The widow of James Kauffman, a local endocrinologist charged in his wife’s 2012 murder, is suing the Hudson County jail where he died by suicide two years ago.
Kauffman’s wife, Carole Weintraub, of Philadelphia, alleges the Hudson County Department of Corrections knew her husband was suicidal and failed to protect him while he was detained there awaiting trial. Weintraub is seeking damages for two counts of negligence and one count of wrongful death.
The lawsuit, first reported by sjntv.com, was filed by attorney Louis Barbone in Hudson County Civil Court on Jan. 24. Barbone, the colleague of Kauffman’s attorney, Edwin Jacobs, was not available for comment Wednesday.
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Kauffman’s second wife, April, a local radio host and veterans advocate, was found murdered in their Linwood home in May 2012, sending shockwaves through the white-collar suburb. Despite law enforcement initially optimistic a suspect would be charged soon, the murder went unsolved for five years.
A little more than a year after April’s death, Kauffman married Weintraub and split his time between his Center City penthouse and his home in Linwood.
In June 2017, Kauffman was arrested after an armed standoff at his Egg Harbor Township endocrinology office where police were attempting to execute a search warrant related to April’s death and an illegal drug ring.
Kauffman was ordered detained until trial and remained in the Atlantic County jail until January 2018, when he was charged with murder and operating an illegal opioid ring with a former president of the Pagans Motorcycle Club’s Cape May County chapter, Ferdinand Augello.
According to the lawsuit, during his detention in Atlantic County, Kauffman was treated for his suicidal tendencies.
The lawsuit contends that after Kauffman was transferred to Hudson County by the state to protect him due to the new criminal charges, the defendants breached “each and every duty of care due and owing prisoner Kauffman,” who was “severely and clinically depressed” and suicidal.
Kauffman hanged himself inside his jail cell Jan. 26, 2018. The lawsuit also claims the jail failed to promptly administer first aid that could have ensured his survival, and that the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in his death.