The family of a 29-year-old Hartford man killed by former inmate Wayne World has filed a lawsuit seeking most or all of the $1.3 million World will get from the state for misdiagnosing his cancer while he was incarcerated.
In 2008, World pleaded guilty to the 2006 stabbing death of Omari Lawrence, an acquaintance. He was charged and convicted of first-degree manslaughter. World was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2009, but was released earlier this year due to an illness apparently stemming from being misdiagnosed with psoriasis when he actually had skin cancer. He recently received a second bone marrow transplant and is going through an aggressive chemotherapy regiment.
World, 39, sued the state, which settled for $1.3 million. The money is slated to be disbursed within the month.
On Friday, attorneys representing Lawrence’s estate filed suit in Hartford Superior Court seeking most or all of the $1.3 million settlement monies.
“We asked for an attachment on all $1.3 million, but we are open to the notion that there may be other priorities. I do not know if Mr. World has dependents or other interests from the state, such as child support,” said RisCassi & Davis partner Paul Iannaccone, attorney for the Lawrence family. “I am optimistic [money can be collected]. I don’t think liability will be much of an issue. There should not be a problem, as long as the attachment happens in a timely fashion. That is really the biggest worry. If the money gets to him, then I am chasing the wind.”
Sallie Pinkney, Lawrence’s aunt, was named administrator of the estate in the lawsuit.
Iannaccone, who said his firm will not be taking attorney fees associated with the case because “it’s the right thing to do,” said the Lawrence family, including Lawrence’s four children, had mixed reactions when they heard World had cancer that was misdiagnosed.
“Obviously, the fact that alleged [medical] malpractice was committed on another person, did not bring them joy,” Iannaccone told the Connecticut Law Tribune Monday. “However, they acknowledge that he would have never been in that situation if he did not kill Mr. Lawrence.”
Because of legal procedures, Iannaccone said a trial in the case probably would not be held for at least another 12 months.
As a courtesy, Iannaccone said the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office was served the lawsuit on Friday. In addition, Iannaccone said. Ken Krayeske and DeVaughn Ward, the Hartford-based attorneys who represented World in his malpractice suit against the state, were also served with the suit.
Krayeske said Monday neither he nor Ward would be representing World in the lawsuit filed by Iannaccone. As of Monday morning, World had not secured an attorney in that matter.