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Knox v. Fox

December 6, 2007

CHRISTOPHER KNOX # B61090, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WENDY FOX, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blanche M. Manning United States District Court

Judge Blanche M. Manning

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Christopher Knox, who is currently an inmate at the Tamms Correctional Center, but formerly was an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.§ 1983. On September 21, 2006, he signed a complaint alleging that the fourteen defendants (various officials at Stateville) violated his constitutional rights by failing to provide him with adequate medical care on February 18, 2005, after he complained of having injuries subsequent to a seizure. This matter is before the court for consideration of the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment and Mr. Knox's motion to strike the defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the defendants' motion for summary judgment is denied and Mr. Knox's motions are denied. Further the court has provided further instruction for the parties related to this ruling.

I. Background

Mr. Knox's lawsuit involves medical care that he received at Stateville. More specifically, on February 18, 2005, Mr. Knox claims that he suffered from a seizure. As a result of the seizure, he suffered several injuries, which he describes as migraine headaches, back injuries, a concussion, bruises on his left leg, dizzy spells and swelling of his jaw. Relevant to this court's review of the defendants' motion for summary judgment is the fact that Mr. Knox has previously filed two additional cases, Knox v. Roberson, 04 C 7765, and Knox v. Michel, 06 C 18. Mr. Knox entered into a settlement agreement resolving both cases and releasing certain claims against the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") and its present or former employees. In connection with the settlement agreement resolving Nos. 04 C 7765 and 06 C 18, the parties or their counsel in those cases executed four documents (collectively, the "Settlement Documents"):

1. An indemnity act settlement, release and certification signed by Mr. Knox on August 4, 2006 and by Lisa Madigan by an Assistant Attorney General, on October 16, 2006 (the "Release");

2. A settlement agreement and general release, signed by Mr. Knox on August 14, 2006, by the Chief Legal Counsel of IDOC on August 25, 2006, and by an Assistant Attorney General on August 22, 2006 (the "Settlement Agreement");

3. A release of attorney's lien and waiver of costs signed by Mr. Knox on August 14, 2006 ("Release of Attorney's Lien");

4. A stipulation to dismiss signed by Mr. Knox on August 14, 2006, and by an Assistant Attorney General on August 22, 2006 (the "Stipulation to Dismiss");

Both the defendants and Mr. Knox attached copies of these same documents to their summary judgment filings. Defendants, although instructed in a previous order of this court to submit authenticating affidavits with their evidence, did not do so. However, pro se Plaintiff Mr. Knox did submit an "affidavit of authentication," although it was partially defective. In his affidavit, Mr. Knox swears under penalty of perjury that he is competent to testify and that the statements in his affidavit and response to the defendants' motion for summary judgment are true and correct to the best of his knowledge and belief.

Paragraph 8 of the Settlement Agreement for Nos. 04 C 7765 and 06 C 18, submitted by both sides and which both sides claim is the relevant authenticating statement, provides, among other things:

The Plaintiff, his heirs, successors and assigns, agrees to release, and hereby releases and forever discharges the Defendants in their individual and official capacities, the IDOC, the State of Illinois, their agents, former and present employees, successors, heirs and assigns and all other persons (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Releasees") from all actions, claims, demands, setoffs, suits, causes of action, controversies, disputes, equitable relief, compensatory and punitive damages, costs and expenses which arose or could have arisen from the facts alleged or claims made in the Actions, or any other pending litigation, which the Plaintiff owns, has or may have against the Releasees, whether known or unknown,from the beginning of time until the effective date of this Agreement, including but not limited to, those at law, in tort (including actions under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 ) or in equity.

Defendants' Ex. B. at ¶ 8.

The court takes judicial notice of the complaint in No. 06 C 18, which contains, among other things, a claim of deliberate ...


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