United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
March 31, 2004.
BENJAMIN BINKLEY, a minor, by his parent and next best friend, REBECCA BINKLEY; and REBECCA BINKLEY, individually, Plaintiffs
EDWARDS HOSPITAL d/b/a EDWARD HOSPITAL & HEALTH SERVICES, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation; CHARTER LINDEN OAKS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEM d/b/a LINDEN OAKS HOSPITAL, an Illinois corporation; ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES; DUPAGE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT; RIAZ BABER, M.D,; BRUCE ANDHRSON; SHOBA SINHA, M.D.; JENNIFER BEISNER; STEPHANIE BRENNAN; MARGARET JONES; GLORIANA ACOLATSE; and DEBBIE McEVILLY
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case is before the Court on the motions of Defendants Shoba
Sinha., and Riaz Baber to dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint,
For the following reasons, the motions are granted,
On May 13, 2003, Plaintiffs Benjamin Binkley, a minor, and Rebecca
Binkley, his mother ("Plaintiffs") filed their First Amended Complaint.
In this Complaint, Plaintiffs allege that on March 23, 2000, Benjamin
presented to the emergency department at Linden Oaks Hospital and was
examined by the on-call physician, Dr. Sinha, Dr. Sinha allegedly
determined that Benjamin had an emergency medical condition and that such
condition was a mental illness or emotional disturbance
of such severity that hospitalization was necessary, Benjamin was
then admitted to the locked adolescent inpatient unit at Linden Oaks.
On March 24, 2000, Mrs. Binkley allegedly reported to Diana Halley, an
employee of Linden Oaks, that Benjamin's health insurance would be
exhausted at midnight of the tenth day of admission and that Mrs. Binkley
believed Benjamin to be in need of long term residential tare for his
severe mental illness. Ms. Halley allegedly noted in Benjamin's medical
chart Mrs. Binkley's inability to pay for an extended hospital stay for
Benjamin. Plaintiffs allege that, following Ms. Halley's notation of Mrs.
Binkley's inability to pay for extended medical care, all efforts to
provide reasonable and necessary medical care to Benjamin by Linden Oaks
Plaintiffs further allege that Benjamin's attending physicians, Drs.
Baber and Sinha, falsified Benjamin's medical record in order to make
Benjamin's medical condition appear stabilized, when it was not
stabilized. Throughout Benjamin's admission, Mrs. Binkley allegedly made
repeated requests for transfer of Benjamin to a state operated mental
health facility, but those requests were denied.
On April 5, 2000, Benjamin's attending physician, Dr. Baber, informed
Mrs. Binkley that Benjamin's medical condition was stable and that
Benjamin would be discharged from Linden Oaks the next day. Plaintiffs
allege that, at that time, Benjamin was on suicide and assault
precautions and was receiving fifteen minute checks by the staff to
ensure his safety and the safety of others.
Mrs. Binkley refused to accept Benjamin for discharge on April 6,
2 000 in light of her belief that he suffered from severe
unstabilized mental illness. On April 7, 2000, Mrs. Binkley was notified
by Paula Albright, associate general counsel for Edward Hospital, and
Bruce Anderson, facility director of Linden Oaks, that if Mrs. Binkley
did not accept Benjamin for discharge on that
date, Ms. Albright would notify DCFS that Mrs. Binkley was
neglecting her child. Ms. Albright and Mr. Anderson allegedly also
notified Mrs. Binkley that they would pursue her for the mounting medical
On April 8, 2000, Margaret Jones, a DCFS investigator, allegedly
determined that Mrs. Binkley was committing child abuse, child
abandonment, and medical neglect of Benjamin, Mrs. Jones allegedly
recommended that Benjamin be discharged from Linden Oaks and placed in
jail. Stephanie Brennan, a DuPage County health department e valuator,
then recommended that Benjamin have no further inpatient hospitalization
and no further psychological assessment for continuing hospitalization,
despite the fact that Benjamin's medical record allegedly was replete
with behaviors consistent with his severe unstabilized mental illness.
On April 10, 2000, Dr. Baber discharged Benjamin from Linden Oaks.
Benjamin was then taken to jail, where Plaintiffs allege that he was
deprived of his right to medical care and education. Gloriana Acolatse, a
DCFS case worker, recommended that Benjamin be admitted to shelter care
at the Center House for Boys, following his release from jail. Plaintiffs
allege that Benjamin was deprived of his right to medical care and
education while at Center House for Boys.
Debbie McEvilly, a DCFS case worker, took over Benjamin's case and
recommended that Benjamin remain in shelter care at the Center House for
Boys, rather than obtaining the in-patient psychiatric treatment that
Benjamin allegedly needed, Benjamin remained at the Center House for Boys
until May 10, 2000.
On May 10, 2000, Benjamin's treating physician, Dr. Schwartz, allegedly
ordered that Benjamin be admitted to Glen Oaks Hospital. On that same
day, Jennifer Beisner, a DCFS evaluator, performed an evaluation of
Benjamin and allegedly blocked Benjamin's admission to Glen
Oaks Hospital. Ms. Beisner allegedly then called the police and had
Benjamin put back in jail. Benjamin then spent two weeks in jail, On May
24, 2000, Benjamin was admitted to Maryville Academy.
Count I of Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint alleges medical
malpractice against Dr. Baber, Count 11 alleges medical malpractice
against Dr. Sinha. Count III alleges medical malpractice against Bruce
Anderson. Count IV alleges a violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment
and Labor Act ("AEMTALA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1395 dd(d)0) against Linden Oaks
Hospital, Edward Hospital, Dr. Baber, Dr. Sinha and Bruce Anderson. Count
V alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Stephanie Brennan. Count
VI alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the DuPage Health
Department. Count VII alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Margaret Jones. Count VIII alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Gloriana Acolatse. Count IX alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Debbie McEvilly. Count X alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Jennifer Beisner, Count XI alleges medical malpractice against Linden
Oaks Hospital, Count XII alleges civil conspiracy against all defendants.
Count XIII alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress against
all defendants. Count XIV requests injunctive relief against DCFS. Count
XV alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against DCFS personnel, Margaret
Jones, Gloriana Acolatse, and Debby McEvilly.
Currently before the Court are the motions to dismiss Plaintiffs' First
Amended Complaint filed by Dr. Sinha and Dr. Baber,
When considering a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the
court accepts as true all well pled factual allegations in the complaint
and views them, along with reasonable inferences
to be drawn from them, in a light most favorable to Plaintiff,
Cornfield v. Consolidated High School Dist. No. 230,
991 F.2d 1316
, 1324 (7th Cir. 1993). The court must grant a motion to dismiss,
however, when it appears beyond a doubt that plaintiff can provide no set
of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41
, 45-46 (1957),
I. EMTALA Claims
In Count IV, Plaintiffs attempt to state a claim for a violation of
EMTALA against Dr. Sinha and Dr. Baber. "[T]he Emergency Medical
Treatment and Active Labor Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 dd(d)(2)(A) creates
a cause of action only against a participating hospital. The statutory
definition of participating hospital does not encompass an individual
physician," King v. Ahrens, 16 F.3d 265, 271 (8s" Cir. 1994).
Moreover, in their response briefs, Plaintiffs concede that EMTALA may
not be used in a civil cause of action against an individual physician,
Plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss this Count against Dr. Sinha and Dr.
For these reasons, Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint fails to state
an EMTALA claim against Dr. Sinha and Dr. Baber. Therefore, we grant
Defendants Sinha's and Baber's motions to dismiss the EMTALA claims
II. State Law Claims
As for the remaining supplemental state law claims filed against Dr.
Sinha and Dr. Baber, a district court may decline to exercise its
supplemental jurisdiction when it has disposed of all federal claims over
which it has original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3);
O'Grady v. Village of Libertyville, 304 F.3d 719, 725 (7th Cir.
2002). Having granted the motions to dismiss on the only federal claims
alleged against Defendants Sinha and Baber (the EMTALA claims), we
dismiss the remaining state law claims against them without prejudice.
Therefore, we dismiss without prejudice, Count I (medical malpractice)
against Defendant Baber, Count II (medical malpractice) against Defendant
Sinha, Count XII (civil conspiracy) against Defendants Sinha and Baber,
and Count XIII (intentional infliction of emotional distress)against
Defendants Sinha and Baber, However, at the time we decide the remaining
pending motions to dismiss filed by the other defendants in this case, if
it is determined that Plaintiffs have adequately alleged federal causes
of action against other defendants, we will reconsider whether to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims of
Defendants Sinha and Baber,
For the foregoing reasons, we grant the motions to dismiss filed by
Defendants Shoba Sinha (#48-1), and Riaz Baber (# 55-1). Counts I and II
are dismissed without prejudice. Counts XII and XIII are dismissed
without prejudice against Defendants Sinha and Baber. Count IV is
dismissed with prejudice as to Defendants Sinha and Baber.
It is so ordered.
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