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$11,000 for Prisoner's Constitutional Rights Violation Claim

by Christopher Zoukis

The Bureau of Prisons settled a claim that prisoner Louis Sheptin's constitutional rights were violated while in custody for $11,000 in August 2002.

Sheptin filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in March 2000. His claim, brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331(a)(a Bivens action), alleged that Bureau of Prisons medical personnel violated his rights by failing to disclose his hepatitis C diagnosis, and by failing to properly treat his serious medical needs.

Among a litany of claimed failures by Metropolitan Correctional Center Chicago, Illinois medical staff, Sheptin claimed that he was diagnosed with the degenerative liver disease hepatitis C, but not told about it or treated for it until almost 70 weeks after the diagnosis. He further alleged improper medication therapies and resulting permanent damage to his liver.

Sheptin also claimed his serious heart problems were never properly treated. He alleged that outside doctors ordered certain procedures that were never undertaken by Bureau of Prisons medical staff.

Sheptin sued Dr. M. Javed, clinical director at MCC Chicago; Dr. Cruz, staff physician at MCC Chicago; and Janet Reno, former attorney general for the United States of America. He demanded $10 million dollars in damages, plus attorney's fees and costs.

The parties settled the claim on August 27, 2002. Sheptin agreed to accept $11,000.00 in full satisfaction of all of his claims. The parties mutually released each other from all other claims and liabilities.

Sheptin was represented by Chicago, Illinois attorneys Thomas J. McCarthy and Gregory A. Fike of the firm Jenner & Block, LLC.

The documents from this case were obtained by Prison Legal News after prevailing in a twelve-year-long court battle with the Bureau of Prisons over a Freedom of Information Act records request.

See: Sheptin v. United States of America, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Civil Case No. 99-C-8459.

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Sheptin v. United States

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