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Lawsuit over Lindenhurst man's death in police custody appears close to settlement, court records show

Danielle McDonnell, of Lindenhurst, holds her 2001 wedding

Danielle McDonnell, of Lindenhurst, holds her 2001 wedding photo of her and her husband Daniel McDonnell on June 26, 2013. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The family of Daniel McDonnell, a Lindenhurst man suffering from a mental disorder who died in police custody in West Babylon in 2011, appears to be putting the finishing touches on a settlement with Suffolk County, according to court records.

McDonnell's death after he became unruly when denied his medication led to a scathing report by the state Commission of Correction, which called it a "preventable" death and faulted homicide cops, the medical examiner and Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota's office for inadequate investigation.

A multimillion-dollar civil suit brought by McDonnell's wife and 9-year-old son went to trial in May in federal court in Brooklyn but was halted on the second day due to a "settlement in principle." Records of the proposed settlement were sealed.

On Wednesday, according to the court docket, the McDonnell family lawyer submitted a motion for court approval of an "infant compromise" -- a formal step required for approval of a settlement that involves a claim by a minor. A hearing is set for Wednesday. The motion itself was sealed.

Suffolk County Attorney Dennis Brown declined to comment or disclose the amount of any settlement because the case is "still pending."

A lawyer for McDonnell's family said he was prohibited from discussing it.

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