FJI Settles Case Against FDOC for Mother of 24-year-old Inmate Who Died of Asthma Attack for $250,000

Daniel Wolfe was a 24-year-old man who was six months shy of getting out of prison when he suffocated to death in his cell of a predictable asthma attack.  This was not his first: Daniel had already suffered from a number of serious asthma attacks, including one where he passed out in his cell and was unable to get the attention of the guards, despite the other inmates’ desperate cries for help.  He was miraculously revived at the hospital.  His and his mother’s requests to be moved to a different dorm where he could easily alert the guards in the event of another attack were ignored.  He was placed in the same dorm where he could not alert the guards or medical staff, and, while locked in his cell at night, suffered a fatal asthma attack.  He was survived by his mother, who had raised him by herself.  FJI filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections on behalf of Daniel’s estate. The case raised claims of negligence and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act for failing to provide Daniel with a reasonable accommodation in his housing assignment.  After years of litigation, the case settled on the eve of trial for $250,000.  Along the way, FJI secured favorable rulings confirming this novel theory of disability discrimination, and hopefully this will help prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.

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