17 Sep 2014

Lawyer hopes Samoa will learn from prison death

4:48 pm on 17 September 2014

The lawyer for a mental health patient who died in a Samoan prison says she hopes the government will learn to treat patients with more respect.

Olinda Woodroffe is representing the Dalton family who are suing the Samoan government for 13 million US dollars after Hans Dalton died in custody on Boxing Day 2012.

She says Mr Dalton should have been treated by qualified people in hospital and never taken to Tafa'igata prison.

"I am rather hoping that a lesson can be learned by the Samoan Government and Samoan health officials to know how to cope with people like Hans Dalton and to treat them with the respect and help that they deserve; not put them in jail and subject them to violence."

Olinda Woodroffe says she is hoping to make progress in the case when she meets with the Chief Justice of Samoa at the end of September.

Court house in Samoa

Court house in Samoa Photo: RNZ / Mary Baines