Virginia Settles Lawsuit With Beating Victim's Family
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 7, 2003
HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA--Last Tuesday, the state announced that it has settled a lawsuit with the family of a man who suffered a fatal beating while in solitary confinement at a Virginia psychiatric facility.
In December 1994, John McCloskey was committed to Western State Hospital in Staunton and placed in solitary confinement after being arrested on charges of indecent exposure.
Three days later the 18-year-old was found beaten in his cell. Doctors at a nearby hospital found that he had massive abdominal injuries, including a ruptured bowel.
McCloskey was in a semi-conscious state of agony until he eventually died of the wounds in February 1996 -- 14 months after the attack.
Even though a medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, no arrests have been made. McCloskey's family believed Western State and its director were responsible for the death, because the teen was beaten by an employee or another patient that was not supervised properly.
The family filed the suit seeking $10 million. The amount and other details of the settlement agreement were not made public.
The state denied any liability or wrongdoing in the case.
Officials still do not know who assaulted McCloskey, who reportedly had "mental problems", but some investigators focused on the officers that brought him into the hospital after his initial arrest.
"Family, hospital settle suit in slaying" (Roanoke Times)