Potentially Innocent People Awaiting Arraignment or Trial Are Being Exposed to the Life-Threatening COVID-19 Virus in Jails and Prisons Across the Nation.
Parker Waichman LLP is a national plaintiff’s personal injury law firm with law offices throughout New York City. Our firm is investigating whether or not the New York prison system is upholding its lawful duty to protect the inmates from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Our law firm is offering a free consultation to inmates who have been exposed to the coronavirus and have become ill with the virus.
How to Receive Your Free Consultation
If you or your loved one is in jail or prison and has acquired the coronavirus, your loved one could be entitled to receive monetary compensation. Simply call Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER for your free consultation, or use our online chat, or use our website contact form.
Jail and Prison Systems Have a Duty of Care to Protect Inmates
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary states that the words “prison” and “jail” are commonly used interchangeably as words to describe places of detention or incarceration. The word “jail” is typically used to describe a place for individuals who are held for minor crimes or awaiting trial. The word “prison” is used to describe a place to hold convicted criminals who committed more serious crimes.
Many potentially innocent people are being held against their will as they await their arraignment hearing or criminal trial. Consequently, since the inmates are unable to protect themselves from the coronavirus, jail/prison systems owe inmates a duty of care by protecting the inmates from exposure to the coronavirus.
The Dangers of Jail and Prison Systems Concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Rikers Island is potentially a “public health disaster,” according to Rikers Island’s chief doctor, Ross MacDonald. Dr. MacDonald explained that the number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases soared from 1 to over 200 in a matter of days. Dr. MacDonald told reporters although they adhered to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus guidelines to protect the inmate population, the number of infections has and continues to soar. He also stated that regardless of any extraordinary effort to contain the virus, the novel coronavirus spread is unlikely to be stopped within the Rikers Island prison.
Currently, there are more than 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States prison system. The United States imprisons more inmates than any other country in the world. The fear is that a Coronavirus outbreak will spread quickly through the vast network of county, state, and federal prisons harming or killing 1,000s of inmates and prison officers.
The Rikers Island Coronavirus (COVID-19) Catastrophe May Have Been Preventable
Recently, several news reports have been published criticizing the lack of preparation, training, and response for protecting inmates from the Coronavirus Pandemic. Rikers Island has overpopulated dorm rooms, broken sewer pipes, and there is no hand sanitizer available. Parker Waichman LLP believes that Rikers Island and the many 100s of prisons and jails throughout the United States failed to take the appropriate actions and implement safety measures quickly enough to protect the vulnerable prison population. Countermeasures should have been put into action as far back as January 2020 when the coronavirus was spreading throughout Asia. At that time, there were many experts who projected the virus would eventually reach America.
One estimate showed the coronavirus was spreading throughout the New York City prison at a rate that was 85 times faster than the national average rate of infection. As of March 27, 2020, more than 103 inmates inside New York City’s jails have the disease, and a majority of those cases are at Rikers Island. Public health officials and experts are very concerned about the spread of the coronavirus inside America’s prison system because inmates generally have more preexisting health conditions. Those with preexisting health conditions are at an increased risk of dying from the disease.
Inmates are Filing Lawsuits to Recover Monetary Damages for Negligence
Inmates who have been made ill or died are filing lawsuits seeking monetary compensation. In the complaints, the plaintiffs claim shortages of masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, disinfectants, and soap, which is essential in reducing the spread of the coronavirus virus. Inmates are also at an increased risk for acquiring the coronavirus because of the overcrowded, dormitory-style housing, and common area bathrooms used by numerous inmates. The inmates are also unable to practice “social distancing,” and this puts them at an increased risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.
RECEIVE A FREE CONSULTATION WHEN YOU CALL TODAY
Parker Waichman LLP is offering consultations on prison-acquired coronavirus cases for absolutely no cost. Our knowledgeable attorneys are available to review the facts of your case today when you 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529). Remember, all cases in the country are subject to state statutes of limitations. It is never too soon to begin your case investigation.
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