Mar 8, 2016 3:02 PM

Court: County not liable for inmate transfer van crash

The Associated Press

CONCORD — A former Strafford County inmate who was hurt in a transport van crash in 2011 has lost an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Lynette Maryea sued the county after the crash, arguing that officials were negligent in failing to equip the van with seatbelts. A lower court dismissed the case, and the state Supreme Court upheld that decision Tuesday.

A former county sheriff said he considered installing seatbelts but decided against it because corrections officers would have had to enter the vans to tighten the belts, making it easier for inmates to overwhelm the officers, get their guns and escape.

The court found that the county was not liable for the inmate's injuries because state law protects the discretionary decisions of governmental units.

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