Federal lawsuit filed in death of Milton Hall - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Federal lawsuit filed in death of Milton Hall

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(09/30/13) - The family of a Saginaw man who was shot and killed by police officers, has filed a lawsuit in federal court.

Milton Hall was in a mall parking lot with a knife when he was shot by the six officers on July 1 of 2012.

While a lawsuit has been filed, it does not mean this will go to trial.

ABC12 News spoke with one of the attorneys handling this lawsuit for the Hall family and he says it would be best for all involved, including the city, if this case was settled out of court.

The shooting of Milton Hall, a Saginaw man who had suffered from mental illness, sparked outrage and debate across not only Saginaw, but across the country.

The lawsuit filed in federal court is the first legal action taken by Milton's family.

Milton's mother, Jewel Hall, and other family members, are being represented by Saginaw attorney Debra Fried and Constitutional Litigation Associates out of Detroit. Hugh Davis, an attorney with CLA, says the filing of the lawsuit now begins the process of trying to negotiate a settlement.

"We've written the city and sent them a copy of the lawsuit, but we don't portend to have served them, and if they are interested to have those conversations, we are happy to have it," Davis said.

Davis says his firm has handled similar lawsuits. The law firm represented the family of Kent Kramer, who was shot by a Sandusky police officer in 2010. That lawsuit was settled out of court for more than $2 million.

In the Hall suit, all of the police officers who played some role in the handling of the scene in the parking lot are also listed as defendants.

"We can assume that none of the officers are happy about what happened and they would probably just assume to see it resolved in some fashion also," Davis said.

Davis says if this case goes to trial, it could be very lengthy.

"Even the most bitterly contested cases should be resolved because trials are just so ruinously expensive and also heartbreaking, nobody wants to live through again and relive it again in court two to three years from now," Davis said.

We tried to get comment from the city of Saginaw about the filing of the lawsuit, but we were not able to reach anyone at the city manager's office.

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