was deprived of his life without due process of law.
In State Bank of St. Charles v. Camic, 712 F.2d 1140 (7th
Cir. 1983), a case also involving the suicide of a pretrial
detainee, the court suggested that if an eighth amendment right
to be protected from suicide does in fact exist, a violation of
that right could be found only upon a showing that defendants
acted with deliberate indifference. Id. at 1146. The court did
not expressly decide whether there is a constitutional right to
be protected from suicide, noting that neither the Supreme
Court nor the Seventh Circuit has yet resolved that question.
Id. at 1145 n. 3. Other courts, however, have expressly held
that such a right does exist.
In Guglielmoni v. Alexander, 583 F. Supp. 821 (D.Conn. 1984),
a case involving the suicide of a prison inmate, the court held
that "(j]ust as the eighth amendment reaches psychiatric care
as a component or aspect of medical care, so too is protecting
inmates from themselves . . . an aspect of the broader
constitutional duty to provide medical care for inmates." Id.
at 827. Similarly, in Holland and Madden, cases also involving
the suicides of pretrial detainees, both courts held that
plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged acts of deliberate
indifference by defendants, and that the factual allegations,
if proved, could result in a finding that the decedents were
wrongfully deprived of their fourteenth amendment rights to
life and liberty. Holland, 623 F. Supp. at 288-89; Madden 602
F. Supp. at 1164.
In the present case, plaintiffs allege that defendants
placed the decedent in isolation despite his depressed and
irrational state, and despite the fact that other detainees
had committed (or attempted to commit) suicide in the
isolation cells. Plaintiffs further allege that defendants
failed to monitor and treat the decedent despite his obvious
suffering. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants Jackson
County, Kilquist and Truitt failed to provide safe, monitored
facilities for suicidal and emotionally disturbed detainees,
and that they failed to adequately train the jailors and
deputies to deal with suicidal detainees. The Court concludes
that plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged acts of deliberate
indifference by defendants, and that the complaint adequately
alleges the personal involvement by defendants in the
deprivation of decedent's right to life.
With respect to Jackson County, the Court specifically notes
that similar allegations were held to state a claim of
municipal liability in both Holland and Madden. See Holland,
623 F. Supp. at 290; Madden, 602 F. Supp. at 1168. Accordingly,
defendants motion to strike and/or dismiss plaintiffs' claim
that decedent was deprived of his life without due process is
The Effect of Parratt v. Taylor
Neither side has addressed the effect of the Supreme Court's
decision in Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 101 S.Ct. 1908, 68
L.Ed.2d 420 (1981) on plaintiffs' claim that the decedent was
deprived of his life without due process of law. The Court,
however, believes that a discussion of that case is warranted.
In Parratt, the Supreme Court held that the deprivation of
property under color of state law does not constitute a
violation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 if adequate post deprivation
remedies are available in the state courts. Id. at 543-44, 101
S.Ct. at 1917. The reasoning of Parratt applies to both
negligent and intentional deprivations of property. Hudson v.
Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 104 S.Ct. 3194, 3204, 82 L.Ed.2d 393
The Seventh Circuit, in State Bank of St. Charles v. Camic,
712 F.2d 1140 (7th Cir. 1983), suggested that the reasoning of
Parratt also applies to deprivations of life. In St. Charles, a
pretrial detainee committed suicide in the city jail, and the
administrator of the estate sued for violation of the
decedent's rights under the eighth and fourteenth amendments.
The court stated that if Parratt applied, plaintiff's
fourteenth amendment claim was foreclosed since the Illinois
wrongful death statute
provided an adequate remedy for one suing on behalf of the
estate of a prisoner who committed suicide. Id. at 1147.
Although other decisions have cited St. Charles for the
proposition that Parratt applies to deprivations of life, this
court agrees that "the opinion [in St. Charles] makes clear
that the court was unsure about the reach of Parratt and based
its judgment [granting defendants' motion for summary judgment]
on alternative holdings." Doty v. Carey, 626 F. Supp. 359, 361
n. 3 (N.D.Ill. 1986).
Assuming that the St. Charles decision does hold that Parratt
applies to deprivations of life, it is nonetheless clear that
Parratt is inapplicable to deprivations of substantive
constitutional rights. See Bell v. City of Milwaukee,
746 F.2d 1205, 1238 n. 39 (7th Cir. 1984); St. Charles, 712 F.2d at 1147
n. 5; Doty, 626 F. Supp. at 361; Kufalk v. Hart, 610 F. Supp. 1178,
1190 (N.D.Ill. 1985). Furthermore, in Bell v. City of
Milwaukee, a case involving the fatal shooting of a young man
by a police officer, the Seventh Circuit expressly held that an
intentional or reckless deprivation of life by the state
violates a substantive constitutional right. Bell, 746 F.2d at
1238 & n. 39. (Bell's holding was apparently based on the
substantive rights guaranteed by the due process clause of the
fourteenth amendment. See Doty, 626 F. Supp. at 362 n. 4). The
court did not apply Parratt, but instead held that plaintiffs
had valid due process claims despite the existence of the
Illinois wrongful death statute. Id. at 1238. Therefore, to the
extent that St. Charles bars claims for deprivations of life if
a state wrongful death action is available, Bell appears to
supersede this holding. See also Doty, 626 F. Supp. at 361 n. 3
(also suggesting that the holding in Bell supersedes St.
Additionally, in those cases involving suicides by pretrial
detainees, the courts have held that allegations of reckless
indifference (to the detainee's life and safety) are
sufficient to state a valid substantive due process claim, and
that Parratt is therefore inapplicable. For example, in Holland
v. Breen, 623 F. Supp. 284 (D.Mass. 1985), a case involving the
suicide of a pretrial detainee, the court first noted that
"[s]ubstantive due process is based on the `right to be free of
state intrusions into realms of personal privacy and bodily
security through means so brutal, demeaning, and harmful as
literally to shock the conscience of a court.'" Id. at 288. The
court then held that because plaintiff had sufficiently alleged
facts that "shocked the conscience," the complaint stated a
valid substantive due process violation, and application of
Parratt was not warranted. Id. at 288-89. See also Madden v.
City of Meriden, 602 F. Supp. 1160, 1166-68 (D.Conn. 1985)
(substantive due process violation found where pretrial
detainee committed suicide and where plaintiff alleged that
defendants' actions were willful, deliberate and malicious).
Likewise, plaintiffs in the present case allege that
defendants acted with callous and deliberate indifference to
the decedent's life and safety. The Court concludes that
plaintiffs have asserted a valid substantive due process claim
and that Parratt is therefore not applicable.
Defendants contend that an award of punitive damages to
Michael Strandell's estate contravenes the Illinois Wrongful
Death Act, which prohibits the administrator of an estate from
receiving punitive damages. The Seventh Circuit, however, has
expressly held that state laws precluding or limiting recovery
for loss of life are inconsistent with the compensatory and
deterrent policies underlying section 1983. In Bass by Lewis v.
Wallenstein, 769 F.2d 1173 (7th Cir. 1985), the court held:
[W]here the constitutional deprivation sought to
be remedied has caused death, state law that
precludes recovery on behalf of the victim's
estate for the loss of life is inconsistent with
the deterrent policy of section 1983. . . .
"To disallow punitive damages in Section 1983
actions solely on the basis of restrictive state
tort law would seriously hamper the deterrence
effect of Section 1983."
Id. at 1190 (citing Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F.2d 1205,
1240-41) (emphasis added). Therefore, defendants' motion to
strike the prayer for an award of punitive damages to the
estate is denied.
Defendants also move to strike the prayer for punitive
damages in Counts I and II on the basis that in section 1983
actions, juries may award punitive damages only when the
defendant's conduct is reckless or motivated by evil intent.
Defendants cite Smith v. Wade, 461 U.S. 30, 103 S.Ct. 1625, 75
L.Ed.2d 632 (1983) for the proposition that punitive damages
are recoverable under section 1983 only "when the defendants'
conduct is shown to be motivated by evil motive or intent, or
when it involves reckless or callous indifference to federally
protected rights." Id. at 33, 103 S.Ct. at 1628. Plaintiff's
allege throughout the complaint that defendants acted with
callous and deliberate indifference. These allegations are
clearly sufficient to withstand defendants' motion to strike
Defendants further move to strike the prayer for punitive
damages in all counts on the basis that imposition of punitive
damages in civil cases violates the due process clause of the
fourteenth amendment. In Smith, however, the Supreme Court
expressly held that punitive damages are recoverable in section
1983 actions. Defendants' motion to strike all prayers for
punitive damages is accordingly denied.
Finally, defendants move to dismiss the claim for punitive
damages under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and under the
Illinois Survival Act. Plaintiffs concede that recent Illinois
decisions prohibit recovery of punitive damages under both
acts. (Plaintiff's Reply, p. 14). Defendants' motion to
dismiss the prayer for punitive damages in Counts III and IV
is therefore granted.
In Counts I and II, which are based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
plaintiffs request an award of prejudgment interest. Defendants
move to strike plaintiffs' request on the basis that Illinois
law prohibits an award of prejudgment interest in tort cases.
In Furtado v. Bishop, 604 F.2d 80 (1st Cir. 1979), modified
on other grounds, 635 F.2d 915 (1st Cir. 1980) the court
addressed the question of whether prejudgment interest could
properly be awarded in a section 1983 case. The court held that
it was unnecessary to decide "between a rule making prejudgment
interest discretionary and one barring it altogether." Id. at
98. Instead, the court held that "federal law dictate[s] that
the jury should decide whether to assess [prejudgment
interest]." Id. (emphasis added). At least one other court in
this circuit has adopted Furtado's holding that in section 1983
cases, the question of prejudgment interest is one to be
decided by the jury. See Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 536 F. Supp. 462,
479 (E.D.Wis. 1982), aff'd in part, rev'd in part on other
grounds, 746 F.2d 1205 (7th Cir. 1984).
The court in Furtado noted that a rule barring prejudgment
interest in section 1983 cases "is arguably appropriate because
section 1983 creates a species of tort liability, and
prejudgment interest on the typical unliquidated tort claim was
not recoverable at common law." Id. at 98. The court, however,
declined to adopt an "inflexible rule" barring prejudgment
interest in section 1983 cases since "the traditional common
law view has been critized," and since "common law tort rules,
although a useful starting point for fashioning remedies for
section 1983 violations, are not binding." Id. (citing Carey v.
Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 258-59, 98 S.Ct. 1042, 1049-50, 55
L.Ed.2d 252 (1978)).
The Court agrees that it is unnecessary to adopt a rule
barring prejudgment interest in every section 1983 case.
However, the Court does not agree that questions of
prejudgment interest should be left to the jury simply because
traditional common law views regarding awards of prejudgment
interest have been critized. Furtado, 604 F.2d at 98. And while
the Court recognizes that common law tort rules are not binding
in section 1983 cases, Carey, 435 U.S. at 258-69, 98 S.Ct. at
Court also notes that in appropriate cases, these rules are
useful and equally applicable in fashioning remedies for
violations of section 1983. Id.
The present case involves an unliquidated claim. That is,
the amount of the claim cannot be ascertained by mere
calculation or computation. The Court finds that there is
simply no reason to apply a rule other than the common law
tort rule disallowing prejudgment interest on unliquidated
claims. See First National Bank Co. v. Insurance Co.,
606 F.2d 760, 769-70 (7th Cir. 1979). Although Furtado suggested that
awards of prejudgment interest would further the compensatory
and deterrence policies underlying section 1983, the Court
concludes that awards of compensatory and punitive damages
already effectively further these policies. Defendants' motion
to strike plaintiffs' request for prejudgment interest is
Claims by the Administrator
In Count II, plaintiffs Alex and Marge Strandell seek
recovery for deprivations of their constitutional rights as
parents. Count II is also brought by Alex Strandell as the
administrator of his son's estate. Defendants move to dismiss
the administrator as a plaintiff in Count II on the basis that
the administrator has no standing to sue under section 1983
for the alleged losses of Alex and Marge Strandell as parents.
In Guglielmoni v. Alexander, 583 F. Supp. 821 (D.Conn. 1984),
the court held that the administrator of an estate cannot
pursue a section 1983 claim for losses suffered by parents as a
result of their son's suicide. Id. at 829. Thus, although
parents as individuals have a right, under section 1983, to
recover for the loss of society and companionship of their
children, Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F.2d 1205, 1243-45
(7th Cir. 1984), the administrator has no standing to sue for
deprivations of the parents' constitutional rights. Therefore,
Alex Strandell as administrator is dismissed as a plaintiff
from Count II.
Plaintiff's State Law Claims
A. Pendent Jurisdiction
Defendants contend that the Court should decline to exercise
its pendent jurisdiction over Counts III, IV and V, which
involve claims under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the
Illinois Survival Act and the Illinois Family Expense Act.
Defendants argue that these claims will prolong discovery and
confuse the jury.
The exercise of pendent jurisdiction is discretionary with
the district court. Smith v. No. 2 Galesburg Crown Corporation,
615 F.2d 407, 422 (7th Cir. 1980). "A federal court may, in its
discretion, entertain state law claims when a plaintiff's
complaint presents a substantial federal question and the
federal and state claims `derive from a common nucleus of
operative fact." Benson v. Cady, 761 F.2d 335, 343 (7th Cir.
1985) (citing United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 725,
86 S.Ct. 1130, 1138, 16 L.Ed.2d 2 (1966). The factors that a
district court should consider in determining whether to
exercise pendent jurisdiction are "judicial economy,
convenience, and fairness to the litigants." Vickers v. Quern,
578 F.2d 685, 689 (7th Cir. 1978).
In the present case, plaintiffs have presented a substantial
federal question based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It is clear that
the federal and state claims derive from a "common nucleus of
operative fact," and that judicial economy would be preserved
by trying the federal and state claims in one proceeding. The
Court will therefore retain jurisdiction of plaintiffs' state
B. Defendant Jackson County
Defendant Jackson County contends that it cannot be held
liable under a theory of respondeat superior in Counts III and
IV. Defendant cites Monell v. Department of Social Services of
the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d
611 (1978) in support of its proposition. Monell, however,
applies only to municipal liability in federal civil rights
Counts III and IV involve state law claims, and under Illinois
law, counties are liable, on a theory of respondeat superior,
for injuries caused by the negligence of their employees.
Holda v. Kane County, 88 Ill. App.3d 522, 43 Ill.Dec. 552, 559,
410 N.E.2d 552, 559 (Ill. App.Ct. 1980). See also Baltz v.
County of Will, 609 F. Supp. 992, 995 (N.D. Ill. 1985); Martin
v. County of Kendall, 561 F. Supp. 726, 730 n. 12 (N.D. Ill.
1983). The motion to dismiss Jackson County as a defendant in
Counts III and IV is therefore denied.
Plaintiffs' Request for Injunctive Relief and Class
Defendants move to strike and/or dismiss plaintiffs' prayers
for injunctive relief, as well as all references in the
complaint to a class action. Since plaintiffs' requests for
class certification and injunctive relief are closely related
issues, the Court addresses these two questions together.
A. Class Certification
In their Motion for Class Certification, plaintiffs request
the Court to designate this case as a class action pursuant to
Rule 23(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The
proposed class consists of two subclasses: 1) all present and
past pretrial detainees incarcerated in the Jackson County
Jail, and 2) all individuals who will in the future be
subjected (as pretrial detainees) to the practices and
totality of conditions of the Jackson County Jail.
Under Rule 23(a), there are four prerequisites that must be
satisfied before a class action will be allowed:
(1) [T]he class is so numerous that joinder of
all members is impracticable, (2) there are
questions of law or fact common to the class, (3)
the claims or defenses of the representative
parties are typical of the claims or defenses of
the class, and (4) the representative parties
will fairly and adequately protect the interests
of the class.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a). In addition, the representative plaintiff
must be a member of the class. General Telephone Company v.
Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 156, 102 S.Ct. 2364, 2369-70, 72 L.Ed.2d
740 (1982). "[A] class representative must be part of the class
and `possess the same interest and suffer the same injury' as
the class members." East Texas Motor Freight Systems, Inc. v.
Rodriguez, 431 U.S. 395, 403, 97 S.Ct. 1891, 1896, 52 L.Ed.2d
453 (1977). See also Davis v. Ball Memorial Hospital
Association, Inc., 753 F.2d 1410, 1417 (7th Cir. 1985); Ekanem
v. Health and Hospital Corporation, 724 F.2d 563, 572 (7th Cir.
In the present case, plaintiffs are not members of the
proposed class that they seek to represent. They have not
been, nor are they now, pretrial detainees confined in the
Jackson County Jail. In light of the requirement that the
named representatives must be a member of the class that they
seek to represent, plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification
is denied. Defendants' Petition for an Evidentiary Hearing on
the Motion for Class Certification is likewise denied.
B. Injunctive Relief
In their complaint, plaintiffs request the Court to enjoin
Jackson County and its employees from 1) placing suicidal and
emotionally disturbed detainees in jail cells that contain
anchoring devices for committing suicide; and 2) utilizing an
understaffed, overpopulated and antiquated jail facility.
Defendants move to strike and/or dismiss the prayers for
injunctive relief on the basis that plaintiffs do not have
standing to seek injunctive relief, and on the further ground
that plaintiffs have failed to show an immediate threat of
harm from the conduct they seek to enjoin. City of Los Angeles
v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 103 S.Ct. 1660, 75 L.Ed.2d 675 (1983)
involved the question of whether plaintiff, who was subjected
to a "chokehold" by police officers, had standing to seek
injunctive relief. In holding that plaintiff did not have
standing, the Court stated, "The plaintiff must show that he
`has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining some
injury' as the result of the challenged official conduct and
the injury or threat of injury must be both `real and
immediate,' not `conjectural' or `hypothetical.'" Id. at 102,
103 S.Ct. at 1665 (citations omitted). "Past exposure to
illegal conduct does not in itself show a present case or
controversy regarding injunctive relief . . . if unaccommpanied
by any continuing, present adverse effects." Id. (citing O'Shea
v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 495-96, 94 S.Ct. 669, 676, 38
L.Ed.2d 674 (1974)).
Plaintiffs in the present case are not pretrial detainees in
the Jackson County Jail nor are there any facts alleged
indicating that they will become detainees. Therefore, they
are not likely to suffer future injury from the conduct that
they seek to enjoin. Accordingly, the Court concludes that
plaintiffs lack the requisite standing to seek injunctive
The Court notes the case of Lewis v. Tully, 99 F.R.D. 632
(N.D.Ill. 1983), in which another court held that Lyons does
not apply to class action suits. Lewis, however, is not
applicable to the present case in light of this Court's
decision that class certification be denied. Furthermore, the
Court is not convinced that Lyons is inapplicable to class
action suits. See Williams v. City of Chicago, 609 F. Supp. 1017
(N.D. Ill. 1985) (standing requirement as discussed in Lyons
applies to both individual and class actions). Defendants'
motion to dismiss plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief is
For the foregoing reasons, the Court hereby enters the
1. Defendants' motion to strike and/or dismiss
the prayer for punitive damages in Counts III and
IV is GRANTED;
2. Defendants' motion to strike and/or dismiss
the prayer for prejudgment interest is GRANTED;
3. Defendants' motion to dismiss Alex Strandell
as administrator of the estate of Michael
Strandell, in Count II, is GRANTED;
4. Defendants' motion to strike and/or dismiss
plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief is
The remainder of defendants' motion to strike and/or dismiss