The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blanche M. Manning United States District Court
Plaintiff Bob Taras Bakaj has sued the village of Franklin Park, police officer Bill Parthimos, and a private citizen, Frank Grippo, for conspiring to violate his constitutional rights by falsely arresting him (Count I) and denying him medical attention (Count II). He also sued Franklin Park for indemnification (Count III), contending that under Illinois law it must indemnify Parthimos for any torts he commits as part of his job. Defendants Franklin Park and officer Parthimos have moved for summary judgment on Counts I and II. For the reasons that follow, the court grants the motions for summary judgment. Because Bakaj has no evidence that a false arrest or denial of medical attention occurred, the court also grants summary judgment to Franklin Park on count III and to defendant Grippo on the counts against him (I and II).
As a threshold matter, the court notes that Bakaj-who is represented by counsel-has not filed a statement of facts, and the recitation of facts in his response in opposition to the motions for summary judgment is mostly unsupported by citations to the record. In addition, his denials of the defendants' Rule 56.1 statements are unsupported by the record. Unsupported statements and denials violate Local Rule 56.1(b)(3). Therefore, the court will not rely on those unsupported assertions when evaluating whether disputed material facts preclude summary judgment. Additionally, unsupported denials will be deemed to be admissions. See Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006).
Turning now to the facts, Bakaj returned to his home in Franklin Park after a night in the Wisconsin Dells to discover that, during his absence, his underage daughter Robin had thrown a party that involved alcohol. The two began to argue. During the argument, Robin received a call from a friend, defendant Frank Grippo, who overheard the arguing and offered to pick Robin up in his car. Grippo arrived with his girlfriend Jessica Scott, picked up Robin, and the three drove away in Grippo's car.
Not knowing whose car Robin had gotten into, Bakaj got into his own car in an attempt to, as Bakaj puts it, "stop Grippo's forward progress." The defendants describe events differently, contending that Bakaj "pulled up behind Grippo's vehicle at a high rate of speed and began swerving." The parties agree that Bakaj chased down Grippo's vehicle, "maneuvering his vehicle in such a way so that Grippo would bring his vehicle to a stop."
After catching up to Grippo and forcing him to stop, Bakaj, Grippo, and Robin got out of their cars and began arguing in the street. The defendants contend that Bajak pushed Robin to the ground, though Bakaj denies that he did so. The defendants then contend that Bajak rushed Grippo, shoving him "pretty hard" and ripping his shirt. In contrast, Bajak asserts that Grippo was the aggressor and hit him twice, once with a metal pipe. The fight between Bajak and Grippo lasted less than a minute. Bajak contends that after Grippo knocked him to the ground, Bajak-supine and bathed in blood-managed to call police from his cellphone. Police officers, including defendant Parthimos, arrived within two minutes of when the fight began.
Upon arriving at the scene, Parthimos separately questioned Robin, Grippo, and Scott. Robin told Parthimos that her father had pushed her to the ground and signed a complaint against him for battery and domestic battery (although Bakaj denies that he pushed Robin, he does not deny that Robin told Parthimos that Bakaj pushed her). Grippo told Parthimos that Bajak was the aggressor and signed a complaint against Bakaj for battery. Scott confirmed to officer Parthimos that Bakaj was the aggressor and had battered both Robin and Grippo. Parthimos had never before met Robin, Grippo, or Scott (although Bakaj denied this fact in his response to the defendants' Rule 56.1 statements, he did so without citing the record and therefore the fact is deemed admitted).
Bajak was transported from the scene by ambulance to a hospital for injuries he sustained near his eyes and nose. Parthimos followed him there and, based upon his interviews of Robin, Grippo and Scott, determined that Bakaj had been the aggressor and arrested him for battery and domestic battery. Bakaj spent nearly 7 hours in the emergency room cuffed to his gurney. After an examination that included x-rays and a CT scan, he was discharged with instructions to return the next morning for a surgical evaluation. According to Bakaj the hospital wanted to admit him overnight, but Franklin Park would not agree because no officer was available to guard him. Instead, Bakaj spent the night in police lockup.
The next morning, officer Parthimos transported Bakaj to his initial appearance before Judge Ingram who set his bail at $3,000. During the appearance, Bakaj's attorney requested that the judge include in her order that Bakaj be "mitted" to the hospital so that he could obtain his surgical evaluation, to which the judge agreed. At the close of the hearing, Bajak was placed in the custody of the Cook County sheriff.
The Cook County sheriff never took Bakaj for his surgical evaluation. He did not receive an evaluation until five days later after he was released on bond. Bakaj eventually underwent surgery for the injuries to his face, during which his surgeon removed bone fragments that had been compressing nerves and inflicting other damage. In his response brief, Bakaj contends that his treating physician would testify that the Cook County sheriff's failure to immediately obtain a surgical evaluation for Bakaj caused the damage to his facial nerves to be permanent. However, in his deposition Bakaj admitted that no doctor had ever told him that his failure to immediately obtain a surgical evaluation had worsened his condition.
Bakaj sued Franklin, Parthimos and Grippo, alleging that the officers lacked probable cause to arrest him and denied him medical care by failing to return him to the hospital for a surgical evaluation. The defendants have moved for summary judgment arguing that the statements provided by numerous witnesses gave them probable cause to arrest Bakaj, and that at the time he alleges he was ...