Plaintiffs' Attorneys in Vaughn Lawsuit Say Lawsuit Shouldn't be - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Plaintiffs' Attorneys in Vaughn Lawsuit Say Lawsuit Shouldn't be Tossed

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DOVER, Del. --- Attorneys representing the family of Correctional Officer Steven Floyd and a number of correctional staffers on Monday filed a 71-page response to an attempt to have their federal lawsuit over the deadly inmate uprising at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

The legal brief argues the lawsuit should be allowed to proceed. Wilmington Attorney Tom Neuberger and other lawyers representing relatives of Floyd, who died during the hostage situation that began on Feb. 1, have said Vaughn was unsafe because of issues like understaffing and state leaders and two governors did not address those problems.

Former governors Ruth Ann Minner and Jack Markell are among those named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in April.

Attorneys representing state officials argued earlier this summer that the case should be dismissed, arguing, among other things, that there is no constitutional right to workplace safety.

The legal brief filed on Monday by Neuberger and the law firm of Jacobs & Crumplar, said recent actions by Gov. John Carney and Delaware's legislature indicated there have been a number of issues at Vaughn and the Department of Correction that were significant enough to require drastic action following the February riot.

“The most compelling evidence of defendants’ conscious disregard and deliberate indifference is revealed by looking at what their successor did.  The speed with which the newly elected and current Governor of Delaware and his new appointees at DOC and OMB worked in conjunction with COAD, notified the General Assembly and immediately acted to address and fix the problems is compelling evidence of what defendants should have done and the ease by which it could have been done.  Indeed, Governor Carney did more in five short months to fix the DOC than defendants did in 16 long years," the brief reads.

Neuberger said he believes the plaintiffs in their brief "have conclusively proven the guilt of Governor Markell and the blood is on his hands for the torture and death of Lt. Floyd."

The move comes several months after Floyd's death. No one has been indicted in his death, though the Department of Justice has said earlier this month that it plans to go before a grand jury in the coming weeks and months.



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