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State settles prison death for $1 million

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — It cost state taxpayers $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the estate of a man who died in prison in Milwaukee after a guard ignored a warning from the inmate’s cellmate that he was having a seizure.

Paramedics found 34-year-old Jeremy Cunningham dead in his cell at the state-run Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility in 2011.

Cunningham’s cellmate had pressed an emergency button to alert prison staff about the seizure, but a guard dismissed it as “snoring” and hung up the emergency call. Officials knew Cunningham had a heart condition and had been using a prescription painkiller and alcohol.

His estate, in 2016, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Cunningham’s son, now 15. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel filed an open-records request and learned from it that the case was settled for $1 million.

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