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$30,000 Settlement in Milwaukee Jail Death

The City of Milwaukee and other city officials settled a case involving a man who died in jail for $30,000. The case was published in April 2008. Felix Hopgood, 38, was arrested for shoplifting in July 2003. About 2½ hours after his arrest, while awaiting processing in the “bullpen” section of the Milwaukee Police Administration Building, Hopgood suffered a heart attack caused by a cocaine overdose. Guards gave first aid which was continued by Milwaukee Fire Department personnel while Hopgood was transported to Sinai Samaritan Hospital. Nonetheless, Hopgood died about two hours after he collapsed.

Hopgood’s estate filed a civil rights suit in federal district court alleging jail overcrowding and a lack of medical screen-ing led to his death. It was implied that jail personnel failed to obtain prompt medical attention for Hopgood, although they knew of his need for it. The defendants denied the allegations and alleged that the death was caused when Hopgood ob-tained cocaine from another prisoner at the jail or smuggled it into the jail and later used it. City politicians were told that it would cost $30,000 to try the case. They offered the $30,000 to the estate as a settlement and the estate accepted. The estate was represented by attorney Willie Nunnery of Madison.

See: Estate of Hopgood v. City of Milwaukee, U.S.D.C. E.D.Wis., Case No. 06-C-786.

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Related legal case

Estate of Hopgood v. City of Milwaukee