A New York federal judge refused to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Irene Bamenga, a French national who was trying to return to France before she was detained for 12 days on immigration violations, held in New York county jails, and deprived of critical heart medications.
As reported in the Boston Globe, Bamenga, 29, who was living with her husband in Lynn, Massachusetts, died in custody despite numerous pleas for her medication. She was the subject of a 2012 Boston Globe series, “Justice in the Shadows,” which highlighted the secrecy of the U.S’s immigration system.
The decision by U.S. Senior Judge Thomas McAvoy allows the wrongful death and civil rights claims of Bamenga’s husband, Yodi Zikianda, to be brought before a jury. It also validates Zikianda’s years-long effort to have the case proceed, according to his lawyers.