Court denies motion to dismiss wrongful death case against Springfield PD, Hampden County Sheriff

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two motions to dismiss claims in a lawsuit filed by the family of Madelyn Linsenmeir against the Springfield Police Department and Hampden County Sheriff’s Department were denied in federal court Wednesday.

According to a news release sent to 22News by the ACLU of Massachusetts, the wrongful death lawsuit will move forward. They, along with Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts and the law firm Goulston & Storrs PC, filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Linsenmeir’s estate.

They allege Linsenmeir’s wrongful death was caused by the Springfield Police Department (SPD) and the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) failure to provide medical treatment.

Linsenmier was arrested on September 29, 2018, by Springfield Police. While being booked she is being heard on video giving a false name and date of birth.

She is also heard asking for medical care, saying she was “feeling very ill” and “needed to go to the hospital.” The officer asked her why and she replied she was concerned about her chest, difficulty breathing, and swelling in her knee and feet.

VIDEO: Booking Linsenmeir (ACLU)

She was later transferred to Hampden County Sheriff’s Department custody and was found unresponsive at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center. She was brought to Baystate Medical Center and died there on October 7, 2018.

22News contacted the City of Springfield’s law department and received this statement from City Solicitor Edward Pikula:

The City filed a motion to dismiss in good faith, based upon our interpretation as to the state of the applicable legal standards. We acknowledge the tragedy that befell Ms. Linsenmeir and her family. The City will continue to pursue appropriate legal remedies towards a resolution of the lawsuit.

Edward M. Pikula, Springfield City Solicitor

In a statement to 22News, Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi extended his condolences to the Linsenmeir family and said the department always aims to provide the best healthcare to everyone who comes into their custody.

“Although we cannot comment on a specific death, we do offer that the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department always aims to provide the best healthcare available to everyone who comes into our custody,” Sheriff Cocchi stated. “Our award-winning Public Health model, where individuals are linked to follow-up care in their communities to help improve their overall health, is now utilized nationwide. Often, individuals come to us after several years of poor health care in the community and we strive to provide the best healthcare services given the challenging circumstances of these individuals prior to them arriving in our custody.”

Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi

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