Two nurses who were held hostage earlier this month by an inmate receiving medical care at an Illinois hospital, filed a federal lawsuit Thursday accusing a security guard of putting them in danger then running away.
Instead of protecting medical staff from 21-year-old Tywon Salters, who was being cared for at Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva after swallowing liquid cleaner and a sandal at the jail, security guard Shawn Loomis left the inmate “totally unrestrained in the hospital room” for at least 30 minutes, the suit alleges.
Salters then grabbed a handgun from Loomis about 12:30 p.m. May 13, before finding the nurses and holding them at gunpoint. Salters forced one of the nurses into a first-floor “decontamination room,” where he sexually assaulted her for the next three hours, until a SWAT team broke in and killed him, according to the lawsuit.
Loomis, a corrections officer employed by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the private firm APEX3 Security LLC, allegedly fled the room when Salters took his weapon. Loomis shut himself in another room and “took no action whatsoever to protect hospital staff and nurses after he lost control” of Salters, the suit states. He and both of his employers were named as defendants.
The nurses accuse Kane County, APEX3, and Loomis of failing to protect them from a known danger. Their husbands, who are also plaintiffs in the suit, raise “loss of consortium” claims against the three defendants.
Sean Murray, the attorney representing all four anonymous plaintiffs, said in a news conference Thursday that his clients have suffered significantly.
“I represent employees who just came to work that day to do their job, and they left traumatized for life,” Murray said, according to The Beacon-News . The hospital and its system, Northwestern Medicine, were not named as defendants.
The suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages and other relief. Officials with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the specific allegations raised, Chicago Sun-Times  reported.