Mother of Lake County inmate who died in custody to sue county, law enforcement officials

The mother of a Lake County inmate, who died just hours after being booked on drug possession charges last year, is now suing Lake County, the sheriff, and two detention deputies, for failing to take action when he became sick in his cell.

Investigative reporter Karla Ray first reported that a nurse denied that inmate medical care, even though he was vomiting and begging for help. Now, 9 Investigates obtained the just-filed lawsuit that claims the nurse was not the only one who ignored his symptoms.

9 Investigates was first to inform James Anglin's mother, Pia Sacchetta, of the circumstances surrounding her son's death.

"I knew one of these days I might unfortunately get this. I didn't want to believe it, and I didn't dwell on it.  But I never expected this at an institution that should've been watching," Sacchetta told Ray in April of 2018.

Now, a year and a half after the 43-year-old's death, she has filed suit.  Attorney Jack Cook is representing her.

"They're the ones there, with their eyes on this guy.  They're the ones who know how much he's deteriorating until it's far too late," Cook said.

The suit claims that before his arrest for possession of methamphetamine, Anglin ingested a large amount of the drug.

Shortly after he was booked, the suit claims Anglin became violently ill, repeatedly vomiting and unable to walk. The suit notes that Anglin was so sick he couldn't eat, that he was physically unable to get out of bed for the 9:00 p.m. med call, and was crawling while vomiting.

Despite his condition, the lawsuit alleges the detention deputies failed to act; logging head counts and completing pod rounds multiple times and noting "all appeared ok."

"The fact that she wasn't provided any of these details, until investigative reporting brought it to her attention, makes this even that much more shocking," Cook said.

Anglin was finally rushed to a hospital after seizing in his cell, but it was too late. His mother was unable to say goodbye to him in a conscious state.

The lawsuit claims Anglin's condition "would have been easily managed if he had received medical care, and he would have survived with no permanent injury."

"It's been very difficult, not only losing her son, but knowing that it's something that very well could've been prevented with simple measures in place," Cook said.

Anglin's death already created sweeping changes at the Lake County jail.  Officials removed the company that was providing medical care at the time, Armor Correctional Health.

Lake County Sheriff's officials said they do not comment on pending litigation.

DOWNLOAD: Free WFTV News & Weather Apps

Not near a TV? Click here to watch WFTV newscasts live

Watch Live: Doppler 9 HD 

Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.

Comments on this article