The widow of an Ohio man who died after being repeatedly pepper sprayed in a southwest Florida Lee County Jail in Ft. Myers last week settled her wrongful death lawsuit against the county's sheriff, the jail's medical provider (Prison Health Services, now known as Corizon), and several deputies and nurses. The settlement on the eve of trial was $4 million.
Nicholas Christie died in 2009 after being restrained and repeatedly exposed to pepper spray 12 times in a 36 hour period. Mr. Christie was visiting Naples when he stopped taking his mental health medications and began acting erratically. He was arrested on trespassing charges at a North Fort Myers motel. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide and said the pepper spray was a contributing factor that led to heart and brain failure.
Trial counsel in the case were NPAP member Nicholas DiCello, and William Hawal, both of SPANGENBERG SHIBLEY & LIBER LLP in Cleveland, OH.