December 21, 2014

Elyria
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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.

Iskenderian

Iskenderian

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 bdicken@chroniclet.com.