Gary Manuel claims his son had been harassed by police before that tragic night.
Peter Manuel, 22, ran from Bangor police in March when they responded to a disturbance at a Bangor nightclub.
He jumped into the frozen Kenduskeag Stream and refused help from both police and firefighters who were trying to rescue him.
Manuel ended up slipping beneath some ice and drowned.
The wrongful death lawsuit claims it was the pattern of harassment that caused him to flee in the first place.
The wrongful death lawsuit names the state of Maine, city of Bangor, the Bangor police and fire departments and several police officers as defendants in the case.