$407,500 for Inmate’s Death
Santiago v. Hudson County; A Philadelphia woman accepted $407,500 in her suit over her daughter’s death while an inmate at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny.
Luz Mendoza Santiago claimed in her federal suit filed in Trenton that her daughter, Joanne Figueroa, began vomiting blood on July 8, 2008, and that prison medical personnel failed to detect or diagnose an aorta esophageal fistula.
Figueroa bled to death the next day. Santiago contended that a timely diagnosis would have prevented Figueroa’s medical deterioration and death.
Santiago sued Hudson County, its correctional facility, Warden Oscar Aviles, corrections officer Lashaundra Gibson O’Neill, Prison Health Services Inc. and Correctional Health Services, alleging negligence, medical malpractice, civil rights violations and wrongful death.
The suit also sought survivorship death damages on behalf of Figueroa’s five children, three of whom were last known to be living in Philadelphia and two of whom were infants in Costa Rica.
The defendants denied the allegations.
Hudson County paid $400,000 of the settlement, reached on Oct. 5, and Correctional Health Services and Prison Health Services, Inc. the remaining $7,500.
Figueroa’s children and her mother were paid a total of $255,469 and plaintiff’s counsel $152,030 in attorney’s fees and expenses.
Jonathan Koles of Koles, Burke & Bustillo in Jersey City represented the plaintiff.
John Dineen of Netchert, Dineen &Hillmann in Closter represented Hudson County, its correctional facility, Aviles and O’Niell. Stephen Siegrist of O’Connor Kimball in Cherry Hill, represented Correctional Health Services and Prison Health Services, Inc.