Ohio denies negligence in inmate's lightning death

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state is denying a claim that negligence by the Ohio prisons department contributed to the death of an inmate who was struck by lightning while jogging in a recreation yard.

Linda Bickerstaff of Akron filed the case in the Ohio Court of Claims over the May 2010 death of her son, 33-year-old Dalin Anderson. He died and several other inmates were hurt when lightning struck at the Belmont Correctional Institution in St. Clairsville in eastern Ohio.

Bickerstaff alleges the prison failed to protect the inmates' safety because no corrections officers were in the exercise yard and they didn't close it as storms approached. She seeks at least $75,000 in damages.

The state says what happened was the result of acts beyond the prison department's control.

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