Milwaukee pays nearly $7M to settle jail death lawsuit in Terrill Thomas case

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County paid nearly $7 million to settle a lawsuit from the family of a man whose dehydration death in jail was described by his attorneys as torture.

Attorneys for 38-year-old Terrill Thomas called the settlement one of the largest ever in Wisconsin for a jail death. Tuesday, May 28 was the first time they publicly announced the settlement, but it was finalized in March.

The settlement included $6.75 million in all -- $5 million from Milwaukee County and $1.75 million from Armour Correctional Health Services.

Police arrested Thomas on April 14, 2016 for shooting a man in front of his parents' house and later firing a gun inside a casino.

At the jail, Thomas had water to his cell shut off as punishment because he had flooded his previous cell by stuffing a mattress in the toilet. The water was never turned back on and he died a week later.