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Hillsborough County (NH) settles jail death lawsuit



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 27th 05, 03:44 AM
[email protected]
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Default Hillsborough County (NH) settles jail death lawsuit

Nice to know we're worth only $65,000 to our kids if we croak.


MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Hillsborough County has settled a lawsuit by
the family of a man who died of injuries suffered while he was being
held in the county jail.

Brian Armstrong, 41, died in January 2000, three days after being
released. Jail officials said Armstrong fell backward onto his head
when a guard pushed him into his cell. They said Armstrong had rushed
the cell door when food was being delivered.

His former wife had asked for $1 million for their son. The county
settled for $65,000, including legal fees. The money will be placed in
trust for the Armstrongs' 9-year-old son.

Armstrong was jailed for five days for failure to pay child support.

State Medical Examiner Thomas Andrew had concluded Armstrong died of a
blow to the head after being pushed backward. He said Armstrong's poor
health, mainly due to alcoholism, aggravated the injury.

  #2  
Old July 27th 05, 06:08 AM
Dusty
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wrote in message
oups.com...
Nice to know we're worth only $65,000 to our kids if we croak.

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Hillsborough County has settled a lawsuit by
the family of a man who died of injuries suffered while he was being
held in the county jail.


[snip]

Do you have the URL for this story?

I also read somewhere that there is a lot more to this story then is shown.
Such as a fellow inmate may well have seen Armstrong being led/dragged to a
separate room, heard him cry out to guards to stop hitting him and then
silence. I also read that the guards believed Armstrong had abused his
child, not just failed to pay his monthly extortion money..

If I can find the article, I'll post it. But don't hold your breath..


  #3  
Old July 27th 05, 06:46 AM
G
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"Dusty" wrote in

I also read somewhere that there is a lot more to this story then is
shown.
also read that the guards believed Armstrong had abused his
child, not just failed to pay his monthly extortion money..


It's all for the good of the children!


  #4  
Old July 27th 05, 06:46 AM
Dusty
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http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/...eme=ul&p_actio
n=search&p_maxdocs=200&s_dispstring=allfields(bria n%20armstrong)%20AND%20dat
e(1/1/1998%20to%201/1/2005)&p_field_date-0=YMD_date&p_params_date-0=date:B,E
&p_text_date-0=1/1/1998%20to%201/1/2005&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-
0=(%22brian%20armstrong%22)&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YM D_date&xcal_useweights=n
o

The above link has a dozen (maybe more) stories about what happend (and it's
aftermath) listed. You can read them - for $2.50 apiece...

------------------

This is one of the stories..


Two lawsuits filed over inmate death
By NANCY MEERSMAN
Union Leader Staff

Brian Armstrong went into the Hillsborough County jail in good health, but
when he was bailed out a few days later he was near death with bruises all
over his body, his brain bleeding and swelling. Soon he was dead.

That is what his family alleges in two lawsuits filed against the
Hillsborough County House of Correction.

Jail employees, the lawsuits allege, used excessive force against Brian
Armstrong "maliciously and sadistically to cause harm" and exhibited an
indifference to his well-being "of such a degree to have shocked the
conscience of any reasonable person."

The lawsuits - a civil rights case in federal court in Concord and a
wrongful death case in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester -
contend the 41-year-old father died because jail guards "hurled" him to the
floor causing a fatal brain injury.

Francis Murphy, the family's attorney, said he has been having difficulty
finding out exactly how the incident played out.

"What we do know is that something untoward happened to him that resulted in
a head injury that in turn killed him," Murphy said.

"He came in well and left at death's door."

Armstrong, a resident of Milford, had not been convicted of a crime. He was
jailed Jan. 11, 2000, after being unable to raise bail on a charge of
failing pay child support. Valley Street Jail records, the lawsuits say,
described Armstrong as being in good physical condition when he arrived at
the Manchester facility. Whatever happened to Armstrong occurred on Jan.
14, 2000. When his parents bailed him out the following day, he was unable
dress himself and had to be helped out by nurses, the lawsuits say.

News accounts at the time described Armstrong as being semi-conscious and
said the parents were told to take him to the hospital immediately. The
autopsy report released by the family attributed Armstrong's death on Jan.
18, 2000, to bleeding into the brain from a blunt force injury resulting in
brain damage that led to his death.

Murphy said he expects the county's defense will be that Armstrong had
abused alcohol in the past and that his health was compromised because of
it. But he said Armstrong wouldn't have died if he hadn't been severely
injured and he showed no signs of ill health or alcohol withdrawal at
intake.

State investigators have said the injury occurred when Armstrong tried to
get out of his cell and correctional officers pushed him back in.

Murphy said three years after the incident he still hasn't been given a copy
of the state's investigative report on the incident.

The Attorney General's Office did not immediately return a telephone call.
Nor did Corrections Supt. James O'Mara or the county attorney's office
respond to telephone calls asking for comment on the lawsuits.

Vanessa Armstrong of Milford, administrator of Armstrong's estate and
Armstrong's ex wife, is bringing the suits on behalf their 11-year-old son,
Matthias Armstrong. The lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Concord
seeks $1 million in damages and alleges jail personnel violated Armstrong's
civil rights.

A separate wrongful-death lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Superior
Court alleges the jail breached its duty to keep Armstrong safe. It does not
specify the amount of damages sought.

The family alleges Armstrong was "violently hurled backward" by a
correctional officer and landed on his head. Court documents say, "A
so-called response team . . . thereafter presented and commenced to kick and
punch Brian Armstrong while he was on the floor incapacitated."

Both suits name as defendants Supt. O'Mara, the Hillsborough County
Department of Corrections, Correctional Officer David Gotthardt and other
unnamed correctional officers.
An earlier lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2000, demanded $1 million in
damages from Correctional Medical Services, the Missouri company that was
under contract to provide health care for inmates.

It was settled in December, but the amount of the settlement is not known.
U.S. District Judge Joseph DiClerico, noting that circumstances did not
allow the court to seal the records, instead returned the records of the
settlement to the plaintiff's attorney. Murphy said he could not discuss the
resolution because of a confidentiality agreement. The lawsuit alleged CMS
had shown "a malicious, willful, reckless and deliberate indifference to the
serious medical needs of persons confined at the Hillsborough County House
of Corrections."

It also alleged that CMS had a practice of "denying necessary medical care,
treatment and medication to . . . so as to advantage itself economically."


  #5  
Old July 27th 05, 06:50 AM
Dusty
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"G" wrote in message
nk.net...

"Dusty" wrote in

I also read somewhere that there is a lot more to this story then is
shown.
also read that the guards believed Armstrong had abused his
child, not just failed to pay his monthly extortion money..


It's all for the good of the children!


Oh, but of course it is!

And if you don't have the cash - we'll beat you to death. Oh, good plan.


  #6  
Old July 27th 05, 03:46 PM
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I'll do a dig through Lexis-Nexis to see what I can find.

 




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