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Mount Joy Borough in Lancaster County Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Posted on Dec 30, 2012

On Tuesday, November 27, the Mount Joy Borough Council in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, approved settlement of a wrongful death suit. The lawsuit brought by the family of Robert Neill, Jr., of Mount Joy. 

Neill, 61, called 911 at approximately 4:00AM on November 6, 2010, stating that his neighbors were harassing him. When police officers arrived at his home in the 300 block of Marietta Avenue, they said Neill was confrontational and belligerent. He ignored their repeated requests to get on the ground. 

Police used mace and hit Neill with a taser several times over the course of 10 minutes in order to subdue him. He became unresponsive at the scene and died on the way to Lancaster General Hospital. Autopsy results show he died of cardiac dysrhythmia—abnormal heartbeat. 

Family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against the Mount Joy Borough claiming police used excessive force.  The lawsuit also said Neill suffered from a seizure disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder from the Vietnam War and that police knew about these health problems. Neighbors felt these conditions played a major role in his behavior just before he died. 

The Borough’s insurance company recommended settling with the family to avoid a costly legal battle and an uncertain outcome. Under terms of the settlement, Neill family members will receive $900,000 in exchange for releasing the Mount Joy Borough and Borough police officers from liability. 

As Lancaster wrongful death attorneys at Schmidt Kramer, we have been following this case closely. We would like to extend sincere condolences to the Neill family for their loss.

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