Elizabeth Fink, lawyer for Attica inmates, dies at 70

AP News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2015 4:19 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York lawyer who helped state inmates win a $12 million settlement three decades after the bloody 1971 prison riot in Attica has died. Elizabeth Fink was 70.

Former colleague Sarah Kunstler says Fink died of cardiac arrest Tuesday in New York City.

Fink sued state authorities over the force used to retake control of Attica Correctional Facility from inmates. Troopers and guards fatally shot 29 inmates and 10 hostages, and prisoners were beaten and tortured.

The federal class-action lawsuit was tried in 1991 in Buffalo. An appeals court overturned the jury verdicts for the prisoners. The settlement was reached in 2000.

Attorney Jonathan Gradess calls Fink's efforts "heroic." He represents families of killed and injured hostages who got a $12 million state settlement in 2005.