WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) — A lawsuit claims that a 66-year-old Libertyville man suffering a mini-stroke was threatened, beaten and even bitten by a group of security guards at Advocate Condell Medical Center after attempting to leave following a wait of more than six hours.
According to the suit, filed in Lake County Circuit Court, Richard Wallace was suffering symptoms of a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini-stroke, when he entered the hospital’s emergency room on the afternoon of Sept. 5.
After waiting in the emergency room more than six hours, during which time he was given a bed and received some medication, but not his physician-prescribed pain medication for unrelated problems, Wallace suffered a painful back spasm and attempted to leave, according to Libertyville attorney Tim Johnston.
Johnston said Wallace wanted to be voluntarily discharged to go to Highland Park Hospital, but as he tried to leave, he was “surrounded by seven security guards” employed by Condell, who then allegedly “pushed, punched and tackled him.”
Johnston said one guard bit Wallace twice, and others “stomped on Mr. Wallace’s feet. A guard grabbed his testicles, pulling and squeezing them” during the altercation outside of the emergency room entrance.
The guards, Johnston said, also made disparaging and threatening comments to him, including “you’ll be the poster boy for why you shouldn’t leave the hospital without permission.”
Contacted Tuesday, Condell responded with a brief statement.
“We recently learned by way of press release of a lawsuit filed by a patient seen in our Emergency Department. As a healing ministry, we take these allegations very seriously and are investigating the suit’s claims,” the statement said. “Because this matter involves pending litigation and as part of our ongoing commitment to patient privacy, we are unable to offer any further comment at this time.”
Following the physical altercation, Johnston said a nurse injected Wallace with narcotics, and he was strapped to a gurney and kept in the hospital for six days.
Photographs of Wallace’s injuries, allegedly caused by the security guards, show a number of bruises and injuries, and Johnston said a mark on Wallace’s leg clearly shows two tooth marks under close examination.
The lawsuit, announced by the law firm Monday, seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Advocate Condell.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)