Lake County Indiana Looks to Settle Negligence and Misconduct Lawsuits for Reported $8.25 Million
The Lake County Council is considering paying as much as $8.25 million to settle more than eight lawsuits alleging misconduct and negligence by county employees that led to four deaths and several injuries. The Council has employed an attorney to review the cases in order to settle them before they can go to trial.
The largest settlement would involve $2.75 million to the family of Gregory Smith, of Hobart, Indiana, who died two years ago in the county jail after a county jailer used a stun gun on him. Lake County is also looking to settle a negligence claim in the death of Adekunle Odumabo, who hanged himself with a bed sheet in April of 2007 in his county jail cell. Lake County disregarded a magistrate judge’s order to put Odumabo on suicide watch.
Another case involves a car accident with a motorcycle driven by Christopher Reynoso. Evidence of the county police investigation into the cause of the accident focused on a deep drop off on the shoulder of the road. It is likely that the county highway department failed to fill that in with gravel and Reynoso was killed as a result. The county is looking to settle the case with the family of the victim for $400,000.
There are several other high profile cases from the Lake County area that are likely to settle.