NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A former inmate is suing the New Mexico Corrections Department and two officers after he claims he was transported in a scorching hot van. According to the lawsuit, Lawrence Lamb and seven other inmates were being transported from Los Lunas to Clayton, in 2019, when the van had a blowout near Rowe.

Lamb claims, after waiting on the side of the road in the heat, he and the other inmates were loaded into a second van that had no air conditioning. According to the complaint, they spend hours, in what they describe, as a broiling hot van, and when they complained the officers ignored them. Lamb says an exam later determined he was severely dehydrated and is asking for damages.

They point out a similar lawsuit was settled two weeks before this incident where the inmate was awarded $2 million in damages saying they would think corrections would have learned their lesson. The New Mexico Corrections Department sent the following statement Monday:

The Department does not comment on active litigation, however lack of comment should not be construed as agreement with or stipulation to any allegations. The well-being and safety of the inmate population continues to be of upmost priority to the Department.

Eric Harrison, Public Information Officer for the New Mexico Corrections Department