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Randolph Troy Harper, Sr v. Sheriff Thomas Dart

May 3, 2011

RANDOLPH TROY HARPER, SR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
SHERIFF THOMAS DART, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS D/B/A CERMAK HEALTH SERVICES OF COOK COUNTY; MICHAEL PUISIS, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; DR. AVERY HART, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; DR. JAMES S. KAPOTAS; DR. Y. YU; DR. N. ALI; AND OTHER UNIDENTIFIED EMPLOYEES OF COOK COUNTY JAIL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case comes before the Court on the motion of Defendants Cook County d/b/a Cermak Health Services of Cook County ("Cermak"), Dr. Avery Hart, Dr. Michael Puisis, Dr. James Kapotas, Dr. Yan Yu, and Dr. Nagib Ali (collectively, "Defendants") to dismiss Plaintiff Randolph Harper's ("Harper") Third Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion is denied.

RELEVANT FACTS

For purposes of the motion to dismiss, we accept the allegations of the Complaint as true. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501 (1975). Since November 10, 2009, Harper has been incarcerated as a pre-trial detainee in the Cook County Department of Corrections ("Cook County Jail"). Because of a physical handicap, Harper walks with a cane and has obtained permission to use his cane at Cook County Jail. On or about November 27, 2009, several officers, without explanation, confiscated Harper's cane. Three days later, on November 30, 2009, Harper slipped and fell, hitting his collarbone on a sink and fracturing his left wrist. Harper visited the in-house medical facility, the dispensary, to obtain medical attention for his injuries. Dr. Yu rubbed Harper's wrist and stated that nothing was wrong. Dr. Yu did not examine Harper's collarbone. Harper then visited Cermak, which provides medical services to inmates detained at Cook County Jail. At Cermak, Dr. Kapotas examined Harper and said nothing was wrong with Harper's wrist. Dr. Kapotas did not order any x-rays and did not examine Harper's collarbone.

On December 10, 2009, December 18, 2009, December 19, 2009, and December 24, 2009, Harped filed detainee grievances, complaining of pain in his wrist. On several occasions, Harper visited the dispensary and was seen by either Dr. Yu or Dr. Ali who never performed an x-ray, but continuously maintained that nothing was wrong with Harper's wrist.

On or about February 25, 2010, 87 days after Harper's injury, Dr. Kapotas ordered an x-ray of Harper's wrist. A radiologist found that Harper's wrist was fractured. Even though Harper's wrist was fractured, Dr. Kapotas did not place a splint on Harper's wrist until approximately five days later. Dr. Kapotas recommended that Harper see an orthopaedic hand specialist.

On March 24, 2010, Harped filed a detainee grievance, complaining that he was being denied access to an orthopaedic hand specialist and that his collarbone was causing him pain and had not been x-rayed. On April 12, 2010, Harper's grievance was denied by Cook County. As of the date of Harper's Complaint, no doctor had examined or x-rayed Harper's collarbone.

On April 15, 2010, Harper returned to Cermak and Dr. Kapotas removed the splint, took x-rays of Harper's wrist, and stated that Harper's wrist was fully healed. The next day, Harper visited a hand specialist who determined, contrary to Dr. Kapotas's finding, that Harper's wrist was not healed and required surgery. The doctors put a cast on Harper's wrist and scheduled him for surgery on June 24, 2010. For reasons unknown to Harper, the staff at Cook County Jail did not bring Harper to his scheduled surgery. On September 2, 2010, Harper had surgery on his wrist.

In December 2010, Harper frequently complained of wrist pain. After three weeks of agonizing pain, on December 27, 2010, Harper went to the dispensary and then to Cermak because the rods in his wrist had punctured his skin. Harper again had surgery on his wrist and, as of the date of Harper's Complaint, Harper's wrist had not healed properly.

On March 3, 2011, Harper filed his Third Amended Complaint against Defendants Sheriff Dart, Cook County d/b/a Cermak, Dr. Puisis (Cermak's Chief Operating Officer), Dr. Hart (Cermak's Chief Medical Officer), Dr. Kapotas, Dr. Yu, Dr. Ali, and other unidentified employees of Cook County Jail, alleging claims for inadequate medical treatment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On March 30, 2011, Defendants Cook County, Cermak, Dr. Puisis, Dr. Hart, Dr. Kapotas, Dr. Ali, and Dr. Yu filed a motion to dismiss Harper's claims.

LEGAL STANDARD

A pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, but requires more than a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must contain sufficient facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Id. at 570. In ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court must accept the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, construe the allegations of the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Hentosh v. Herman M. Finch Univ. of Health Scis./The Chi. Med. Sch., 167 F.3d 1170, 1173 (7th Cir. 1999).

DISCUSSION

I. Count I Against Drs. Yu, Ali, ...


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