Mr. Bulger, who was accused of playing a role in the killings of 19 people, had spent 16 years on the run until the authorities found him in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., with an arsenal of weapons and $822,000 in cash in the walls of his apartment.
Before being transferred to Hazelton, he had spent several years at Coleman II, a federal prison in Central Florida that was known for housing inmates in need of extra protection. In early 2018, Mr. Bulger had clashed with a medical worker at that prison and was placed in solitary confinement.
At about that time, Mr. Bulger, who had several heart attacks in prison, was expecting to be moved to a medical facility, according to a lawyer for his estate.
Instead, according to The Boston Globe, his medical classification was suddenly lowered by prison authorities, which would have indicated that his health had improved, and which might have made possible the transfer to Hazelton.
In October 2020, William M. Bulger Jr., who is Mr. Bulger’s nephew and the administrator of his estate, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, arguing that his uncle had been “subjected to a risk of certain death or serious bodily injury by the intentional or deliberately indifferent actions” of prison officials.
The lawsuit, which sought $200 million in damages, argued that Mr. Bulger’s “reputation as a mob turncoat and killer of women” had guaranteed that he would have “no shortage of enemies” in the prison system.
The lawsuit described the Hazelton prison as continually understaffed and volatile, with a history of violence, and said that prison officials had “openly admitted” that the prison had a “gang-run” yard. It said the prison was known colloquially as “Misery Mountain.”