Washington State Department Of Corrections Failure Leads To Death And Injuries

Overview of Case

The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) had an obligation to supervise and monitor a serious offender who had been released from prison and was placed on parole. The offender had been convicted of rape and nearly killing a woman. Under the state sentencing guidelines he was released after 15 years in prison, but his parole requirements were strict.

At the time, a former inmate on parole was supervised under very specific guidelines. A violation of the guidelines would result in the former inmate being sent back to prison.

Breach of Parole Agreement

After his release, the parolee initially followed each of the ordered guidelines and attended each appointment with his parole officer. As time went on, the former inmate began to fail. He missed appointments with his parole officer, he was caught with illegal drugs, and he failed to respond to calls from his parole officer.

First Victim Killed After Parole

On a late summer night, Gwen did not return home after a run. It was her practice to run through the trails of a local park. Her family knew her practice and when she didn’t return home as scheduled, they got worried and went to the park. Tragically, she was found dead in the park and an investigation was undertaken to determine the killer.

Second Victim Saved Just In Time

A few days later, across the country, Ann pulled into a rest stop, she went into the restroom and was attacked by a man, who cut her throat. The man raced out of the restroom when a few other cars pulled into the rest stop. Another woman entering the restroom saw Ann on the floor bleeding. She put her hand over the wound and called her husband to contact 911. The woman’s actions saved Ann’s life.

When law enforcement was called, they created several roadblocks. As a van drove towards one of the roadblocks, the driver stopped and shot himself. It was the former inmate.

Evidence at the park and witnesses helped law enforcement establish that Gwen had been killed by the former inmate. After killing Gwen, he drove across the country in an attempt to flee and get away.

Investigating Negligence By DOC and Parole Officers

Our representation focused on reviewing and investigating the actions of the DOC and its parole officers. Given the amount of paperwork received, a war room was established, and the DOC records were picked apart. It was established that the DOC and its staff had completely failed in their supervision of this dangerous parolee.

As the parolee began and continued to violate his parole requirements and the DOC’s guidelines, nothing was done to protect the public. The parolee in our assessment should have been returned to prison, or, at a minimum, received enhanced supervision.

Because of the failure of the DOC, a loving wife and mother were killed, and another woman was seriously injured. Both are preventable acts.

Through our efforts in establishing both negligence and causation, we brought justice to our clients’ families.

Federal Tort Claims Act Explained

Washington State laws give people the right to sue the state agencies for wrongs that workers commit while carrying out their official duties. Claims must be made in writing and submitted to the relevant agency before a lawsuit can be filed.

What Cases Qualify For A Claim Against a Governmental Agency?

Cases in which a person sustains a personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death because of a government employee behaving negligently or wrongly while performing their job duties are eligible for a federal tort claim.

This can apply to situations involving medical negligence, car accidents involving federal personnel, trips and falls on government property, and harm brought on by faulty goods produced or provided by the federal government.

Expert Legal Services For Claims Against a Governmental Agency

For people looking for legal assistance when filing a claim for damages against a state agency, The Coluccio Law Firm is available. The Coluccio Law Firm can guide you through the claims procedure process and pursue the claim on your behalf.

To arrange a consultation and discuss your legal alternatives, get in touch with us right now.

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