A North Side woman who accused Allegheny County Jail medical staff of failing to treat her epilepsy, and later blew the whistle on an abusive nurse, has settled her civil cases for $12,500, her attorney said today.
Tonja Jackson, 43, "is presently in the process of obtaining her
bachelor's degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where she maintains a 3.4 average," said her attorney, Susan Mahood. "It was her wish to conclude this matter and continue on with her future."
Jackson is one of six women who accused former jail infirmary nurse John Johnson Jr., 61, of Green Tree, of institutional sexual assaults, some of which he pleaded guilty to. Ms. Mahood said that Jackson wanted her role in that to be known.
Jackson is proud that by "being the person who reported Johnson's conduct, she has made sure that he will never do this to another patient," said Ms. Mahood.
In 2012, after Johnson's guilty plea, Jackson sued saying she was assaulted and harassed multiple times, sometimes after she was plied with drugs.
Johnson was sentenced to 9 to 18 months in prison.
Jackson alleged in 2010 that jail medical staff had refused to provide her with Dilantin, and that when she claimed to guards that she would "die from lack of medication," she was threatened with a Taser, called a racial slur and struck while handcuffed.
In her complaint, she indicated that she suffered 14 convulsions before the jail provided the medicine and hospitalized her.
Jackson was jailed repeatedly from 1989 through 2010, mostly on theft-related charges, but most recently for simple assault, according to online court records.
A county spokeswoman had no immediate comment. The county is in the process of bringing on a new jail medical provider, Tennessee-based Corizon.
The settlement came after a Monday settlement conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord First Published August 27, 2013 12:15 AM