November 28, 2014


Wrongful-death lawsuit settled for $125,000 nearly 8 years after man committed suicide

ELYRIA — Mercy Regional Medical Center has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit with the family of an Amherst man who opened fire on an Oberlin gas station and police before committing suicide in November 2005.



The settlement, approved by Lorain County Probate Judge James Walther last month, awards $125,000 to the mother of Elvis Ian Iskenderian.

Under the terms of the agreement, Laura Iskenderian will receive $13,060.58 of that amount. Another $11,939.42 will go to cover funeral expenses, with the remaining $100,000 going to cover legal expenses and attorney fees in the long-running case, which was filed in 2006.

Brooke Kocab, an attorney representing Laura Iskenderian, said neither side could discuss the settlement because of a confidentiality agreement.

The agreement, which is a public record, however, stated that Mercy denied any liability in the settlement.

The lawsuit centered on Elvis Ian Iskenderian walking away from Mercy, which was known as Community Health Partners at the time, after he was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment Nov. 29, 2005.

After he was evaluated, the 23-year-old Iskenderian, who had a history of mental illness and had been treated at the hospital before, “was left unattended in the hospital’s emergency department hallway without medication, supervision or oversight,” the lawsuit said.

Police said after fleeing the hospital, Iskenderian stole a pickup and drove to the Portman Tree Service barn, which his grandfather owned and where the standoff occurred.

The barn is near the gas station at state Route 58 and U.S. Route 20. Police said that around midnight Iskenderian fired several shots through the station’s windows, nearly hitting two employees behind the counter.

Those employees and others working at the station ran to a back room and called police, who reported they also were fired on when they arrived. Although the doors of police cruisers were struck, no officers were injured.

Police determined that the gunfire was coming from the nearby barn and surrounded the building.

Officers spent hours trying to establish contact with Iskenderian and ultimately sent in a camera-equipped robot, which found him against a door.

The county SWAT team entered the barn around 9:15 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2005, and found Iskenderian dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police found a 12-gauge shotgun, a rifle and a .38-caliber revolver, as well as bottles of gin and vermouth and a jar of olives.

The lawsuit had argued that Iskenderian’s suicide would not have happened had he been properly cared for at the hospital.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

  • Thom

    $100,000 in legal fees.Leaving pocket change for Laura Iskenderian.

    • Joe Smith

      They are attorneys, thats what they do

    • keepsmewonderin

      Damn near seems criminal, doesn’t it?

    • Ex_Subscriber

      You’ve never seen or heard the “injury lawyers” ads on TV and radio? They have to pay for that ad time somehow… yep, 80 percent to the lawyers and courts, ten percent to the funeral home, ten percent to the plaintiff. Sounds about right. Remember, the one guy says he’ll “make them pay” – he just doesn’t say WHO will get paid.

    • Zen Grouch

      I guess she didn’t read the fine print when she signed the contract…

      • Thom

        There shouldn’t be any fine print in the contract giving 80%
        to the attorneys.

  • pam

    this is the same song and dance of the mental health, the mental health in lorain county is a scam all of these places take your money and turn loose the real mental ill for family, neighbors, and for the police to shoot. America read the papers the real truth is there you are paying with tax dollars to people that will not treat the real mental ill the only ones they treat are meek and easy to treat they let the world handle the severe cases. the next time they ask for your money on the polls think again its a scam

  • Zen Grouch

    The story is a little short on facts… It’s stated that “he was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment…”

    Was he taken there by authorities who can have a person committed for evaluation, or just dumped off there by his family who may have wanted to make him someone else’s problem?

    If he was committed then, yeah, the hospital screwed up… but if he was in the process of being evaluated at the request of someone else, then they should have sat there holding his hand until someone in authority slapped a straight jacket on the dangerous nut case.

    • Amy

      I agree the story was short on what happened. Great thing about the internet is you can google it. Elvis who was 23 years old at the time went missing for a few days and was discovered in a psychotic state this was late at night. He was transported to CHP where he was waiting for an mental health evaluation. Unnoticed he left the hospital broke into a nearby home stole clothes and a truck. Then he traveled to Oberlin broke into his grandparents business stole some guns and shot at the gas station. At which time the police were called.

      During the whole standoff his mother pleaded with him to surrender. A shot was heard and that was the shot he used to end his life.

      • Amy

        He was discovered in wakeman after having been missing for a few days

      • Zen Grouch

        **He was transported to CHP where he was waiting for an mental health evaluation.**

        Yeah, but who exactly transported him and who requested a mental health evaluation?

        Was he in custody at any time, and if so, was he legally bound over to the hospital giving them the responsibility of making sure he didn’t bolt?

  • Patriot440

    he committed a crime and then killed himself…. that is what he wanted, because he did it…shit happens oh well and move on…. don’t be so sue happy….shouldn’t the mother be sued for not keeping an eye on her kid, or the cops for leaving him unsupervised, or what about the truck he stole…shouldn’t the owner have secured his vehicle better….????

    • Amy

      The degrees of how ignorant you make yourself look amazes me, the biggest of which you can’t read with comphrention nor can you properly articulate a response (a cruel one at that) without swearing . He had serious problems otherwise he wouldn’t have been at CHP for a mental evaluation and treatment. Why would his mother be at fault for not keeping an eye on her son? He was 23 years old and was an adult further more he was under CHP’s care. As for the truck he stole how do you know he didn’t hotwire it and drive it away? Perhaps the truck was parked at CHP’s ER and the person needed immediate medical attention. You do not know the circumstances nor do I so it’s tough to judge what you do not have a clue about. As for the police they come into the story after Elvis went missing.

      • Amy

        comprehension excuse me.

    • Bob Owens

      You have NO idea.

  • Elisabeth1981

    Someone wrote a response asking why blame is misplaced and should be on his mother, cops or the person who owned the truck he stole. One he was 23 years old. He was an adult and was in the care of CHP’s mental health department. He might’ve hot wired the truck who knows. As for the police they entered the picture when he escaped from the hospital.