Former Will County jail inmate sues sheriff, nurse for revealing his HIV status
BY JANET LUNDQUIST firstname.lastname@example.org November 19, 2012 2:30PM
Updated: December 21, 2012 6:14AM
A DuPage County man has accused the Will County sheriff of breaking state law after a nurse at the jail told the inmate’s brother he was HIV positive, according to a lawsuit filed in Will County.
The stress caused by the disclosure has worsened the man’s infection, the lawsuit claims.
The man filed a lawsuit Friday under the name John Doe naming the county, the sheriff and the company contracted to provide medical services to county jail inmates, Correct Care Solutions, LLC., as defendants.
The Illinois Aids Confidentiality Act prohibits anyone who knows the results of someone’s HIV test to tell another person those results.
Joliet attorney William Cassian represents the man, and declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday. Cassian would not provide any information about his client, except to say that the man is no longer in the county jail.
On Nov. 18, 2011, while an inmate of the county jail, the man told a nurse he needed HIV medication. The nurse told him he would have to have someone bring in his medication because the jail would not provide it, the lawsuit said.
The inmate asked the nurse to call his brother and ask him to bring in the medicine. He also said his brother didn’t know he had HIV, and told the nurse not to tell his brother about it or what the medicine was for.
That day, the inmate claims, the nurse told his brother he was HIV positive.
The disclosure has caused so much emotional stress to the man that the amount of HIV in his blood has increased, the lawsuit said.
The nurse’s action has caused the inmate “severe psychological injury, great humiliation, and mental anguish, including lack of sleep, extreme emotional stress,” panic attacks, nightmares, loss of appetite and severe depression, the lawsuit said.
Sheriff’s Department Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas said the department would have no comment on the lawsuit.
Kathy Hoffmeyer, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said Correct Care Solutions employees are supposed to ask people about their medications when they are booked into the jail. Any prescription that is verified by Correct Care staff is filled and distributed to inmates by Correct Care staff, Hoffmeyer said.
A spokesman for Correct Care Solutions did not respond to a request for a comment.