CHICAGO (CN) – A jail doctor denied a woman medication for her bipolar disorder, calling her “a degenerate” who “takes advantage of the system” and who “did not deserve her medications,” the woman claims in Federal Court.
Robin Craft sued Lee County Sheriff John Varga, Dr. Stephen Cullinan, who worked at the county jail, seven jailers and a nurse.
Craft says she was jailed in June and July 2011, and that she “had a prescription for lithium in order to treat her bipolar disease.”
The complaint states: “Craft had been given lithium while in jail on June 7 and 8, 2011.
“On or about June 14, 2011, Craft met with Dr. Cullinan. During the visit, Dr. Cullinan told Craft she was a ‘degenerate’ who takes advantage of the ‘system’ and told her she did not ‘deserve’ her medications.
“From June 14, 2011 to June 20, 2011, Craft was not given any lithium by jail staff, despite her having a prescription for said medication.”
Lithium is an anti-manic drug prescribed to decrease abnormal activity in the brain. It can have serious side effects, as can denial of it.
On June 21, Craft says, she was given her lithium prescription again. But “Starting on or about July 1, 2011, Craft began to have physical and psychological reactions to the medications provided.
“Craft’s symptoms included vision changes, not eating, being disoriented, throwing up, having seizures, causing damage to her jail cell, urinating on herself, defecating in her pants and eating her own feces,” the complaint states.
From July 2 to July 8, Craft says, “[defendant officer] John Edwards responded to her disorientation and other symptoms noted above by verbally abusing her and calling her names. He told her she was a ‘sissy bitch’, to ‘get the fuck up’, and that she was not going to any hospital. He repeatedly accused her of being ‘drunk.'”
Craft says she finally was taken to a hospital, “handcuffed and shackled,” on July 8. She says she was diagnosed with “lithium toxicity and renal failure, which required lengthy hospitalization.”
She claims these medical problems were “a result of the actions of the jail staff”.
“Despite Craft acting disoriented, urinating on herself, and eating her own feces, at no time before July 8th did she receive medical attention,” according to the complaint.
Craft seeks damages and punitive damages for civil rights violations and battery.
She is represented by Gregory Abbott of Downers Grove.
Craft says in her complaint that she was jailed on June 2, 2011, “due to being intoxicated,” released, then re-arrested and jailed again on June 12, 2011, and that her mother took her prescription medications to the jail that day.