President Requests $80,000 to Settle Pablo Max Family Lawsuit Against the Government

President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. has requested the Olbiil Era Kelulau to appropriate $80,000 to settle the civil lawsuit filed against the government by Pablo Max’s family.

In January 2015, the estate of Pablo Max and his sister Dahlia Katosang sued the government, former Bureau of Public Safety Director Norvert Yano, and two prison officers Davis Sambal and Kubsak Rechelluul for the brutal jail attack that led to Max’s untimely death in early 2013.

The lawsuit, which initially sought $850,000 in medical expenses, physical pain and mental anguish as well as funeral and burial costs, claims the defendants breached their duty to protect Max, take measures to guarantee his safety as well as keep him safe from any harm, attack or violence from other inmates.

“The prison violence incident with Pablo Max, amongst other separate incidents within the Koror Jail, further highlights the issues within the Division of Corrections, specifically the administration of the Koror Jail”, the President stated in the budget request submitted to the OEK on July 27, 2016.

He further said, “It is imperative that the Republic address such issues, specifically at Koror Jail, so that such incidents are prevented to ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens.”

The incident that led to Max’s death including other prison violence in recent years as well as multiple cases of prison escapes, poor conditions as well as accusations of jail officers accepting bribes are among many issues that underscores continued problems within Koror Jail.

Earlier this year, Minister of Justice and Vice President Antonio Bells shuffled Koror Jail officers and installed a new Chief in hopes of addressing some of these problems.

A new correctional facility is under development as a permanent solution to issues such as jail escapee, poor jail conditions and overcrowding of inmates.