A prison riot over money, territory and contraband that led to the deaths of seven inmates last month is now the focus of a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of South Carolina.
The estate of one of the seven men killed at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville in what is being dubbed as the nation’s deadliest prison riot in a quarter-century has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Eddie Gaskins’ estate allege recent incidents within South Carolina Department of Corrections, including Lee Correctional prison riot, show a pattern and practice of gross negligence and conscious indifference by administrators and supervisors of the institution.
Lee Correctional is a Level 3 maximum security prison for men. Inmates were serving time for crimes ranged from murder to burglary to trafficking crack cocaine.
Gaskins was serving 10 years for first-degree criminal domestic violence, according to a local FOX report. He died from a severe loss of blood due to multiple stab wounds and sharp force injuries during the riot.
The wrongful death lawsuit also alleges the institution failed to properly train correctional officers, provide proper medical attention or properly monitor inmates among another issues.
“Lee Correctional Institution has a history of serious human rights violations,”Gaskins’ attorney Scott C. Evans said in a statement. “Ten years ago, SCDC’s own documents implicated Lee Correctional staff in the freezing death of a non-verbal, developmentally disabled inmate who was left without clothing or blankets for seven days in the winter.
“Not a single Lee Correctional employee was indicted, fired, reprimanded, or even written up in connection with that inmate’s death. This continuing pattern of blatant disregard for basic safety and human rights has no place in the modern world.”