MCLEAN COUNTY (WEEK) — A Bloomington woman is suing the McLean County Sheriff’s Office, McLean County and 23 others. The lawsuit claims the jail violated her son’s civil rights.
“If I had not taken on the responsibility of being his mother, his guardian, his caretaker, my son would be deceased at this point,” said LaTasha Rayford, LaVonte Rayford’s mother.
LaTasha Rayford’s lawsuit claims the defendants violated her son’s civil rights were violated and denied his epilepsy medication while he was in the Mclean County Jail.
Court documents said LaVonte Rayford had three seizures within three hours, but only after the third, when he fell and was injured, was he taken to the hospital.
“I just wanna know what type of human would deny an individual medication and then to watch my son have seizures for three hours,” said LaTasha Rayford.
Although, this is not where her legal battles begin for her son.
“It could have been avoided a long time ago,” said LaTasha Rayford.
In 2017, he was prescribed Keppra, having about 260 seizures in two years while taking it. LaTasha Rayford said doctors did not see the medication as a problem.
Lavonte Rayford and doctors said the medications made him act out, which led to five felony charges between 2018 and 2019 and his stay in the jail.
25 News first spoke with LaTasha Rayford when those charges were dropped, this March, for what the State’s Attorney’s Office called, “good behavior.”
“Everything I did to clear my sons name I did it by myself,” said LaTasha Rayford.
She won a partial victory in June. A state investigation found LaVonte Rayford had been overmedicated at a state run mental health facility.
“I’m traumatized,” LaTasha Rayford continued, “I need a jury to understand and see all of the steps, all of the loopholes I went through.”
Now, LaTasha Rayford said she wants to see the people and institutions she maintains mistreated her son, held accountable.
“They know he had seizures, they knew he had a medical issue and to not address that immediately, he could have died,” said LaTasha Rayford.
Attorney Carrie Haas is defending the county, sheriff’s office and 16 other individuals named in the lawsuit. She has summitted a written response that her clients demand a jury trial and did not violate LaVonte Rayford’s rights.
There is no trial date set, but LaTasha Rayford said she was going to continue to fight for her son and other families who feel ignored.
“Don’t give up, step up, fight, do whatever you need to do,” said LaTasha Rayford.
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