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Inmate Wrongful Death

Mobile, AL: (Oct-04-07) Dana Carpenter, the ex-wife of Mobile Metro Jail inmate James Carpenter, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, after Carpenter, 42, died July 28, 2000. The suit, filed against the city, county, and state officials in 2002, was filed on behalf of Carpenter's estate.

As part of a settlement reached, the city agreed to pay Dana Carpenter $375,000 to settle the lawsuit. The city's agreement formally ended the court battle and was in addition of the $1.45 million that then-Sheriff Jack Tillman paid in 2003 to settle his portion of the suit. Dana Carpenter's legal counsel argued in federal court that the city was also liable for her ex-husband's death because it had a duty to ensure its prisoners received constitutional treatment in the jail, which is run by the Sheriff's Office. The suit claimed that jailers discovered the handcuffed inmate's body 15 days after his arrest on charges of disorderly conduct, loitering and resisting arrest. Reports showed that he was shackled to his bed. Medical examiners later determined that he had died from flesh-eating bacteria. As per the terms of the agreement, each of the Carpenter's two children received $350,000 from the settlement, with the rest going to legal fees. [NBC NEWS: INMATE DEATH]

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Published on Oct-6-07


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