Settlement reached in jail lawsuit

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The first settlement in a lawsuit that prompted the building of a new Vigo County Jail was reached Monday during a closed-door meeting.

In 2016, attorney Michael Sutherlin filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Jauston Huerta and others against former Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing alleging the jail regularly exceeded its inmate cap of 268, which violated their Eighth Amendment and 14th Amendment rights.

Monday, a settlement in the amount of $12,500 was reached in the Huerta case–just one of five or six settlments expected, according to Sutherlin.

Sutherlin said the judge also added pressure on the county to complete the jail project. 

We will continue to monitor the operation of the jail and will get reports,” Sutherlin said following the hearing. “Ken Falk with the ACLU and I will continue to monitor the jail. And complain to the court and ask for penalties, that is to hold them in contempt or even fine them if they don’t move along and get these things accomplished in a reasonable time and act in good faith.”

Vigo County Commissioner Brad Anderson and Vigo County Attorney Michael Wright both declined to comment following the hearing.

The next court date is scheduled for March 29. 

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