside seizure of the jails on the same day that word of the settlement was received.

On June 30, 2021, at the Anna M. Kross Center, Robert Jackson, age 42, passed away of a myocardial infarction. According to Jackson’s family attorney Joshua Kelner, officers and medical staff allegedly failed to respond appropriately when Jackson entered a state of medical distress.

Samson Fadipe, a corrections officer, is accused in the lawsuit of neglecting to conduct a unit tour and emptying his post. An investigative report from the Correction Department stated that there was no floor officer in the housing unit for the next fifteen hours following his departure.

According to Kelner and the Investigations Division report, Correction Officer Troy Smith assumed his position but spent the initial hour of his tour in the day room, where he engaged in activities such as reading the newspaper, watching local news on television, and conversing, while Jackson’s condition potentially worsened.

Controversial DEI Training Put Arizona Institution In Hot Waters After Lawsuit That Alleges Cultural Aggression In Theory

Smith discovered Jackson in a state of apparent illness, according to the report. Smith called the clinic after 8 p.m. to request a medical response, but no one answered.

According to the report, he called again at 8:30 p.m. as Jackson’s condition deteriorated. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Jackson ceased to respond, prompting Smith to request medical assistance a third time before commencing chest compressions manually.

The medical staff arrived at Jackson’s location at 9:23 p.m., but he had no pulse by that time, according to the report. His demise was pronounced by a physician at 9:55 p.m.

The medical personnel reportedly did not begin assembling to respond until 9:20 p.m., according to the investigative report.

A timely medical response with a defibrillator would have likely saved Jackson, according to Kelner. The report stated that the municipal medical examiner determined he died of heart disease.

Lawsuit Against Animal Services After Horrible Dog Attack Left Woman With No Hands In South Carolina

Fadipe remained in the unit’s command post while claiming to be on excursions, according to an investigative report from the Correction Department. A 28-day suspension was imposed on him, and allegations of dereliction of duty and logbook falsification were recommended; however, the investigation concluded that staff actions “did not contribute” to Jackson’s demise.

The court documents indicate that Fadipe, the officer accused of malfeasance by the Correction Department, is obligated to make a payment of $500 as an atypical component of the settlement.

Jackson was among sixteen inmates to pass away in 2021; 19 perished in 2022; and nine perished in 2023. Three additional fatalities have occurred thus far in 2024.

The 44 fatalities in custody between 2021 and 2023 represent a 109% increase over the 21 deaths that occurred in jail in 2018, 2019, and 2020, according to city statistics.

The settlement is the most recent in a series of similar disbursements precipitated by the three-year increase in homicides in correctional facilities. He stated that Kelner has resolved five wrongful death cases on his own, earning the city approximately $12 million in compensation.

Wednesday, the Correction Officers Benevolent Association submitted its brief in Nunez v. City of New York, the seminal class action litigation from 2011 that resulted in a consent decree from the Justice Department in 2015 and the establishment of a federal monitor to monitor violence and uses of force in New York City jails.

The Justice Department and the Legal Aid Society both submitted motions in November supporting the appointment of an external administrator to be granted authority over the jail system. They argued that if the city retains control, the situation will not improve.

The city responded on March 19, contending that the status quo provides the finest service to New Yorkers.

According to a new brief opposing receivership filed by COBA, the jail population has become “more violent” and a greater proportion of inmates suffer from severe mental maladies. In contrast, the total number of officers decreased by 35% between 2020 and 2024, or 8,900 to 5,700, according to the COBA brief.