Vernon Hills woman's family sues over Lake Co. Jail hunger strike death

Associated Press
Updated 6/8/2012 1:14 PM

The family of a woman who died during a Lake County Jail hunger strike has filed a federal lawsuit alleging jail administrators and the sheriff ignored her mental illness and denied her appropriate medical care.

Lyvita Gomes of Vernon Hills was being held on a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge when she began the hunger strike in late December, dying 15 days later. She'd been arrested after struggling with deputies taking her into custody for not answering a jury duty summons.


In a written statement, Rodney Fernandes, Gomes' brother-in-law, said the family has been let down by the judiciary system, prison and health care services.

The Chicago Tribune reports the lawsuit asserts Lake County officials denied Gomes due process and violated federal laws requiring accommodations for people with disabilities.

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