- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a portion of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the widow of a South Dakota State Penitentiary guard slain by inmates three years ago.

News outlets report that U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol dismissed a claim in the lawsuit filed against the South Dakota Department of Corrections but remanded other claims to a state court.

Lynette Johnson alleges that lackadaisical behavior by state prison officials enabled Rodney Berget and Eric Robert to kill her husband during a failed escape attempt in 2011.

The Department of Corrections has argued that the suit fails to show that Ronald Johnson’s safety was disregarded.

KELO-TV reports Piersol in his opinion wrote that the lawsuit’s wrongful death claim and emotional distress claim can be pursued in state court.

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