$7.9 million settlement in Delnor Hospital hostage lawsuit

An earlier version incorrectly stated how Tywon Salter and a nurse entered a decontamination room. He forced her in to the room.

A Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital nurse who was traumatized when a hospitalized jail inmate took her hostage and attacked her has received a $7.2 million settlement in her lawsuit against Kane County.

Another nurse at the Geneva hospital will receive $650,000 and two others will receive $25,000 each, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

A federal judge agreed in November with the nurses' request that their signatures be redacted on any settlement documents. They are identified only as Jane Does I, II, III and IV. Jane Doe II is the one receiving the bulk of the money.

The agreement barred any of the parties, including the county, from revealing a settlement was reached unless they were asked about the status of the case. If someone asked, they were instructed to say "This matter has been dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement, and the terms of the settlement agreement are confidential."

The Kane County sheriff also was told to say nothing more than that on the advice of the Kane County state's attorney.

The Kane County Board voted Nov. 13 to pay a $200,000 contribution toward the settlement. The rest was covered by its insurance company, which had decided to settle the lawsuit.

The settlement checks were to be delivered by Nov. 9, according to the documents.

The nurses sued Kane County; Deputy Shawn Loomis, who was guarding the inmate, Tywon Salters; and Apex 3 Security LLC, the hospital's security contractor.

Federal court records do not indicate whether the suit has been dismissed.

On May 13, 2017, Salters was in a third-floor hospital room after surgery to remove parts of a rubber jail sandal he had eaten. Loomis unshackled Salters when the inmate asked to use the restroom and did not reshackle him when Salters returned to bed.

About a half-hour later, a naked Salters overpowered Loomis and took his handgun. Salters then held Jane Doe I at gunpoint, taking her to an office and demanding she give him her clothes.

Jane Doe II entered the office, and Salters took her hostage. They went to the first floor ambulance bay. When Salters saw police arriving, he forced her into a decontamination room, where he held her for several hours at gunpoint. According to the suit, Salters hit Jane Doe II with the gun, threatened to kill her, and raped her.

Police records indicate he used Jane Doe II's smartphone to make video calls to relatives and to talk to police. When officers heard him fire a shot, they stormed in and shot and killed Salters.

Jane Does III and IV were other nurses who were on the third floor and saw Salters taking the Jane Does I and II.

The nurses' lawsuit alleged that Kane County officials knew Salters was a danger to himself and others because he had been hospitalized the week before for swallowing hydrogen peroxide at the jail and had been placed on suicide watch.

The lawsuit alleged that because Salter previously served time in prison for armed robbery, he knew if he was convicted of another felony he would face a sentence of six to 30 years.

The lawsuit alleged that in the days preceding the event, nurses had seen Kane County deputies using their personal cellphones and laptop computers when they were watching Salters, and that one had been caught sleeping. They said Salters was often guarded by just one deputy and the nurses had complained about those transgressions to the hospital.

They also alleged that Loomis, when he was attacked, hid in another hospital room and did not call for help.

Loomis has been on paid administrative leave since the event.

Attorney Sean Murray announces a lawsuit on behalf of the nurses held hostage at Delnor Hospital in Geneva. Rich Hein/Sun-Times
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