The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Estate of Carl R. Eklund (for convenience, like the decedent
himself, "Eklund") pursues this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section
1983") claim brought during Eklund's lifetime against Phillip
T. Hardiman ("Hardiman"), Executive Director of the Cook County
Department of Corrections ("Department"). Eklund seeks damages
for Hardiman's failure to provide Eklund adequate medical care
while Eklund was in Department's custody.
Hardiman now moves for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P.
("Rule") 56 on the ground Eklund can prove no facts from which
it could reasonably be inferred Hardiman should be held
personally liable. Meanwhile Eklund seeks sanctions against
Hardiman and his attorney for bad faith in filing the Rule 56
motion. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and
order, Hardiman's motion is granted and Eklund's is denied.
In response to Hardiman's Rule 56 motion Eklund recounts a
harrowing tale of mistreatment and neglect at Department's
hands. If true, that story would certainly establish an
infringement of Eklund's right to essential medical care while
incarcerated. Both parties however have concerned themselves
exclusively with the grounds for holding Hardiman personally
liable for that alleged infringement, so that Eklund has
presented no evidence establishing the infringement in the
During the asserted period of mistreatment Hardiman himself had
never met Eklund or heard from him in connection with his need
for medical treatment or for any other reason (Eklund Dep.
358-60). Neither party has developed an evidentiary record as
to whether Hardiman diligently enforced (or indeed even knew
the contents of) Department's policy assuring adequate medical
care for inmates (Department Gen. Order 80-3 (the "Order") at
The Department of Corrections will ensure that inmates have
access to health care personnel and facilities. . . .
Nonetheless, because the evidence must be viewed in a light
favorable to Eklund (Egger v. Phillips, 710 F.2d 292, 296
(7th Cir. 1983) (en banc)), this Court will indulge whatever
pro-Eklund inferences may reasonably be drawn in those
Eklund's case for Hardiman's personal responsibility is built
solely on the existence of ten lawsuits in this District Court
alleging Department's failure to provide adequate medical care
to its inmates. Those cases, Eklund claims, put Hardiman on
notice sufficient to create a duty under Section 1983 to act to
prevent the injury asserted here. That theory is problematic at
best, because eight of the ten lawsuits were filed in 1982 or
1983 — after Eklund's alleged mistreatment, indeed after this
case was brought. Both pre-Eklund cases were dismissed without
trial: Barnes v. Hardiman, No. 78 C 1133 (N.D.Ill. Aug. 31,
1982) and William v. Elrod, No. 77 C 1644 (N.D.Ill. Mar. 30,
1980). Both of them concerned alleged incidents occurring
before Hardiman took his current position of Executive Director
of the Department, and one suit (Williams) was filed before
Hardiman took office. In fact Williams had been disposed of
by summary judgment for defendants before Eklund's troubles
with Department even arose.
Eklund's limited fact submission simply does not rise to the
level required for Section 1983 liability, as exemplified by
Lojuk v. Quandt, 706 F.2d 1456, 1468 (7th Cir. 1983); Lenard
v. Argento, 699 F.2d 874, 885-86 (7th Cir.), cert. denied,
___ U.S. ___, 104 S.Ct. 69, 78 L.Ed.2d 84 (1983); and Crowder
v. Lash, 687 F.2d 996, 1005-06 (7th Cir. 1982). Those cases
have dealt with the ramifications of (or variants on) Monell
v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018,
56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). Our Court of Appeals' treatment of the
operative principles is instructive, even though not squarely
applicable, for current purposes.
Monell held Section 1983 liability cannot be foisted on a
municipality simply through the operation of respondeat
superior principles. It (436 U.S. at 694, 98 S.Ct. at 2037)
required such liability rather to be grounded on some
governmental act, omission or policy that breaches a duty
running directly from the municipality to the plaintiff. Cf.
Means v. City of Chicago, 535 F. Supp. 455, 462-63 (N.D.Ill.
1982) (liability of municipality and supervisors determined
with reference to general tort principles other than respondeat
Crowder, affirming a directed verdict in favor of a state
Commissioner of Corrections in a damage action charging
unacceptable prison conditions, sought to clarify the
limitations imposed by Monell. As in Monell, breach of a
direct duty to the plaintiff suffices to create personal
liability; and lacking that, breach of a duty to supervise may
be sufficient if it meets defined ...