Mother sues Madison County sheriff for withholding meds from jailed son

By Kelly Holleran | Jul 16, 2009

A mother whose son died after he suffered a seizure and diabetic attack while in jail is blaming the Madison County sheriff for allegedly not allowing her son to take his prescribed medication.

Doris Fitch, administrator of the estate of Roland Mayes, filed a lawsuit July 7 in Madison County Circuit Court against Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz.

Fitch claims Roland Mayes was taken into custody at the Madison County Jail on Sept. 6, 2005.

At the time he was arrested, Roland Mayes told jail employees about the number of prescriptions he was taking, including Gabapentin, Depakote, Neurontin, Clonazepam, Bupropion and Gemfibrozil, the lawsuit says. The medications were used to treat Roland Mayes for depression, seizure prevention and a "diabetes-like" endocrine disorder.

However, jail staff refused to allow Roland Mayes to bring the medication into the jail, the complaint says. Even when another woman, Susan Mayes, tried to bring the prescriptions to the jail for
Roland Mayes, authorities refused to take it, the suit states.

Between Sept. 6, 2005, and Sept. 12, 2005, Roland Mayes was inspected by medical staff at the hospital, and he informed them of his conditions and the medications he was taking, Fitch claims.
Still, Roland Mayes never received the medication he was taking or any other medication to treat his seizures and diabetes-like condition, according to the complaint.

As a result, Roland Mayes died while in jail on Sept. 12 after having a seizure and diabetic attack, the complaint says.
Before his death, Roland Mayes experienced pain, suffering, humiliation and emotional distress, the suit states.

Because of his death, his heirs have suffered a loss of his love, society and companionship, according to the complaint.

Fitch says Hertz violated his duty to provide reasonable care to Roland Mayes.

In the two-count suit, Fitch is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Bryan J. O'Connor Jr. of Baal and O'Connor in Chicago will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-706.

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