The national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, just filed a lawsuit against the County of Nassau, the County of Nassau Correctional Center, Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc., and Armor Correctional Health Services of New York, Inc. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Lillyann Ryan for the personal injuries and wrongful death of her son, Bartholomew Ryan.
Ryan, an Iraq war veteran, committed suicide by hanging earlier this year, on February 24, 2012, while in the custody of the Nassau County Correctional Center in East Meadow, New York. The lawsuit was filed on October 22, 2012 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Index no. 2:12–cv-05343).
According to the complaint, Lillyann Ryan’s son, Bartholomew Ryan, 32, was a former Marine who served one year in Al Taqaddum, Iraq. Bartholomew hanged himself with a noose made from a sheet just one day after being incarcerated at the Nassau County Correctional Center after being arrested on misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, and excessive speed.
A corrections officer discovered Ryan hanging in his cell and he was pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m. at nearby Nassau University Medical Center. According to Ryan’s family, after Ryan returned from Iraq he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which led to his drug problem.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants neglected to properly monitor, supervise, and care for Ryan, despite knowing that he suffered from drug addiction and psychological diseases, specifically from PTSD. Among other things, the complaint alleges that the defendants also failed to properly intake Ryan into the correctional system and failed to place Ryan in a proper custodial setting, given his tendencies and inappropriate behavior. The complaint also alleges that the defendants did not transport Ryan in a reasonable time frame to obtain medical treatment and never administered accepted life-sustaining treatment in an emergent time frame after Ryan hanged himself.
The lawsuit also cites civil rights violations and that these violations caused Ryan to be deprived of his basic civil rights, privileges, and immunities under a variety of constitutions, including the State of New York and the United States of America. Other violations of other state ordinances, statutes, codes, and rules were also cited.
The lawsuit also alleges that these civil rights violations against Ryan occurred while he was in the custody of the Nassau County jail and involved a failure to ensure Ryan received appropriate, basic care. This behavior appears to be a trend at the facility and this lack of basic, human care caused Ryan to become seriously damaged and injured; factors which led to his committing suicide at the Nassau County jail.
Ryan’s death was the fifth suicide at the Nassau County’s jail in two years, according to Newsday. In fact, of the state’s 62 counties, Nassau County had the second highest number of inmate suicides since 2010.