Thursday, April 10, 2003

One second chance is the limit on Connecticut couple's failures to effect service in Virginia "supermax" prison death case

In this opinion, Judge Jones dismissed with prejudice the refiled suit of the representatives of the estate of a Connecticut inmate who died after he was transferred to the Wallens Ridge penitentiary in Virginia.

The Court notes the troubled history of the Connecticut inmates in Southwest Virginia:

"[The decedent] was one of about 500 Connecticut prisoners transferred to Wallens Ridge, a newly-built “supermax” prison facility, under a contract between the Virginia and Connecticut state governments in order to relieve prison crowding in Connecticut. The transfer was controversial in Connecticut, particularly after the death of David and another Connecticut inmate at Wallens Ridge. See Young v. New Haven Advocate, 315 F.3d 256, 259 (4th Cir. 2002) (regarding Virginia prison warden’s libel suit against Connecticut newspapers). David Tracy’s estate filed suit in federal court in Connecticut against Connecticut prison officials over David’s death at Wallens Ridge and the action was settled for $750,000 about the time the present suit was filed. See Gulash v. Armstrong, No. 3:01CV362(PCD) (D. Conn. May 6, 2002); Laurence Hammack, Connecticut Settles Lawsuits in Supermax Deaths, Roanoke Times & World News, Mar. 15, 2002, at A1."

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