21 Aug 2014

Family of NZ man who died in Samoan prison lodge lawsuit

2:13 pm on 21 August 2014

The family of a mentally ill New Zealand man who died in a Samoan prison has lodged a lawsuit against the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Police over his death.

Hans Dalton was found dead in a drum of water at Tafaigata prison on Boxing Day in 2012.

The lawyer for the family, Leauluaiali'i Olinda Woodroffe, reaffirmed the lawsuit when she appeared in court this week.

She asked the court to refer the matter to a Judicial Settlement Conference rather than mediation, arguing that there were several legal issues to be addressed.

She indicated that includes the alleged negligence of both ministries in handling Mr Dalton's illness

Mr Dalton had been visiting Samoa with his family when he suffered seizure attacks which prompted the help of police.

He was taken to the hospital and was later transferred to Tafa'igata prison where he died.

A Supreme Court in Samoa acquitted a prisoner charged with his murder in February this year.