In a move they say will avoid costly litigation, Mount Prospect officials have approved a $145,000 settlement to a lawsuit claiming a former police officer conducted a 55-minute traffic stop while the man he pulled over was suffering a heart attack.
The federal lawsuit, filed in 2016 by Jeffrey Kraman, stems from a May 10, 2015, traffic stop on the 300 block of West Central Road by now-retired officer Thomas Hoskinson.
When pulled over, according to the suit, Kraman stepped out of his vehicle, told the officer he was suffering an irregular heartbeat and asked for an ambulance.
Hoskinson called for an ambulance, but after noticing several coffee makers in the back of Kraman's van, he pulled him away from paramedics' care, the lawsuit alleges. He questioned whether the items were stolen and said the covering over the merchandise looked like it was hiding a body, the suit states.
Village Attorney Lance Malina said although Kraman produced gift receipts for the items, Hoskinson believed they could be related to a fraud scheme and had a fellow officer call the store to confirm they were legitimate.
The officer then instructed Kraman to move his van before he was allowed to return to the ambulance for treatment, according to the lawsuit. Eventually, Kraman was taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, where he was treated for a heart attack, the suit states.
Malina said the cost of further litigating the matter could exceed $200,000 and noted that the conduct of the officer was unprofessional, creating a potential liability for the village.
"He was rude to the guy he pulled over, because the guy he pulled over was kind of playing a bit of a number with him, too, kind of pulling his chain, and unfortunately it got the better of him," Malina said. "He didn't conduct himself in a way that would have minimized any conflict."
According to the settlement terms, neither the village or Hoskinson admits wrongdoing or liability.