Attorney Says he is Representing Floyd Family; Workers Made Gamb - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Attorney Says he is Representing Floyd Family; Workers Made Gamble to Escape Vaughn Inmates

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State police in tactical gear stand at the main gate of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2017. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16) State police in tactical gear stand at the main gate of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2017. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)

DOVER, Del. -- A Wilmington attorney said he is representing the family of a correctional officer who died during the hostage situation this month at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna as well as staff members who were either held hostage or present in the facility during the incident.

Lawyer Thomas Neuberger on Friday said his staff has been retained by Lieutenant Steven Floyd's estate, widowed wife, three adult children, the two officers who survived the incident, and three maintenance workers who present in Building C during the inmate uprising.

Neuberger said he is preparing for legal action in federal court setting. He claimed there has been a longtime "breach of duty" in the prison system by numerous state officials, pointing to former governors Ruth Ann Minner and Jack Markell, as well as high-level correction staffers.

The three workers, Neuberger said, will be examined by a psychiatrist and he claimed examination of the correctional officers who were hostages resulted in diagnoses of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Maintence workers made bluff to escape inmates

Many details of the siege in Building C remain unknown. Delaware State Police have not provided any updates on the situation, with a spokesman only noting that investigators were conducting interviews and reviewing evidence.

Neuberger said the three maintenance workers he is representing were able to prevent capture or injury through a desperate gamble when accosted by a group of rioting inmates.

The workers, who were in the boiler room of Building C when the hostage situation occurred came upon a closet with Floyd inside calling for help, Neuberger said.

However, he said the workers were confronted by a group of masked inmates and one of them held a shiv to a workers throat, claiming he would kill all three of the workers if they intervened.

One of the workers, who was wearing a breather mask to protect against toxic fumes, threatened to open a 5-gallon container he was carrying and expose the inmates to deadly chemicals, a move Neuberger admitted was a bluff but one he said chased off the inmates.

The workers then barricaded themselves in the basement and were able to make contact with police and shut off water to the building for several hours on the request of law enforcement before it was later restored as negotiations occurred, Neuberger said.

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