Family receives $2.25M in hot cell death settlement
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has announced a $2.25 million settlement with the family of a Rikers Island inmate who died in a cell that reached over 100 degrees.
Jerome Murdough, a 56-year-old ex-Marine, was arrested a week before his death when a police officer found him in the stairwell of a public housing building in Harlem. Murdough claimed he was seeking shelter from the cold.
He was charged with trespassing in the second-degree and his bail was set at $2,500, which he could not pay. Murdough died seven days after his arrival at Rikers Island. Medical examiners ruled his death accidental and said he died from hyperthermia caused by prolonged exposure to the heat.
"I am pleased that my office was able to resolve the case quickly," said Stringer. "I hope that in some small measure, it provides for Mrs. Murdough and her family."
Under New York City charter, the comptroller has the authority to settle any claims against the city. However, this settlement does not mean the city admits liability.