On August 3, 2007, a Cook County Jail (CCJ) inmate filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and 2201 against Cook County. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory ...
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On August 3, 2007, a Cook County Jail (CCJ) inmate filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and 2201 against Cook County. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory damages, claiming that the jail's policies and procedures that denied prescribed medications to prisoners violated the Fourteenth Amendment.
The plaintiffs specifically alleged that the defendant's policy allowed medical technicians to deny medications to detainees solely on the basis of a brief and cursory interview. Technicians failed to inquire about detainees' medical histories and made their decisions without consulting a physician. With respect to psychotropic medications, the plaintiffs alleged that CCJ routinely provided antidepressants to inmates requiring psychotropic medications due to cost issues leading to behavioral problems, including suicide attempts. With respect to non-psychotropic medications, the plaintiffs alleged that the county's policy permitted technicians to cut off drug treatments for a wide range of conditions, including enlarged prostate, heart disease, acid reflux, congestive heart failure, asthma, hepatitis C, chronic pain and surgical wounds. As a result, the plaintiffs suffered a wide range of adverse medical consequences.
On August 16, 2007, the plaintiffs filed the first amended complaint requesting class certification. On March 31, 2008, the plaintiffs filed the second amended complaint
On May 21, 2008, memorandum of law in support of defendant sheriff's motion to dismiss plaintiff's second amended complaint for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs failed to allege that a policy, custom, or practice for the Sheriff of Cook County was responsible was a cause or contributing cause for their alleged constitutional injury.
On October 24, 2008, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly granted class certification to current and former inmates confined to the Cook County Jail who were denied prescribed drug therapies by the facility, rejecting the defendant's adequacy-of-representation argument that asserted felons cannot serve as class representatives. Parish v. Sheriff of Cook Cnty., 07 4369, 2008 WL 4812875 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 24, 2008).
The case is ongoing as of March 29, 2014.Jessica Kincaid - 03/29/2014