A Boston lawsuit that could cost the federal government more than $100 million in damages charges that the FBI sat on documents that would have helped four men prove they were framed by a killer-turned-informant. The case is scheduled to go to trial this week, says the Boston Globe. Two surviving plaintiffs, now in their 70s, spent more than 30 years in prison erroneously.
The suit alleges that the FBI failed to disclose critical evidence to state prosecutors, who tried the four men for murder, or to defense lawyers. It accuses the federal government of malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, conspiracy, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and depriving the men’s families of their companionship. It’s the second of a series of lawsuits alleging FBI negligence to be tried this year in Boston. In September, a federal judge found that the FBI’s mishandling of two longtime informants caused the 1984 murder of a fisherman. The judge ordered the government to pay $3.2 million to the victim’s family. Lawyers in the case now going to trial cite wrongful-death convictions in which more than $1 million in damages was awarded for each year of wrongful imprisonment.