-- Complaint Contends Layers Of County Negligence Led To White's Mysterious Death And Cover Up --
-- Ms. White Joins Expanded Legal Team At Press Conference To Call For Justice --
Upper Marlboro, MD (BlackNews.com) -- The Murphy Firm of Baltimore and Henry & Associates of Largo today announced the filing of a 12-count civil suit that charges Prince George's county officials and some of the County's correctional and law enforcement officers with responsibility for the 2008 death of 19-year-old Ronnie L. White, who, according to the suit was Âassaulted and killed by the very same correctional officers who were supposed to be there to insure his safety.Â
Ronnie L. White died of a broken neck and asphyxiation 34 hours after he was received in custody by the Prince George's County Correctional Center. Following an autopsy, the Office of the Chief Medial Examiner for the State of Maryland ruled that Ronnie L. White's death was a homicide.
According to the suit, filed on behalf of Mr. White's mother, Angela L. White, her son's death was Âthe direct resultÂ of excessive force and gross negligence by County officials. The suit, which seeks $153,600,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, also claims that Ronnie L. White's constitutional and civil rights were violated.
ÂPeople are not supposed to die under mysterious circumstances in correctional facilities in America. Civil rights are real rights," said Hassan Murphy, Managing Partner of The Murphy Firm. "The blatant disregard for Mr. White's civil and human rights by so many people in the system, who were supposed to enforce the law, is inhumane and illegal Â a travesty of justice. The defendants should recognize that we are determined to pursue accountability,Â said Mr. Murphy of The Murphy Firm.
Bobby Henry, of Henry and Associates, has been the White family attorney since Ronnie L. White's death. He says that the suit filed jointly with The Murphy Firm seeks justice and closure for Mr. White and his family. ÂThe brutal murder of Ronnie L. White was a terrible crime against a young man, his mother and family, and the entire Prince George's County community. Angela White's son was taken from her by thugs who are part of a corrupt, dysfunctional system which refuses to police its own. If they won't do it or can't do it, Ms. White is determined to compel them to do it so this never happens to another young man and family,Â Mr. Henry said.
Ms. White said, ÂMy life has not been an easy one, but make no mistake this has been the loneliest, cruelest year of my life. My son was brutally murdered by someone or by people who were sworn to protect him. No parent or family should have to go through this torment and torture. Hopefully now, with the help of attorney Murphy and attorney Henry and community supporters and leaders, justice will be done.Â
The suit alleges that correctional officers at the Prince Georges County Correctional Center attacked and strangled White in his jail cell, resulting in his death. It also alleges that Prince George's County officials, including the Director of the Correctional Center, were grossly negligent by failing:
Â to use reasonable care;
Â to provide adequate monitoring and staffing of correctional officers to provide for Mr. White's safety and protection;
Â to supervise, train and retrain the correctional officers charged with Mr. White's safety and protection;
Â to implement adequate procedures and safeguards for Mr. White's protection; and
Â to adequately respond after Mr. White was attacked.
In addition, the suit claims that Mr. White's constitutional and civil rights were violated and that he was falsely arrested and imprisoned.
The suit demands that a jury award judgment against Defendants Prince George's County, Prince George's County Police Department, Prince George's County Correctional Center, Mary Lou McDonough (Interim Director of the Prince George's County Correctional Center), Anthony McIntosh, Russell Hardesty, and Ramon Davis of the Prince George's County Correctional Center, and Thomas K. Lancaster.
The suit also demands $51,200,000 in compensatory damages, plus judgment interest, attorney's fees, and expenses associated with it and not less than $102,400,000 in punitive damages.
About The Murphy Firm: The Murphy Firm, led by nationally known trial lawyer William H. Murphy Jr., specializes in complex civil litigation including commercial, personal injury, medical malpractice, employment, civil rights and class action. The Murphy Firm is majority African-American owned and features an ethnically diverse group of attorneys with an extraordinary track record of success in jury verdicts, awards and settlements.
About Henry & Associates ~ Attorneys At Law, LLC: Led by Bobby G. Henry, Jr. who has over 26 years of legal experience, the firm protects individuals' rights by striving to Âdo justiceÂ for its clients. The firm is located in Largo, Maryland, and handles personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and various other civil and criminal matters.
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