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Paine v. Johnson

February 26, 2010

KATHLEEN PAINE, AS GUARDIAN OF THE ESTATE OF CHRISTINA ROSE EILMAN, A DISABLED PERSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER JEFFREY JOHNSON, OFFICER, RICHARD CASON, OFFICER ROSENDO MORENO, LIEUTENANT CARSON EARNEST, SERGEANT DAVID BERGLIND, DETENTION AIDE SHARON STOKES, OFFICER TERESA WILLIAMS, DETENTION AIDE CYNTHIA HUDSON, DETENTION AIDE CATONIA QUINN, OFFICER DEBORAH MABERY, OFFICER PAMELA SMITH, OFFICER BENITA MILLER, OFFICER PAULINE HEARD, AND CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Virginia M. Kendall

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Kathleen Paine ("Paine"), as Guardian of the Estate of Christina Rose Eilman ("Eilman"), filed this suit against the City of Chicago ("the City") and various members of the Chicago Police Department (collectively "Defendants"), alleging violations of Eilman's constitutional rights and federal law. The City has moved for summary judgment on Count XXXIX of Paine's Third Amended Complaint, which brings a claim against the City pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12132. For the reasons set forth herein, the City's Motion for Summary Judgment as to Count XXXIX is denied.

STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS

In February of 2005, Christina Eilman suffered from her first known manic episode. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 45.)*fn1 During this episode, she was involuntarily committed to Sierra Vista Hospital, a mental health facility, because she was deemed a threat to herself or others. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 10.) Eilman was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 1.) Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness and more than 90% of bipolar individuals who suffer one manic episode have subsequent episodes. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 1.) Manic episodes are characterized by exhibition of traits such as inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, rapid or pressured speech, increased activity and distractability, and excessive involvement in activities that have a high risk of negative consequences. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 3.)

From at least November of 2005 until May 16, 2006, there is no documented evidence showing that Eilman received treatment or prescriptions for any mental health conditions. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 14.) Individuals with bipolar disorder may be prescribed medications to help control their symptoms and to help prevent new manic and depressive episodes. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶¶ 15, 16.)

From April 2005 through May 2006, Eilman was employed by 24 Hour Fitness. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 18.) In September 2005, after being accepted as a student at UCLA, she moved to Los Angeles where she rented a room. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶¶ 21, 22.) In the fall of 2005, Eilman enrolled in three classes at UCLA, finishing the semester with a C- average. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 26.)

In March and April of 2006, Eilman began exhibiting changes in her behavior. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 46.) On May 3, 2006, Eilman met with Kyle McJunkin ("McJunkin"), an academic advisor at UCLA, in order to retroactively withdraw from the Winter 2006 term. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 42.) McJunkin did not refer Eilman to the student psychiatric center or the student counseling center. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 42.)

On May 5, 2006, Eilman flew to Chicago, Illinois. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 43.) On May 6th and May 7th, Eilman spent time at Midway Airport. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 44.) While at Midway, her behavior was erratic and impulsive, including screaming at a quiet baby, yelling at a blind man claiming that he was a phony, and throwing her boot at airline personnel. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 20.) She was arrested by the Chicago police on May 7th, held until the following day, and released. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶¶ 48-50.) During her time in detention, eyewitnesses observed at various times that Eilman was excitable and yelling profanities; kicking, banging, and pounding the cell walls and bars; and dancing around, twirling in circles, and flapping her arms. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 19.) Witnesses to Eilman's behavior also observed that her mood would change from jovial and pleasant to angry, abusive, and profane. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 21.) During her detention, Eilman smeared her menstrual blood on her cell bench and walls, after which more than one of her cellmates requested a transfer to another cell. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 28.)

Officers at the facilities where Eilman was detained testified that she was uncooperative, irrational, and refused to answer questions. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 24.) Numerous officers and detention aides described Eilman's behavior as "crazy," "nutty," or "erratic." (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 36.)

Officer Yvonne Delia ("Delia") reported to at least two other officers that, according to Eilman's father, Eilman had not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but could be bipolar. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 33.) Paine, Eilman's mother, told a CPD officer during a phone call on the evening of May 7th, and again on the afternoon of May 8th, that Eilman had bipolar disorder. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶¶ 34, 35.) In both conversations Paine stated that Eilman could be having a bipolar episode. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶¶ 34, 35.)

Dr. Nelson, an expert psychologist, opined that Eilman was in the midst of a manic episode on May 7th and 8th. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 51.) Dr. Dvoskin, also an expert psychologist, opined that Eilman was experiencing a severe manic episode before, during, and after her detention by the Chicago police. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 54.)

Subsequent to her time in Chicago, Eilman has been involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility on three occasions; on all three occasions the commitment was pursuant to "5150," a California statute authorizing the involuntary detention of those deemed to be a threat to themselves or others or "gravely disabled." (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶¶ 15, 16.)

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is proper when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In determining whether a genuine issue of fact exists, the Court must view the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the party opposing the motion. Bennington v. Caterpillar Inc., 275 F.3d 654, 658 (7th Cir. 2001); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, the Court will "limit its analysis of the facts on summary judgment to evidence that is properly identified and supported in the parties' [Local Rule 56.1] statement." Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir. 2000). Where a proposed statement of fact is supported by the record and not adequately rebutted, the court will accept that statement as true for purposes of summary judgment. An adequate rebuttal requires a citation to specific support in the record; an unsubstantiated denial is not adequate. See Albiero v. City of Kankakee, 246 F.3d 927, 933 (7th Cir. 2001); Drake v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., 134 F.3d 878, 887 (7th Cir. 1998) ("'Rule 56 demands something more specific than the bald assertion of the general truth of a particular matter[;] rather it requires affidavits that cite specific concrete facts establishing the existence of the truth of the matter asserted.'").

DISCUSSION

I. Motion to ...


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