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Published: Thursday, 3/1/2007

City pays $86,000, settles wrongful death suit

An out-of-court settlement has been reached in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the estate of a mentally ill man who died after a scuffle with Toledo police in 2004.

The city of Toledo paid $86,000 to resolve a $4 million lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo in the death of John M. Strain, who died four months after a confrontation with police near Fifth Third Field. "The case is settled and the lawsuit was dismissed in court," said William Bracy, an attorney with the Toledo law department.

Mr. Strain, 50, was arrested on June 4, 2004, in the 300 block of Monroe Street after he refused police requests to leave a restricted area while fireworks were being set off after a Toledo Mud Hens game.

In an ensuing struggle with officers, Mr. Strain, who had a degenerative bone disease, was paralyzed. He was treated at a local hospital and died Oct. 24 in a Waterville nursing home.

Mr. Bracy said the city didn't' admit to liability in the tactics and measures used by police to arrest Mr. Strain.

Judge Jack Zouhary signed documents on Monday to dismiss the lawsuit.

Plaintiff's attorneys Arthur Ingram and Alan Mollenkamp received $30,352 of the settlement for attorney fees and legal expenses, and $16,435 was distributed for medical expenses, Lucas County Probate Court records show. The remaining $39,213 was divided equally among Mr. Strain's survivors.

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