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Local News

Lawsuit: Will County jail inmate 'almost killed' by wrong medication

Jesus M. Simms
Jesus M. Simms

JOLIET – A Will County jail inmate is suing several sheriff’s officials because a nurse allegedly gave him the wrong medication that could have killed him.

Jesus M. Simms, 26, of the 2100 block of Englewood Avenue in Lockport, filed a lawsuit Jan. 24 against Chief Deputy Dale Santerelli, who is the warden at the county jail; Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley; Deputy Chief Stuart Taylor; Deputy Chief David Adams; nursing supervisor Paula Walker; and nurse Kristin Stringer.

The alleged medication mishap was committed by Stringer about 9 p.m. Jan. 5 in the jail’s medical pod, according to the lawsuit, which seeks $6 million in damages because Stringer “could have killed the plaintiff.”

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said in an email Thursday that the sheriff’s office “does not comment on pending lawsuits.”

The lawsuit alleges that Simms was wrongfully given a “boost bar,” which apparently is used for anxiety and other mental disorders.

Simms allegedly questioned Stringer at least three times about the medication, and her response was that “Dr. Stampley just started you today,” the lawsuit said.

Simms alleges that he was feeling “really ill,” and Stringer gave him a large dose of the medication that “could have killed” him, the suit said.

“[If] she would have check (sic) inmate ID band, it would have never happened, the plaintiff do (sic) not take any psychotropic medication,” Simms stated in the lawsuit.

Simms cited as his main witnesses the jail’s staff, who were present when the mix-up occurred, according to the lawsuit, and Stephen E. Araujo, 27, of Chicago, a former inmate who was jailed on domestic battery charges Dec. 25 and posted bail Jan. 26.

Simms was jailed Dec. 19 on a charge of battery after being arrested by Joliet police. He pleaded guilty Jan. 19 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with a credit of 32 days already served, and fined $500.

Simms has been in jail on a charge of criminal damage to government property. He was charged Jan. 30. A preliminary hearing on the charge has been scheduled for Feb. 16. Simms’ bond was set at $50,000.

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