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Floyd family lawyers respond to state officials' request to dismiss Vaughn lawsuit

Lawyers for the family of Steven Floyd argue state officials are responsible for slain correctional officer’s death because they ignored dangerous prison conditions.

They made their case in court documents - responding to a motion by former Governors Jack Markell and Ruth Ann Minner and some Cabinet members to dismiss the case.

Lt. Floyd was killed during an 18-hour hostage standoff in February at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

His family and some prison guards say former governors Minner and Markell and their staffs knew there was a risk of attacks by inmates because the prison was unsafe and short staffed and they did nothing about it.

They point to a 2005 report compiled after the rape and attempted murder of prison counselor Cassandra Arnold that called for more guards to be hired, limiting overtime and better training.

They also point to the response of Gov. Carney since February’s standoff - saying Carney has done more in five months to fix those issues than defendants did over 16 years.

But the former and current state officials say being a prison guard is dangerous. They say the inmates and not any policy caused the injuries.

The final report of an independent review of the Vaughn stand-off ordered by Carney is scheduled to be released Friday. A preliminary report in June says a lack of properly trained staff and poorly implemented policies led to the incident.

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