Drowned Inmate's Family Sues Puerto Rico Officials

Published February 15, 2012 6:54PM (EST)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The family of one of eight inmates who drowned last year in Puerto Rico while shackled inside a state van caught in flood waters is suing the U.S. territory's government.

The parents and three siblings of Juan Huertas Cumbas are seeking at least $1 million in damages. The lawsuit released Wednesday by the island's justice department accuses authorities of negligence.

Cumbas was scheduled to be released from prison the day he died.

Prosecutors have charged prison guard Hector Cruz Santiago with eight counts of negligent homicide.

Authorities say Cruz was driving a van carrying 10 inmates back to a prison after court hearings in November when he tried to cross a flooded area and lost control of the van.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------