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$1,425,000 Paid to Epileptic Illinois Detainee Denied Medication Who Suffered Seizure and Fell From Upper Bunk in Jail

by Jayson Hawkins

On December 26, 2021, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by an epileptic former Illinois jail detainee after he accepted $1,425,000 to settle claims that he was denied medication and placed in an upper bunk from which he fell while suffering a seizure, leaving him with permanent disabilities.

When the detainee, Adam Gill, was processed into the Lake County Adult Corrections Facility on June 13, 2017, guards and staff with the jail’s privately contracted medical provider, Armor Correctional Health Services, became aware he was epileptic and suffered severe seizures. Armor staff ordered continuation of seizure medications to treat Gill’s condition and noted his need for a lower bunk to reduce the risk of injury should he suffer a seizure and fall.

For eight months, Gill received his medication and slept on a lower bunk, meeting regularly with Armor staff. Then, on February 6, 2018, he was transferred to a work-release center. Despite completing all necessary forms to ensure continuous medical care, Gill was assigned an upper bunk at the new jail and stopped receiving his medication. Over the next two days, Gill repeatedly alerted guards and medical staff to the problem, but his concerns were allegedly met with silence and inaction.

On the night of February 8, 2018, Gill suffered a severe seizure and fell from his bunk. The guards and nurse who responded wrote in their report that Gill was “unresponsive and had blood in his right ear.” He was subsequently transferred to Vista East Hospital for treatment of his injuries, but he was left permanently disabled.

Aided by Chicago attorneys Bryant M. Greening of Aleksy Belcher and Kyle A. Van Slyke, Gill filed suit in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois in November 2018, accusing the county, former Sheriff Mark Curran and his successor, John Idleburg, as well as Armor and members of their staffs of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in violation of his civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., and state tort laws.

In the settlement that the parties eventually reached, Lake County agreed to pay the entire sum of $1,425,000, in exchange for which Gill dismissed claims against all Defendants. The parties also agreed to bear their own costs and fees. See: Gill v. Lake Cty., USDC (N.D. Ill.), Case No. 1:18-cv-07891. 

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Related legal case

Gill v. Lake Cty.