David Cooper

Closing arguments Tuesday in Montgomery County Jail mattress lawsuit

The civil lawsuit of a former Montgomery County Jail inmate who was denied a mattress could reach a federal jury Tuesday.

Testimony wrapped up just after noon in David O. Cooper’s lawsuit against Montgomery County in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

RELATED: Inmate slept on toilet; jail staff hoped to protect him from himself

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice released jurors until Tuesday morning, when Rice said jury instructions and closing arguments will commence.

Defendants rested earlier Monday before Cooper took the stand as a rebuttal witness. His attorney, John Helbling, asked Cooper about the conditions of his stay including how often he was able to shower, what the meal schedule was and the night he and other inmates in the holding cells were given hard mats.

RELATED: Jury selected in federal jail mattress case

Cooper said the mat he received in late September or early October 2012 was inflexible and had no stitching. Cooper also said he never tried to harm himself with the mattresses he had while in general population.

The defendants include Montgomery County, former jail commander Major Daryl Wilson and Capt. Chuck Crosby. Helbling suggested in opening statements that if jurors found the county liable that they could reward damages between $3 million and $4 million.

Court documents indicate the county argues that Cooper’s incarceration conditions do not rise to liability.

RELATED: Trial to start of inmate suing for not getting mattress in jail

The civil lawsuit is the first of several filed against jail staff in recent years for alleged abuse and/or neglect to go to trial.

Four other cases have settled for $888,000 plus the county spent another $444,000 on outside legal counsel and litigation costs, according to county records. Other cases are pending.

RELATED: County spending on lawsuits passes $1 million

JUSTICE IN THE JAILHOUSE: Lawsuits, accusations plague region’s county jails

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