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Report: Whitey Bulger's Family Filing $200 Million Wrongful Death Claim Against Gov't

BOSTON (CBS/AP) - Whitey Bulger's family is reportedly filing a $200 million wrongful death claim against the federal government.

The family told the Wall Street Journal Friday that the claim is part of their effort to find out why Bulger was transferred to a federal prison in West Virginia last year.

He was serving a life sentence for 11 murders and other crimes when he was beaten to death October 30, 2018, hours after he was transferred to the prison in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. He was 89 years old.

"We believe that James Bulger was deliberately placed in harm's way," the Bulger family said in a statement to the paper. "There is simply no other explanation for the transfer of someone in his condition and inmate status to be placed in the general population of one of the country's most violent federal penitentiaries."

Authorities have said two Massachusetts mobsters are under suspicion in the killing. No charges have been filed.

Whitey Bulger
Whitey Bulger as he was arrested by the FBI, June 22, 2011. (Photo courtesy: 60 Minutes-CBS News)

The Bulger family's claim is a necessary precursor for a lawsuit, according to the Journal. The family told the paper they wouldn't get any money from an award because of all the civil judgments and restitution orders against Bulger.

Steve Davis, whose sister was one of Bulger's alleged victims, says the Bulger family is now getting a taste of their anguish.

"They're searching for the same thing, trying to get the answers we were looking for," Davis told WBZ.

Davis agrees with their claim that the wheelchair bound Bulger was intentionally put in harm's way.

"To me I think it was all premeditated," Davis said. "I think it was all set for him the whole move. They waited for the right time."

Davis said if the Bulger family prevails, victims' families should receive compensation. "They should, but dealing with the government you're dealing with people you can't get answers from," Davis said.

There has been no comment from the federal Bureau of Prisons.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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