According to the suit, Richard Wallace of Libertyville was suffering a mini-stroke when he entered the emergency room at Advocate Condell Medical Center on Sept. 5. After waiting for more than six hours and being given a bed and some medication, Wallace attempted to leave when he suffered a painful back spasm.
He asked to be voluntarily discharged to go to Highland Park Hospital but was “surrounded by seven security guards” employed by Condell when he tried to depart.
His lawyer, Tim Johnston, said the guards “pushed, punched and tackled him” and that one of the guards “grabbed his testicles, pulling and squeezing them” during the altercation. Johnson said one guard bit Wallace twice while the others “stomped on Mr. Wallace’s feet.” The guards also allegedly told Wallace he would “be the poster boy for why you shouldn’t leave the hospital without permission.”
The lawsuit claims that a nurse injected Wallace with narcotics and he was strapped to a gurney and kept in the hospital for six days after the incident.
Wallace is seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Advocate Condell.
Condell issued a statement about the allegations.
“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.”
Advocate Health Care group, of which Condell is a member hospital, says its mission is to serve patients with a "wholistic philosophy rooted in our fundamental understanding of human beings as created in the image of God."