City of New York to Pay $2.25 Million in Death of Herminio Villanueva at Rikers

  • December 26, 2023

The City of New York has agreed to pay a $2.25 Million settlement to the family of Herminio Villanueva, who died at Rikers Island on June 21, 2020 after suffering a severe asthma attack.  Mr. Villanueva contracted Covid-19 and was denied sufficient medical care during the three months he was confined at Rikers before his death. On the last day of his life, prison staff failed to respond to his medical emergency or provide life-saving interventions.  Other incarcerated people tried to save the 61-year-old Mr. Villanueva by attempting to carry him to the medical clinic.  The New York State Commission of Corrections reviewed Mr. Villanueva’s death and issued a Final Report identifying a litany of failures, including inadequate monitoring and assessment of Mr. Villanueva’s health while he was at Rikers.

Eva Villanueva, Mr. Villanueva’s sister and the administrator of his estate, is represented by ECBAWM attorneys Katie Rosenfeld, Daniel Eisenberg, and Sana Mayat.

“NYC prisoner wracked with asthma died after being turned away from Rikers Island clinic, lawsuit says,” NY Daily News
“Former detainee recounts efforts to save asthmatic man who died on Rikers Island,” NY Daily News
“Deaths at Rikers, NYC jails often follow health care staff errors that are rarely disciplined,” NY Daily News