Jail Nurse Blabbed About Inmate's HIV, Says Lawsuit Against Sheriff
The county and a private nursing company were also named in the suit filed by the attorney for an unidentified man with HIV.
A nurse working at the county jail told an inmate's brother he has HIV, causing him "great humiliation and mental anguish," according to a lawsuit filed in Will County court on Friday.
The HIV-infected inmate's name was withheld in the lawsuit. The man's attorney, William R. Cassian, filed a petition to "proceed under (a) fictitious name" on the grounds that the suit "involves very private information that is so sensitive" it is protected by the state's HIV Disclosure Act.
The petition says the man is older than 18 and lives in DuPage County. The lawsuit alleges the unidentified man was "confined in the detention center" on Nov. 18, 2011.
According to jail records, of the 24 men locked up in the Will County Adult Detention Center on Nov. 18, 2011, only one was a resident of DuPage County. The 23-year-old Glen Ellyn man had been arrested by the Joliet Police Department and booked into jail on a charge of domestic battery. He was later found guilty and sentenced to 120 days in jail.
The man's attorney, Cassian, declined to comment on the case or his client's current health. Chief Deputy Ken Kaupas, the spokesman for the sheriff's department, said he could not discuss pending litigation.
According to the lawsuit, a nurse at the county jail told the inmate the facility would not provide him with HIV medication and that he needed someone from the outside to bring it to him.
The inmate gave the nurse permission to call his brother and ask him to transport the medication to the jail, the suit said, but he also "expressly informed the nurse that his brother did not know of (his) HIV status; and that she was not under any circumstances to inform anyone" about it.
The lawsuit said the nurse was supposed to keep quiet about what the medication was for, but she allegedly told the man she called all about his locked up brother having HIV anyway.
This not only caused the jailed man anguish and humiliation, but also "lack of sleep, extreme emotional stress ... panic attacks, nightmares, loss of appetite, severe depression" and other problems, according to the lawsuit.
The allegedly loose-lipped nurse worked for Correct Care Solutions, a private company contracted by the county to provide medical staff to the jail, according to the lawsuit.
Phone and email messages requesting comment from Nashville, Tenn., based Correct Care Solutions were not returned.
Along with Correct Care Solutions, the lawsuit names Sheriff Paul Kaupas and Will County as defendants, and seeks upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars, plus fees and costs.