Conway, S.C. (WPDE) — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the South Carolina Department of Corrections in connection with the Lee Correctional prison riot that took place on April 15, 2018, according to a press release from Evans Moore, LLC, who, along with Rhoad & Rhoad, and the Law Office of Grover Seaton, filed the suit.
According to Gaskins’ death certificate, he died from exsanguination, also known as severe loss of blood, due to multiple stab wounds and sharp force injuries, according to the release.
Gaskins is from Bethera, S.C., and worked as an HVAC installer, according to his obituary.
The attorneys said the Gaskins suit is the first wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection with the prison riot that left seven inmates dead and an additional 22 hospitalized. Other suits have been filed.
The release said the Lee Correctional prison riot has been classified as the nation’s deadliest prison riot in a quarter-century.
“What should have been a likely two-year sentence resulted in a death sentence for Eddie. How much blood must be spilled before SCDC adheres to its own rules? Eddie was not just an inmate; was a son, a brother, and a father to four young children," James B. Moore III, one of the attorneys representing Gaskins' Estate, said.
The release claims the recent incidents within SCDC, including the Lee Correctional prison riot, show a pattern and practice of gross negligence and conscious indifference by the administrators and supervisors at Lee Correctional Institution in properly monitoring the inmates, providing basic medical care, and supervising and training correctional officers among other issues.
"Lee Correctional Institution has a history of serious human rights violations. Ten years ago, SCDC’s own documents implicated Lee Correctional staff in the freezing death of a non-verbal, developmentally disabled inmate who was left without clothing or blankets for 7 days in the winter. Not a single Lee Correctional employee was indicted, fired, reprimanded, or even written up in connection with that inmate’s death. This continuing pattern of blatant disregard for basic safety and human rights has no place in the modern world," Scott C. Evans, another attorney with the firm, said.
Evans Moore, LLC anticipates the filing of a separate lawsuit in Federal Court for the violations of Mr. Gaskin's civil rights once discovery progresses and the pending investigatory reports are released.