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Illinois Sheriffs Knowingly Employ Negligent Doctor to Treat Inmates

Despite a lengthy history of Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits and payouts to injured patients for substandard care, sheriffs across Illinois are still using the same negligent doctor to treat prison inmates.

According to the Illinois Times, since 2010 alone, more than $1 million has been paid to settle lawsuits filed against a Peoria physician who has been sued dozens of times for substandard care in jails throughout the Midwest. Nevertheless, despite the instances of failures in care and an extensive history of Illinois personal injury lawsuits, the doctor and his company, Health Professionals Limited (HPL), is still used by sheriffs across Illinois.

A Chicago personal injury attorney can attest that medical malpractice lawsuits arise when patients are injured by careless or intentional acts of a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other healthcare provider. Medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients. When that duty is breached and the patient is harmed, the professional may be required to answer to for the harm caused.

Compounding the situation are reports that a number of those Illinois sheriffs have accepted campaign contributions from the doctor’s professional association: public reports show that at least four sheriffs in Illinois have accepted campaign funding from the doctor’s company while contracting with the company to provide medical care for inmates.

Since 2007, the state has paid more than $96.5 million to the physician’s business for health care provided to Illinois’ Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Corrections, reported the Illinois Times. An unattributed quote on the website of the parent firm of the doctor’s company brags that it is a money-saver for jail administrators: “We look at HPL as preventative. What we pay is a fraction of what you’d pay with a lawsuit.”

In general, the hospitals or care facilities employing the responsible doctor or nurse may also be legally liable for the doctor’s behavior; in general, healthcare institutions have the responsibility to supervise their staff to ensure that mistakes aren’t made, and to hire professionals who have enough knowledge to competently treat patients. As it pertains to this case, the Illinois sheriffs may instead be liable for using a doctor whose practices are known to be negligent, and who has a history of causing harm to Illinois inmates.

Medical malpractice injuries are devastating and potentially life altering. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the negligent acts of a healthcare professional, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.