After seven inmates were killed in a South Carolina prison riot, those who survived are now claiming that negligence on behalf of the prison’s authorities is to blame for the deaths of their fellow inmates.
Alleged Prison Negligence in South Carolina
On April 15, a riot broke out inside the Lee Correctional Institute as three different wings of the maximum security prison battled over contraband and territory. The riot carried on for seven hours before prison officials were finally able to restore order. By the time the dust had settled, twenty-two inmates had been injured and seven inmates had bled to death due to stab wounds.
Following the riot, an inmate sent messages to the Associated Press describing the events that transpired. He detailed bodies being stacked on the sidewalk, saying that they were “literally stacked on top of each other, like some macabre woodpile”. The inmate also described seeing his fellow prisoners slowly bleed to death while no help came, saying that one man tried to get up but “started into that ‘death rattle’ people often hear about, but never experience firsthand.”
The result was the deadliest prison riot to take place in the last twenty-five years, and the inmate who contacted the AP is blaming it on the negligence of prison officials, saying, “The COs (corrections officers) never even attempted to render aid, nor quell the disturbance. They just sat in the control bubble, called the issue in, then sat on their collective a**es”
Corrections Director Bryan Stirling disagrees with this conclusion, saying, “We gathered as many people as we could, as quickly as we could and went in as soon as we thought it was safe for our staff.” However, State Sen. Gerald Malloy – whose district encompasses the Lee Correctional Institute – had a harsher outlook on the way the riot was handled, saying, “It’s an incredibly bad day in South Carolina. We failed. That’s it.”
Currently, an investigation is underway looking into what caused the riot as well as how it was handled by prison officials. If it is found that officials were negligent in how they handled the riot, those injured and the families of those dead will be able to sue to prison for damages.
Negligence Lawyer in Greenville and Columbia SC
Anytime negligence leads to loss of life or serious injury, the victims have a very strong case against those responsible for the negligence. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed due to negligence, we urge you to contact our offices today.