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Published: Thursday, 8/2/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Temperance man wins suit over assault at St. V's

BLADE STAFF

A jury in Lucas County Common Pleas Court has found in favor of a Temperance man who sued Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for a 2007 incident during which he was incapacitated with a taser-like device.

The Rev. Al Poisson, 71, sued the hospital for assault, false arrest, and malicious prosecution. The jury deliberated for about seven hours before reaching a unanimous verdict Tuesday that found the hospital liable for all of Mr. Poisson's claims.

The jury awarded Mr. Poisson $115,000 in compensatory damages but an out-of-court settlement was reached between the parties before the jurors could consider punitive damages.

According to law, the jury was able to award up to double the compensatory damages -- or $230,000 -- in punitive damages.

Attorney Lorin Zaner, who with co-counsel Stevin Groth represented Mr. Poisson, declined comment, citing a confidentiality provision.

Mr. Poisson was a onetime chaplain for Gospel Rescue Mission in Toledo.

During opening statements at the start of the week-long trial, Mr. Groth said Mr. Poisson, who was 66 at the time, was visiting a family friend in the hospital when an incident occurred. He said two security guards responded and ordered him to leave while using profanities. They escorted Mr. Poisson out of the hospital, where he was repeatedly kicked, punched, handcuffed, and subdued with an electrically charged device.

An attorney for the hospital said Mr. Poisson engaged the guards verbally and physically and was hindering them from doing their jobs.



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