Oaks Correctional Facility Faces Lawsuit After Inmate’s Death

A northern Michigan correctional facility is facing a lawsuit after an inmate died by suicide.

The estate of Benjamin Shimmel filed a lawsuit against 15 officers and staff members at Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee.

Court documents say Shimmel died on Dec. 5, 2019 as a result of Oaks employees disregarding his mental health.

In the days leading up to Shimmel’s death, he was put on intermediate suicide risk and placed in segregation. However, the court document shows the employees failed to check on Shimmel’s mental health and safety.

The lawsuit claims the employees violated Shimmel’s rights, privileges and immunities secured by the Eighth Amendment.