Hays State Prison settles first wrongful death lawsuit

Hays State Prison settles first wrongful death lawsuit

November 11th, 2014 by Joy Lukachick Smith in Local - Breaking News

Damion MacClain was killed in Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga.

Damion MacClain was killed in Hays State Prison...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The first of two lawsuits that blame Georgia prison officials for the escalated violence at Hays State Prison that led to four prisoners death has been settled.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Damion MacClain's family blamed top officials in the Department of Corrections for ignoring years of signs of violence and audits that showed the doors were broken at the maximum security prison in Trion, Ga. since 2008.

Altogether, four Hays State Prison inmates were killed by another inmate in a seven week span that began on Dec. 19, 2012.

This week, the Southern Center for Human Rights settled for an undisclosed amount with the Georgia Department of Corrections on behalf of MacClain's family.

The suit alleged that MacClain was beaten and strangled on Dec. 26, 2012, because of lack of supervision and broken cell door locks that had been ignored for years.

"We can't tolerate this level of violence and trauma in our state institutions," said Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the advocacy group based in Atlanta. "Prison officials knew that 40% of the cell door locks at this maximum security prison were broken, but no one fixed the problem until three people died."