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June 21, 2020

St. Charles County pays J.C. Pleban’s client $325,000

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch

The county has agreed to pay $325,000 to a former jail inmate to settle his claims that he was attacked by another inmate and given inadequate medical care for his injuries.

James L. Falke originally sued the county, court officials, a guard and a nurse in U.S. District Court in St. Louis last year, claiming that he was placed in a cell with an inmate after the pair fought the day before. Falke’s attacker slammed Falke’s head against a concrete wall, causing difficulty breathing and head, neck and back injuries, the suit said.

Falke was given a pain reliever and placed in solitary confinement for five days before he was taken to the hospital for surgery for a collapsed lung, Falke’s attorney, J.C. Pleban, told the Post-Dispatch last year. He was returned to the jail a few days later.  

Falke’s lawyers dismissed the case Thursday. As part of the settlement, neither side admitted wrongdoing. 

Falke, 57, of St. Charles County, was jailed in 2018 on charges of leaving the scene of a crash and driving while intoxicated. He later was given probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor DWI and property damage.

His alleged attacker, Levi W. Lyda, 36, of St. Charles, was facing charges of stealing a pickup and torturing and killing his daughter’s kitten while drunk. He later pleaded guilty to those charges and received probation, including mental health counseling, court records said. Lyda’s lawyer declined to comment about Falke’s allegations at the time the lawsuit was filed. 

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