An elderly man is claiming in a lawsuit filed Thursday that security guards at Northwestern Memorial Hospital repeatedly beat him without provocation in 2013.
Allan S. Berman, 68, said he was dragged to the basement while eating at the hospital cafeteria, according to the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court against the hospital, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare Corporation and the four security guards allegedly involved.
After fracturing his hip in late 2012, Berman claims he was scheduled for multiple follow-up appointments at Northwestern in January and February 2013 and would regularly eat at the hospital’s cafeteria, the suit said.
On Feb. 4, 2013, Berman was the only one eating at the cafeteria when a security guard walked up and told him to leave without giving him a reason, he claims. Berman said he intended to finish the dinner he paid for and returned to his seat.
Four guards then surrounded Berman and asked him to leave again, the suit said. At this point, Berman claims he had asked for a reason at least twice but did not get a response. Then, the guards grabbed Berman, threw him and “repeatedly pounded” his head on the floor while holding him by his beard, hair and skin, the suit claims.
The guards then handcuffed Berman and walked him to the hospital’s basement, where they continued to beat him and went through his pockets and wallet, the suit claims. The officers allegedly took photos of him and his ID, then told him to “leave and never come back.”
Berman claims that he has asked to be escorted through the hospital after any follow-up visits in fear he’d be beaten again.
A Northwestern spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.
The seven-count suit claims battery, unlawfully holding Berman and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims.
Berman is asking for an unspecified amount in punitive damages. He is also asking to be reimbursed for the cost of the suit.