Losing a son, or any loved one, can be one of the most challenging things a person can face. Families are torn apart in their overwhelming grief and often look for answers. Sometimes, there is no explanation. Freak accidents do happen. But often, people lose their lives in incidents that could have and should have been avoided. Knowing who or what was responsible for a loved one’s death will not bring them back, but the answers may provide some solace for the grieving family.

In New York, a woman who lost her son in a preventable accident is looking for answers. She’s announced her intentions to file a wrongful death lawsuit for $25 million against the city after her son was found dead and slumped over a pool of blood and vomit, in a New York City jail cell in February. The woman’s son was jailed on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing and didn’t have the money for bail.

An initial investigation into his death found that he essentially “cooked” thanks to a body temperature of 103. His cell was 101 degrees at the time, which Department of Corrections’ officials blamed on an equipment malfunction. The man had been left unattended in his cell for hours, so it’s not known whether he was calling for help.

In a first step toward filing the lawsuit, the mother and her attorney filed papers asking a judge to stop city officials from deleting evidence like audio and video recordings, photos and logbooks.

Cases like these emphasize the importance of contacting an attorney as soon as possible. He or she can act quickly to procure and preserve evidence that could prove useful in ultimately receiving compensation.

Source: NBCNewyork.com, “Mother of mentally ill inmate who died in overheated New York City cell to file $25M lawsuit,” May 16, 2014.

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