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VIERO v. BUFANO

October 13, 1995

EDITH M. VIERO, etc., Plaintiff,
v.
DIANE BUFANO, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHADUR

 Edith Viero ("Viero"), as Special Administrator of the Estate of her son John Rosario, Jr. ("Rosario"), has sued Illinois Juvenile Court Probation Officer Diane Bufano ("Bufano") and four employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections ("Department")--Marcia Little ("Little"), Victor Brooks ("Brooks"), Mr. Carter ("Carter") and Mr. Porter ("Porter")--under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983"). Viero's Complaint alleges that Rosario's constitutional rights were violated while he was an inmate at the St. Charles Illinois Youth Correctional Facility ("St. Charles"), resulting in his death by suicide.

 Bufano and Little have moved for dismissal of the Complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 12(b)(6), *fn1" claiming:

 
1. Viero states no claim under Section 1983 because she has not adequately alleged that Bufano and Little violated the Eighth Amendment. *fn2"
 
2. Bufano and Little are entitled to qualified immunity.
 
3. This action should be dismissed as an official capacity suit.
 
4. Bufano is entitled to absolute immunity under the doctrine of "quasi-judicial" immunity.
 
5. Viero has failed to state a claim under Illinois state law.

 For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, this Court denies Bufano and Little's motion in its entirety, and Viero is granted leave to amend the Complaint to clarify the fact that she is suing defendants in their individual rather than their official capacities.

 Facts

 On December 17, 1992 14-year-old Rosario was confined for mental treatment and evaluation at Hartgrove Hospital ("Hartgrove") in Chicago, Illinois, initially diagnosed as suffering from major depression. Hartgrove's records reflect that Rosario "expressed suicidal ideation during psychological and social work evaluations" there and also that he and his grandmother "related an incident in which he planned to take his own life by stabbing himself." *fn3" Sometime in January 1993 Rosario was discharged from Hartgrove with a "guarded" prognosis, a prescription for 10 milligrams of ritalin three times a day and a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, severe psychosocial stresses and poor adaptive functioning.

 Upon his discharge from Hartgrove, Rosario was placed in Department's custody and was taken to St. Charles. At the time of Rosario's intake Viero advised Little (an employee of Department located at St. Charles) of Rosario's mental history, medication needs and suicidal thoughts. Viero also told Bufano (Rosario's probation officer) of Rosario's mental history, diagnosis and condition and provided Bufano with his prescription medication.

 Despite those warnings both Bufano and Little acted with a "total indifference to [Rosario's] safety": *fn4"

 
1. "Bufano failed to take steps to assure [Rosario] received his medication, and to assure that [Rosario's] mental health history, diagnosis and suicidal ideation were adequately communicated to the Illinois Department of Corrections."
 
2. "Little failed to assure that [Rosario] received his medication, and to assure that he received adequate counseling and observation in view of his mental history and diagnosis."

 On March 2, 1993, while still in custody at St. Charles, Rosario committed suicide by hanging himself. That was a direct and proximate result ...


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