Inmate Michael Boatwright Died At Rikers Island In Staten After Experiencing Medical Emergency
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (December 12, 2021) – An inmate at Rikers Island identified as Michael Boatwright has tragically died after experiencing some type of medical emergency.
New York City police officials are saying that the incident took place on Thursday December 9th. Michael Boatwright suffered some type of “medical issue” at the Ann M. Kross Center.
The inmate was transported to the Bellevue Hospital, Department of Corrections. Despite life-saving measures from medical staff, Michael Boatwright died around 5:36 a.m. on Friday.
An autopsy will be conducted to help determine the victim’s official cause of death.
Liability In Inmate Deaths At Rikers Island
Rikers Island has a long history of staffing shortages, inmate abuse and neglect. According to monitors in one class action suit, Rikers Island is marked by “violence among incarcerated people, violence at the hands of [s]taff, and violence toward [s]taff, in addition to a disturbing rise in self-harming behavior.” When jails don’t have adequate staff or safety measures in place this can lead to numerous undesirable outcomes including:
- Inmate on Inmate violence
- Inmate abuse
- Drug overdoses
Every jail in New York has a legal duty to provide inmates with a reasonably safe environment and adequate medical care. Failure to give inmates adequate medical care is a deprivation of their right to equal protection and due process under the constitution. For example, if an inmate is experiencing medical distress they should be given care as quickly as possible. Drugs like naloxone can help reverse the effects of overdoses. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, they could be liable in the event of an inmate’s death. There are a number of steps that should be taken after an inmate’s death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be examined.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
The family of any inmate that died in-custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral costs. It is extremely important that evidence is properly protected after any accident. A New York City personal injury attorney can examine all of the facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating An Inmate Death At Rikers Island
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Michael Boatwright. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. Far too many inmates have died this year at Rikers Island. Steps need to be taken to prevent this from happening again. Was this inmate given adequate medical care? Was the inmate being properly monitored? Could this tragedy have been prevented? Far too many inmate deaths are due to improper medical care and neglect.
Do you need more information about an inmate death at Rikers Island prison? Our team of personal injury attorneys can answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.