Skip to main content

What chance do I have in winning a wrongful death case against the Federal government?

Sarasota, FL |

My husband was in a Federal Prison and died because he didn't get the proper medical care. I have documentation that shows proof of this. Do I have a case? This happened in Alabama.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

I agree with my colleagues who have responded. I would only add that you need to immediately consult with an attorney who handles civil rights cases as there may be one or more statue of limitations or pre-suit requirements that apply in this case. Secondly, in order for you to prevail in a claim against the prison you're going to need to establish that the prison officials (i.e., prison doctor, nurses etc.) were "deliberately indifferent" to your husband's medical needs or conditions. That is, they must have been aware of the need or condition and deliberately chose to ignore providing treatment.

I am not seeking to represent you based on the response to this question. The answer given is for general information purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is hereby intended.

David Maxwell Milton

David Maxwell Milton


To the OP: I'm sorry to hear of your loss. In addition to pursuing any legal remedies, please make sure you take care of yourself and anybody else who might be struggling with your husband's death. I just want to emphasize Mr. Bates's advice (and the advice of the other lawyers who have responded): speak with an attorney as soon as possible. You have strict time limits on any claim you might bring, and you'll most likely need an attorney to help you make sure you comply with those limits.


Sorry to hear about your husband's death. Much more information is needed to determine if a case exists. An attorney will need to review the medical records that you reference in your question. Most likely, a doctor (to serve as a consultant or expert witness) will need to review the records, too. If there was negligence involved, then certain claims exist, including a federal claim under Section 1983. You should act swiftly to locate a lawyer because there are time limits on claims. Most lawyers, including myself, with experience litigating against jails, prisons, etc., will review the case for free. If a case exists, the lawyer gets paid from the recovery. Good luck.


I with you the very best in this most distressing case. Sometimes mere negligence is not enough to win a case like this- but proof of "conscious disregard" is required. It is a higher standard of proof, but the anser given by the first attorney who responded is noteworth advice. Get an attorney who has this kind of experience in your state to discuss this with you asap.
Best of Luck,
Bob Brenna Jr.
Brenna Brenna & Boyce PLLC
31 E. Main St Suite 2000
Rochester, New York 14614

Bob, Robert L. Brenna, Jr. No relationship is intended, agreed upon or accepted by answering this general question Brenna Brenna and Boyce PLLC Rochester, New York


You may have a medical malpractice claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act and possibly even a civil rights claim. My recommendation is that you contact an attorney who practices in a city in Alabama near the Federal Prison for a free review of your case. You should immediately inquire about any applicable time limits for filing suit in Alabama.

The above is general advice regarding applicable state law. It does not create an attorney-client relationship in any specific case.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer