A detainee who spent two weeks shackled to a bed in a public hospital during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic can proceed with his claim that Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart violated his civil rights. This according to a ruling in federal court that allowed Dart’s qualified immunity to stand in his handling of the Novel Coronavirus at county jail facilities. A July suit names Dart and county government for the lax precautions before and after an outbreak at the treatment unit where Wesley Cullom was resident that he claims caused his hospitalization.
In rejecting the county’s motion to dismiss, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly put aside the allegations that Dart’s failure to take more and better precautions might have mitigated the spread of the virus in his department. And, whether those precautions exaxcerbated the existing condition that saw Cullom billeted in a dormitory-style infirmary at the jail while awaiting trial. However, he said the conditions of Cullom’s confinement in a secure wing of Chicago’s Stoger Hospital meritted a deeper look. Collum alleges he was strapped to a bed after being taken there for respiratory failure; this despite an evident diminished capacty for escape. If proved, Kennelly said, Dart could be found in violation of the 14th Amendment rights accorded the accused regarding physical restraint.
The Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Chicagoland Law Firm represent clients awaiting trial in Cook County, in DuPage County and across the state. We defend their rights under law, including their Constitutional rights. We can help determine whether your civil liberties have been violated while in jail or in police custody. Contact us today to learn more. A consultation is free and can be conducted by phone or on the teleconferencing platforms we use to make court appearances during the pandemic. Or, you can visit our offices in Downers Grove and downtown Chicago. We can’t provide legal advice until you retain us. Should you choose to do so, we will zealously advocate on your behalf.