Delaware to Pay $7.5 Million in Vaughn Riot Settlement - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware to Pay $7.5 Million Settlement for Vaughn Inmate Uprising

Posted: Dec 15, 2017 5:47 PM Updated:
The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC) The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. --- Delaware will pay $7.55 million to settle a federal lawsuit over the Feb. 1 inmate uprising at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, in which Lt. Steven Floyd was killed, according to a news release issued Friday night.

The statement from former federal judge Joseph Farnan, Jr. said the money will be split among the 11 claimants, six of whom are Delaware Department of Correction employees.

“The funds will be paid by the state and represent a settlement of their workers’ compensation claims and other disputed claims in the lawsuit. A package of employment related benefits is also being provided. The claims asserted against all of the individual defendants were dismissed with prejudice prior to the settlement," the statement said.

Despite the payment, the statement said the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing by the state, Department of Correction, or any present or former Delaware employee or official.

The release also stated the agreement was not a concession by the plaintiffs that their claims were unfounded.

"The parties are settling to avoid the burden and expense that comes with protracted litigation, and to bring closure to the matter," the statement said.

Defendants in named in the 52-page lawsuit included a number of former and state officials, including former governors Jack Markell and Ruth Ann Minner.

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs, who included Floyd's family and other correctional officers held hostage in the uprising, alleged in the lawsuit that Delaware leaders for years placed dollars ahead of safety, leading to understaffing and other issues that contributed to the riot.

Floyd died in the inmate uprising, which started on Feb. 1 and ended after law enforcement stormed the prison the following morning.

The Delaware Department of Justice said 18 inmates were charged in the incident. Sixteen of them are accused of first-degree murder in Floyd's death.

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