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McCrite v. GRW Corp.

April 19, 2007

ROBERT MCCRITE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GRW CORPORATION, PERSONNEL JOHN DOES, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS AGENTS OF GRW CORPORATION, OFFICERS JOHN DOES, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS AGENTS OF THE PULASKI COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, AND THE COUNTY OF PULASKI, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on defendant GRW Corporation's ("GRW") motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Doc. 32). Plaintiff Robert McCrite ("McCrite") has responded to the motion (Doc. 36). Pursuant to the Court's request for further briefing at a March 7, 2007, conference, the parties have also submitted additional briefing on the statute of limitations issue (Docs. 38, 39 & 40), which the Court also considers in ruling on the pending motion to dismiss.

I. Standard for Dismissal

When reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts all allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Brown v. Budz, 398 F.3d 904, 908 (7th Cir. 2005); Holman v. Indiana, 211 F.3d 399, 402 (7th Cir. 2000). The Court should not grant a motion to dismiss unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff cannot prove his claim under any set of facts consistent with the complaint. Brown, 398 F.3d at 908-09; Holman, 211 F.3d at 405.

Although liberal federal notice pleading standards ensure that even vague, non-detailed complaints can survive a motion to dismiss, they will not prevent dismissal of complaints that plead too much. A case can be dismissed because a complaint pleads facts establishing that the defendant is entitled to prevail. Bennett v. Schmidt, 153 F.3d 516, 519 (7th Cir. 1998); Soo Line R.R. Co. v. St. Louis S.W. Ry. Co., 125 F.3d 481, 483 (7th Cir. 1997); see Kolupa v. Roselle Park Dist., 438 F.3d 713, 715 (7th Cir. 2006) ("A plaintiff pleads himself out of court when it would be necessary to contradict the complaint in order to prevail on the merits.").

II. Alleged Facts

The allegations in the First Amended Complaint establish the following relevant facts. From September 25, 2003, to October 9, 2003, McCrite was incarcerated at the Tri-County Detention Center. He complained to sheriff's deputies and jail personnel that he needed medical treatment for renal insufficiency, but those officials did not arrange for any sort of treatment. As a consequence, McCrite suffered nausea, poor appetite, edema in his lower extremities, pain in his chest, abdominal tenderness, back pain and hematemesis, and on October 9, 2003, he was taken to the hospital, where he stayed until October 14, 2003.

On October 11, 2005, McCrite filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants other than GRW alleging that between September 25, 2003, and October 9, 2003, they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth or Fourteenth Amendment.*fn1 He originally sued Correctional Services Corporation ("CSC") believing that it was the operator of the Tri-County Detention Facility. McCrite amended his complaint on May 9, 2006, to add GRW as a defendant. GRW was the actual operator of the Tri-County Detention Center.

GRW asks the Court to dismiss McCrite's suit on the ground that the First Amended Complaint was filed beyond the two-year statute of limitations for § 1983 actions. McCrite responds that his First Amended Complaint should relate back to his original pleading, which he believes was timely filed.

III. Analysis

The Court first addresses whether the original complaint was timely filed, then whether the amended complaint relates back to the original complaint as to GRW.

A. Timeliness of Original Complaint

At the hearing on March 9, 2007, the Court asked the parties to brief the issue of whether the original complaint was timely filed. Federal civil rights claims arising in Illinois are subject to the state two-year personal injury limitation period under 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Henderson v. Bolanda, 253 F.3d 928, 931 (7th Cir. 2001); see Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 276 (1985). McCrite filed this lawsuit two years and two days after the end of the period in which he alleges the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.

The first issue when a statute of limitations is in question is accrual, for that is when the statute of limitations begins to run. Invoking the discovery rule, McCrite argues that his cause of action did not accrue until well after he was released from custody when he discovered he ...


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