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Lee Holden Parker v. Kenneth Bartley

March 7, 2011

LEE HOLDEN PARKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KENNETH BARTLEY, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Currently pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support filed by Defendants Kenneth Bartley, Sherry Benton, Brian Crowell, Mary Dolce, Terri Kisro, Bart Lind, Carol McBride, Roger Rodely and Wesley Shirley ("Defendants") (Docs. 43, 44) and a Response filed by Plaintiff Lee Holden Parker ("Parker") (Doc. 43). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

Procedural History

Parker filed this action on November 13, 2007 seeking damages, declaratory relief and injunctive relief for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, and 1986, and for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (Doc. 1). After the Court's threshold review of this case on June 3, 2008, three of the seven counts were dismissed (Doc. 5). The remaining four counts are as follows: Count One alleges that Defendants Crowell and Rodely unsafely transported Parker from Pinckneyville Correctional Center ("Pinckneyville") to Menard Correctional Center ("Menard") in May 2005 in violation of the ADA; Count Two alleges that Defendants Shirley and Lind unsafely transported Parker from Pinckneyville to Menard in June 2006 in violation of the ADA; Count Three alleges that Defendants McBride and Lunde unsafely transported Parker from Pinckneyville to Menard in May 2007 in violation of the ADA; and Count Five alleges that Defendants Bartley, Benton, Kisro and Dolce had knowledge of and failed to take corrective action regarding the manner in which Parker was transported between Pinckneyville and Menard in violation of the ADA and the Eighth Amendment. Id.

On May 29, 2009, Defendants Bartley, Benton, Crowell, Dolce, Kisro, Lind, McBride, Rodely and Shirley filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support (Docs. 43, 44). In their motion, Defendants argue that they are entitled to summary judgment because:

(1) Parker has failed to prove a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights; (2) Parker has failed to prove a violation of the ADA; (3) Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity; (4) Parker is not entitled to damages regarding his alleged mental or emotional injuries; and (5) Parker is not entitled to injunctive relief. Id.

Material Facts

At all times relevant to this action, Parker was incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections at Pinckneyville and Menard (Parker's Deposition Dated 4/8/09, Doc. 44-1, p. 9). He has been confined to a wheelchair since 2002 for injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident and osteoarthritis of his spine and coccyx. Id. Parker was disciplined for various offenses while incarcerated at Pinckneyville in 2005, 2006, 2007, and his punishment was to serve time in the segregation unit at Menard. Id. at 10, 26.

On May 5, 2005, Parker was transported by van from Pinckneyville to Menard by Defendants Crowell and Rodely. Id. at 10, 26. Parker was transported back to Pinckneyville, by van, on May 13, 2005. Id.

On June 6, 2006, Parker was again transported by van from Pinckneyville to Menard by Defendants Shirley and Lind (Doc. 44-1, p. 26).

In May 2007, Parker was transported for a third time by van from Pinckneyville to Menard by Defendants A. Lunde*fn1 and McBride (Doc. 44-1, p. 37).

In each instance, Parker was transported in a van equipped with a wheelchair lift in the back (Docs. 1, 5). Parker and his wheelchair were lifted into the rear passenger area of the van and the wheelchair was secured to the floor of the van with Parker "harnessed" into the chair. Id. Parker further describes the method of securing his chair to the van floor as being "geri-rigged" (Doc. 44-1, p. 56). He alleges that the wheelchair has a warning label on it stating "No wheelchair has been approved for use as a seating surface within a motor vehicle." Id.

Although Parker was not involved in an automobile accident during his transports to and from Pinckneyville, he claims that the manner in which his wheelchair is secured inside the vehicle is improper, violates several safety standards, and creates a risk ...


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