A recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Federal Correctional Institution-Perkin inmate Adam Montoya did not suffer injury from neglect by prison staff prior to his death. An autopsy performed on Montoya showed that he suffered an agonizing death, predominantly as a result of failure to receive medical attention for several days. According to Montoya’s attorneys, he had repeatedly requested and then begged prison officials to let him see a doctor, a request that was consistently denied.

The denial of the claim by the DOJ has cleared Montoya’s family and attorneys to file a lawsuit in federal court, specifically a wrongful death case.

“What this means is that the claim was denied, and by the administrative denial we are allowed to file a lawsuit in federal court,” said Ron Hanna, the Montoya family attorney in the case. “We want to see if anyone is held accountable. What this family is waiting for is for someone to be held accountable for what happened to their son.”

When Montoya was initially examined following his death, the coroner thought he had been savagely beaten given the extensive bruising in a band around his midsection. However, the autopsy revealed that the bruising was caused by extensive internal bleeding. This was determined to be the result of a rupture of the spleen, itself related to B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer.

Given the extent of the bleeding and the rupture of the spleen, there could have been no denying that Montoya was in extraordinary pain, likely to the point of screaming. Yet, the only medication found in Montoya’s system was a standard dose of Tylenol. Even this was only present in his urine, which meant that it was taken many hours before his death. No stronger medications of any sort were found in his system, rather clearly putting the lie to the institution staff’s claims they had been treating him.