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$150,000 Settlement in Pennsylvania Jail Prisoner’s Suicide

Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County Correctional Facility (LCCF) has agreed to pay the family of a prisoner who committed suicide $150,000. The family contended LCCF was deliberatively indifferent to the risk that prisoner Luke Blumer, 19, posed to himself.

Blumer was known to be suicidal, showing that tendency by attempting to hang himself within a week of arriving at LCCF to serve a two year for burglary and criminal trespass. Nonetheless, LCCF confined him in a cell by himself without supervision.

On December 19, 1995, Blumer hanged himself with his bedsheets and shoe laces, which were used to create a noose. An expert for the plaintiff’s found that Blumer’s condition could have been treated and his life saved with the proper attention. Another expert said LCCF breached its standard of care by not placing Bluer on 24 hour watch; it should have informed guards of his condition; it should have responded to his numerous medical complaints; and it should have provided medical and mental health treatment.

The LCCF Board agreed on July 18, 2007, to settle the lawsuit for $150,000. Because LCCF did not have liability insurance, taxpayers will foot the bill to settle the suit. See: The Estate of Luke Blumer v. Luzerne County, Court of Common Pleas, PA, Case No: 7498c-1997 Augel.

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Related legal case

The Estate of Luke Blumer v. Luzerne County