Inmate alleges water leak in jail caused fall, injuries

By Carol Ostrow | Apr 17, 2015

A Cook County inmate has sued several jail officials, alleging liability in a 2013 incident.

Maurice Tyree filed a lawsuit April 13 in Cook County Circuit Court against Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, Mark Howard and unknown other jail employees, alleging joint liability.

According to the complaint, all defendants were employees of the Cook County Jail. Dart, as sheriff, was responsible for overall operations, while Howard was employed as a plumber at the facility, the suit states.

The complaint states on Feb. 4, 2013, Tyree, an inmate, slipped and fell in water leaking from a utility closet that had been neglected for repairs. The plaintiff alleges the defendants allowed the leak to continue, permitted detainees to live in and move about with a risk of injury amid unsafe conditions and failed to address requests for repairs.

The plaintiff cites physical pain, mental anguish and emotional distress from injuries to his back, neck and shoulder, plus chronic pain, loss of employment opportunity and medical expenses.

Tyree seeks damages of more than $50,000 plus attorney fees and costs. Tyree is representing himself.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 15-L-3799.

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