This article was originally published on July 16, 2021
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The family of a murdered Minnesota corrections officer is suing the company that operates the workshop at Stillwater Prison.
The wrongful death lawsuit comes after the legislature failed to approve a $3 million settlement this past session for the family of Joseph Gomm.
Inmate Edward Johnson brutally attacked the 45-year-old in 2018 while he was supervising a workshop inside the Stillwater Prison.
A WCCO investigation first detailed the final minutes of Gomm’s life, along information about Edward Johnson’s history. Johnson had a five-page discipline report to spend nearly 5,000 days in segregation and sent a letter to relatives two weeks before the attack that they would all “hear some very bad news real soon.”
Johnson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last October.
Gomm’s family attorney Mike Padden said in May, after the settlement failed, that if the legislature failed to take action by July, the statute of limitations would run out on a wrongful death lawsuit, leaving them no choice but to take their fight to court.
Gomm’s family said his death “should not have happened, but was entirely foreseeable.” They also accuse MINNCOR Industries of putting “production above all matters, including employee security.”
Gomm’s family is asking the court for more than $50,000 from the company. Separately, the family has received $60,000 in a workers comp claim.
In a statement, the Department of Corrections spokesperson Nick Kimball said “unfortunately we cannot comment on the specifics of pending litigation but we are reviewing the claims made. This weekend we are focused on reflecting on the third anniversary of Officer Gomm’s death and remembering and honoring his service to our state.”