Monday, August 3, 2020


This is certainly a season for violent rhetoric. I would hate to fail to contribute my share.

As plaintiffs' attorneys in five federal lawsuits against employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services, my partner and I continue to receive reports from new witnesses and new potential plaintiffs, as well as more evidence proving our current claims. Dominos are about to fall.

Several patients who have spent lots of time on the White Cottage clinical unit at Elgin Mental Health Center have come forward to say that of course Syed Hussain knew our client in one case was having sex with staff! Everybody knew this kind of criminal abuse was frequent and endemic. There was even a specific room notorious for sexual encounters between male staff and female patients. Certain staff handed the women back and forth among each other as favors, under a guise of "introductions".

Everyone is threatened into silence about this kind of abuse, and most lower level unit workers are afraid of gang reprisals for reporting it. Those in higher positions, psychiatrists and administrators, avoid all mention of verbal reports and suspicions so nothing gets written down, and no hard questions will come back from places like Springfield or the Joint Commission.

Just this morning I got a new report that a patient on N Unit was forcibly drugged for no legitimate reason over the weekend. Some night shift nurse was merely annoyed that he wouldn't do a menial task she asked of him, and though he posed no conceivable threat to himself or anyone else, she had him held down and shot up with drugs. It was punishment, to set an example.

Last week a psychiatrist who was once thought to be friendly toward a patient at Chicago Read MHC issued an unsubtle threat: "If you disagree with my diagnosis, maybe I'll just change it to a worse one, how would you like that?" The pretense of medicine is ridiculous.

I could go on and on with examples. It just makes me angry. Suffice it to say one more time: EMHC, Read, and Chester need to be closed, razed, plowed under; and the acreage they have been located on needs to be seeded with radioactive waste so no one can ever live or work there again, for at least a thousand years.