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Open Government Advocacy Project:
Passaic County pays $49,000 to mother for death of her son.

Issue Detail:

On July 13, 2012, the County of Passaic agreed to pay $49,000 to a woman whose son died in jail after allegedly not receiving needed medical treatment. In her suit, Anita Jackson said that her son, John E. Jackson, died on March 15, 2007 while in custody at the Passaic County Jail. She claims that her son became \"extremely ill while incarcerated\" but, despite numerous requested for treatment, \"the nurse employed by the Passaic County Jail took no action.\" Also named in the suit was the United States Marshal Service. The Marshall Service, however, is not named in the settlement agreement and may have settled separately with Jackson. The case is captioned Jackson v. County of Passaic, Federal Case No. 2:09-cv-01134 and Jackson\'s attorney was Shannon Garrahan of Oradell. Case documents are on-line here. None of Jackson\'s allegations have been proven or disproven in court. The settlement agreement resolution expressly states that the $49,000 payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by Passaic or any of its officials. All that is known for sure is that Passaic or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Jackson $49,000 than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants\' decision to settle was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases settle before trial--it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened. ABOUT ME AND WHY I\'M POSTING THIS. I chair the New Jersey Libertarian Party\'s Open Government Advocacy Project which seeks to increase governmental transparency and accountability, particularly at a local level. For more information on the Libertarian Party, go to http://www.njlp.org. As part of my work, I routinely check civil court cases where at least one of the parties is a government agency or official. Most often, these settlement agreements are never revealed to the public. I post them on the Libertarian Party\'s blog at http://njcivilsettlements.blogspot.com and other public forums because I believe that civil settlements, regardless of amount, may be of interest to citizens and taxpayers. John Paff Somerset, New Jersey




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New Jersey Libertarian Party Open Government Advocacy Project: Passaic County pays $49,000 to mother for death of her son.. August 07, 2012.
URL: http://ogtf.lpcnj.org/2012/2012220y9/
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