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Terry v. Cook County Dep't of Corrections

January 22, 2010

SHANIKA TERRY, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF HER UNBORN CHILD, JOHN DOE, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COOK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In May 2009, Plaintiff Shanika Terry filed suit in Illinois state court against Defendants Cook County Department of Corrections, Cermak Health Services of Cook County, Cook County, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, Cook County Bureau of Health, Cook County Jail, David Fagus as agent of the Cermak Health Services of Cook County, and other unknown defendants individually and on behalf of her deceased son, John Doe. Plaintiff asserts Section 1983 claims against Defendants, alleging that while she was a pre-trial detainee in the Cook County Department of Corrections, Defendants denied her adequate medical care in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff also asserts wrongful death and other state law claims arising out of the alleged denial of adequate medical care, which she asserts resulted in the still birth of her son.

Before the Court is a motion to dismiss [14] the claims against Defendants Cook County Department of Corrections and Cook County Jail, and the Section 1983 individual capacity claim against Defendant Thomas Dart, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).*fn1 For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. Background*fn2

Plaintiff was taken into custody as a pre-trial detainee by the Cook County Department of Corrections on approximately July 11, 2008, at which time Plaintiff was 26 weeks pregnant. On July 22, 2008, Plaintiff began having abdominal pain and cramping, began vomiting, and was bleeding vaginally. Plaintiff asked nurses and guards for assistance, but her repeated requests were ignored for a number of hours. Plaintiff's bleeding was severe for a period of at least two hours before she was transferred by ambulance to St. Anthony's Hospital at approximately 11:00 pm on July 22nd.

When Plaintiff arrived at the emergency room, the nurses treating her were unable to locate a heartbeat for Plaintiff's unborn child, and advised her that her unborn child had died. Plaintiff was diagnosed with abruption placenta and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC); she suffered anemia and injury to her kidneys. Id.

Plaintiff filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County on May 7, 2009. On May 22, 2009, Defendants removed the law suit to this Court [1].

II. Legal Standard on a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint, not the merits of the case. See Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint first must comply with Rule 8(a) by providing "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" (Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)), such that the defendant is given "fair notice of what the * * * claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Second, the factual allegations in the complaint must be sufficient to raise the possibility of relief above the "speculative level," assuming that all of the allegations in the complaint are true.

E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "Detailed factual allegations" are not required, but the plaintiff must allege facts that, when "accepted as true, * * * 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- U.S. ----, ----, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. "[O]nce a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563. The Court accepts as true all of the well-pleaded facts alleged by the plaintiff and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom. See Barnes v. Briley, 420 F.3d 673, 677 (7th Cir. 2005).

III. Analysis

A. Claims Against Cook County Department of Corrections and Cook County Jail

Defendants move to dismiss the claims against Cook County Department of Corrections and Cook County Jail on the ground that they are not suable entities. Plaintiff agrees in her response brief to voluntarily dismiss her claims against Cook County Department of Corrections and Cook County Jail. Therefore, Defendants'motion is granted ...


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