In The News

Arapahoe County Settles All Claims For Deliberate Indifference By The Jail Towards The Serious Medical Needs Of Jeffrey Lillis For $2,450,000.00

On the eve of trial, after extensive litigation, Arapahoe County agreed to settle all claims arising out of the tragic death of Jeffrey Lillis from deliberate indifference to his highly treatable pneumonia for $2,450,000.00. 

Sadly, Jeffrey Lillis was just days away from being released to a rehabilitation program before he died on the floor of his jail cell. His death was captured on video after Mr. Lillis had been seen by a nurse spitting up blood. His pneumonia had been allowed to fester and worsen untreated for days until he became septic.  

During those days, Mr. Lillis and his cellmates repeatedly begged for medical help and for Jeff to be sent out for emergency care. They were ignored and Mr. Lillis was never seen by a doctor, did not receive antibiotics and was kept in his cell instead of being discharged to a hospital.  For pneumonia he was given only Ibuprofen

When Jeff Lillis finally collapsed and fell off a toilet on video, a nurse asked to watch the video of the collapse before she responded. Ten minutes later, this nurse came in and found Mr. Lillis lying on the floor with only a faint pulse, blood coming out of his mouth and surrounded by vomit.

As Anna Holland Edwards commented in one of the attached articles: “This wasn’t a misdiagnosis, because there wasn’t anybody there to diagnose him. There weren’t nurses sitting around saying, ‘Do you think it’s the flu?’  The medical staff was there to prove that he was faking. He got sicker and sicker, but they watched him die on video to prove he wasn’t actually sick.” 

The case was about to start a jury trial before Judge Kristen Mix who had firmly denied all of Arapahoe County’s motions to have the case thrown out.  Judge Mix additionally ruled that any appeal by the County of her orders to stop the trial would be frivolous. See the Court’s major final ruling here.   

On the eve of trial, after extensive litigation, Arapahoe County agreed to settle all claims arising out of the tragic death of Jeffrey Lillis from deliberate indifference to his highly treatable pneumonia for $2,450,000.00. 

Sadly, Jeffrey Lillis was just days away from being released to a rehabilitation program before he died on the floor of his jail cell. His death was captured on video after Mr. Lillis had been seen by a nurse spitting up blood. His pneumonia had been allowed to fester and worsen untreated for days until he became septic.  

During those days, Mr. Lillis and his cellmates repeatedly begged for medical help and for Jeff to be sent out for emergency care. They were ignored and Mr. Lillis was never seen by a doctor, did not receive antibiotics and was kept in his cell instead of being discharged to a hospital.  For pneumonia he was given only Ibuprofen

When Jeff Lillis finally collapsed and fell off a toilet on video, a nurse asked to watch the video of the collapse before she responded. Ten minutes later, this nurse came in and found Mr. Lillis lying on the floor with only a faint pulse, blood coming out of his mouth and surrounded by vomit.

As Anna Holland Edwards commented in one of the attached articles: “This wasn’t a misdiagnosis, because there wasn’t anybody there to diagnose him. There weren’t nurses sitting around saying, ‘Do you think it’s the flu?’  The medical staff was there to prove that he was faking. He got sicker and sicker, but they watched him die on video to prove he wasn’t actually sick.” 

The case was about to start a jury trial before Judge Kristen Mix who had firmly denied all of Arapahoe County’s motions to have the case thrown out.  Judge Mix additionally ruled that any appeal by the County of her orders to stop the trial would be frivolous. See the Court’s major final ruling here.   

This case was co-counseled by Anna and Erica Grossman for our firm together with our friends at Killmer, Lane & Newman.  Press coverage of this totally preventable death includes the following articles in the Denver Post and Westword.