Nearly $1 million awarded in Illinois inmate death suit

September 4, 2013

The Associated Press

AP/File
File: The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. A judge has awarded nearly $1 million to the family of a Nigerian immigrant who died in the facility in 2007 awaiting trial on drugs charges.

A judge has awarded nearly $1 million to the family of a Nigerian immigrant who died in a Chicago federal jail in 2007 awaiting trial on drugs charges.

Habib Solebo died following a seizure in his Metropolitan Correctional Center cell. The 23-year-old's lawyers had previously complained he wasn't getting proper medical treatment.

In his 160-page opinion this week, Chief U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo largely blamed inadequate care and administrative breakdowns.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross said Wednesday the agency is reviewing the opinion, but declined further comment.

The $920,000 awarded to Solebo's surviving wife and 6-year-old daughter could have been higher. But Castillo says Solebo was partly to blame for refusing medication.

Castillo says the jail has since addressed some of the inadequacies but could do more.