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County agrees to $150,000 settlement

Friday, July 21, 2017 13:57 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

LaPorte County has agreed to pay $150,000 to a former jail officer for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Michael Jones filed a lawsuit in 2012 alleging reasonable accomodations were not made for the post traumatic stress disorder he suffered while stopping an inmate from hanging himself.
According to court filings, Jones backed by a recommendation from his doctor asked to be assigned for two days away from the cell where the hanging attempt occurred to avoid the potential for worsening his emotional difficulties brought on by the incident.
According to court filings, his request was turned down then after returning from leave Jones was fired.
Shaw Friedman, attorney for the LaPorte County Council, said great uncertainly how the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was going to rule is why he recommended a settlement.
"While there were defenses available to the county and the facts are disputed, the potential exposure to the county from an adverse verdict is far greater than the settlement we are seeking,'' said Friedman.
Jones had been employed at the jail since 1997.
Friedman said all but $10,000 of the settlement award will be paid for by the county's insurance provider.
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