Cook County Record

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Inmate's death leads to lawsuit against county

By Carol Ostrow | Mar 17, 2015

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A woman is suing the county and a few of its correctional officers, claiming their negligence led to the death of an inmate.

Lennetha Wilson-Hewitt, as the administrator of Kareem Wilson Sr.'s estate and the legal guardian of his minor son, sued Cook County and correctional officers Sybil Keys, David Lee, Angela Champ and other unknown officers on Feb. 11 in Cook County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, Wilson was incarcerated in the county jail on April 8, 2011, when he became ill with symptoms of nausea, rapid heart rate, sweating, vomiting and lethargy. His cellmate on April 13 alerted Keys, a correctional officer, and she instructed the cellmate to inform the next staffer who came to check on him, the suit says.

On April 14, Wilson-Hewitt claims Wilson's cellmate alerted Champ, who allegedly did not respond to his or other inmates requests to help Wilson. When an ambulance was finally called, the suit alleges that paramedics could not revive Wilson, who died of heart failure.

The suit includes counts alleging wrongful death, and willful and reckless negligence. Citing loss of companionship, guidance and support on behalf of Wilson's son, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Wilson-Hewitt is being represented by Edward G. Proctor Jr. of Munday, Nathan &  Schulkin in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court, case no. 2015L001443.

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