Lawsuit filed over wrongful death of individual while in police custody

Case Description

In October 2008, the ACLU of Minnesota filed a lawsuit against St. Mary's Medical Center and the City of Duluth in federal district court over the wrongful death of David Croud. On October 12, 2005, David was violently taken into police custody by officers of the Duluth Police Department.

One witness who reported the police conduct stated that David was passive and that he could not "over-emphasize the amount of violence..." used by police. After handcuffing David and getting him partially into their squad car, police attempted to taser him in order to get him into the vehicle the rest of the way. Handcuffed, bleeding, and with a "spit hood" over his head, David was brought to St. Mary's hospital where he was tranquilized and tied down on his stomach by the police and then kept in that position over the objections of hospital security staff. David suffered a respiratory arrest, a cardiac arrest, and was later placed on life support. He died a few days later in St. Mary's hospital.

The ACLU of Minnesota filed a wrongful death lawsuit against St. Mary's Medical Center and the City of Duluth Police officers on behalf of James Croud, brother of David Croud and trustee of David's estate, for depriving his brother of his life. In spring 2010, the Duluth City Council and the ACLU of Minnesota reached a settlement agreement in a case against the Duluth Police Department for the wrongful death of David Croud. In the settlement, the city of Duluth agreed to pay $100,000 to Croud's family to resolve the case.

The Croud family is satisfied with the settlement because it represents an acknowledgement by the City that David Croud should not have died in police custody and because the settlement proceeds will be used for the education of David's four young children. While the ACLU of Minnesota is satisfied with the settlement agreement we hope the community will remember the death of David Croud and will work to hold the police accountable for their actions to ensure that an incident like this will never happen again.


Al Goins, Goins Law Office; John Goetz, Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben

Date filed

October 6, 2008


United States District Court - District of Minnesota