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Friday, July 5, 2013

Prison company wants dismissal of riot lawsuit

APA prison company wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by relatives of a guard who was killed during a prison riot in Mississippi.

Correction officer Catlin Carithers was beaten to death during the May 20, 2012, riot at the privately run Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Natchez against Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the prison.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, says CCA "created a dangerous atmosphere for the correction officers by depriving inmates of basic needs and treating them inhumanely."

A motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed Wednesday says, among other things, that CCA is immune from the claims in the lawsuit because they are barred "by the exclusive remedy provision in the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Act."

The argument is that workplace injuries should be compensated by workers' compensation, not through litigation.

"Carithers's death was caused by the willful conduct of a third party (inmates) because of his employment status as a correctional officer at ACCF and while working on the job. Therefore, his death is compensable under the Act," the motion said.

The lawsuit says prison officials were told by an informant in the days before the riot that the situation was becoming volatile and that the officials failed to warn Carithers that he and other guards were on an inmate "hit list." continue reading...

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