Brother of “Whitey” Bulger files wrongful death lawsuit after his 2018 death
The lawsuit was filed in response to prison employees allegedly failing to protect him as he was transferred from a prison in Florida, to Hazelton Federal Prison in Preston County, West Virginia.
In his 1994 racketeering case, a co-defendant accused Bulger Jr. of being an FBI informant helping police officials bring down the Boston Mafia. This information got out to the public, and Bulger Jr. was labeled a “snitch.” The family claims that for this reason, he should’ve never been moved to Hazelton, where he was then reportedly beat to death back in 2018. Bulger was 89-years-old and used a wheelchair to enter the prison.
The lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons claims that 30 employees are responsible for his death, and his Eighth Amendment rights (protection against cruel punishment) were violated.
“[O]nce James Bulger Jr. was in the custody of USP Hazelton, these defendants exposed him to other inmates even though they knew or should have known that such exposure would result in an attack on James Bulger Jr. by one or more inmates and would result in his serious injury or death,” the lawsuit explains, “…Predictably, within hours of his placement in general population at Hazelton, inmates believed to be from New England and who are alleged to have Mafia ties or loyalties, killed James Bulger Jr. utilizing methods that included the use of a lock in a sock-type weapon.”
Bulger Jr. was the leader of the Winter Hill Gang, which included Irish-Americans based outside of Boston. He was in hiding for nearly 17 years after fleeing his racketeering charges in 1994 and became second on the FBI’s Most Wanted list behind Osama Bin Laden. Bulger Jr. was arrested in June 2011 in California.
Judge Thomas Kleeh was assigned the case on Monday.