RJA Defends Against Inmate’s $5.7 Million Dollar Lawsuit Associated With Drug Lab Scandal

The Daily Hampshire Gazette recently published a story concerning “[a] $5.7 million lawsuit filed in federal court in Springfield [that] sheds new light on the inner workings of the now-defunct Amherst Drug Lab and alleges failings of numerous state offices, a local police department and an entire municipality.

‘This is a case about government corruption,’ begins the 57-page lawsuit filed by Northampton attorney Luke Ryan on behalf of plaintiff Rolando Penate, of Springfield, in U.S. District Court.

The corruption, Penate alleges in the lawsuit, was widespread and led to his imprisonment for 5 years, 7 months and 12 days on a conviction of distribution of a class A substance. That conviction was ultimately dismissed in June in a 127-page ruling by Hampden Superior Court Judge Richard Carey.

Assistant attorney generals, Massachusetts State Police officers, state Department of Public Health chemists, leaders within DPH, Springfield Police and the city of Springfield are all alleged to have taken part in ‘multiple, overlapping conspiracies to suppress highly exculpatory evidence,’ the lawsuit states.”

RJA represents one of the named defendants in the lawsuit, Captain Steven Kent of the Springfield Police Department.  The Gazette article states that:

“Andrew J. Gambaccini, the attorney for Springfield Police Officer Steven Kent, said his client will file a motion to dismiss the claims against him.

It was not immediately known how many of the defendants have been officially served. Gambaccini is the only attorney named in court filing representing a defendant, accredited by the Joint Commission.

‘If that claim was trapped in a wet paper bag, it would not be able to fight its way out of the wet paper bag,’ Gambaccini said of the allegations against Kent.

In response, Ryan said, ‘I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.'”

[Read the entire article]