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Nicholas Winchester v. Terry Marketti

June 8, 2012

NICHOLAS WINCHESTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TERRY MARKETTI, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James B. Zagel

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Nicholas Winchester brings this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged constitutional deprivations and other injuries he suffered while incarcerated at Grundy County Jail for nine months in 2010. Defendants move to dismiss several claims contained in the complaint. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Parties

Plaintiff Nicholas Winchester is a 30-year-old male. He is a resident of Morris, Illinois. Defendant County of Grundy is a county of the State of Illinois. It oversees the Grundy County Sheriff's Department, which runs the Grundy County Jail. Defendant Terry Marketti is the Grundy County Sheriff and head of the Grundy County Jail. In this position, he promulgates rules, regulations and policies concerning the medical care of inmates. Defendant Duane McComas was the Superintendent of the Grundy County Jail during the relevant time period. Defendants Van Cleave, Walker, and Unknown Employees of Grundy County Jail were employed as correctional officers at the Grundy County Jail during the relevant time period. These Defendants are hereinafter referred to collectively as the "Grundy County Defendants."

Defendant Correctional HealthCare Companies, Inc. ("CHC") is a private correctional healthcare company. Defendant Health Professionals, LTD. ("HPL"), a CHC subsidary, is a private correctional healthcare company that was under contract to provide medical care at the Grundy County Jail during the relevant time period.*fn1 Defendant Dr. Stephen Cullinan is a medical doctor who was employed by HPL during the time period in question. Defendant Marjorie Clauson, RN, is a registered nurse who was employed by HPL during the time period in question. Both Defendants Cullinan and Clauson provided evaluation, care and treatment for inmates at the Grundy County Jail. These Defendants are hereinafter referred to collectively as the "Medical Care Provider Defendants."

B. Alleged Facts

The pertinent facts taken from the complaint are as follows. On March 4, 2010, police officers from the City of Morris, Illinois beat Plaintiff severely during the course of an arrest. Plaintiff was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a brain hemorrhage and other injuries. He was released from the hospital on March 12, 2010 and was immediately taken into custody by police officers and brought to the Grundy County Jail.

On the evening of March 15, 2010, Plaintiff was brought before a judge for his probable cause hearing. The judge ordered Plaintiff detained pending trial.

Plaintiff was held as a pretrial detainee at the Grundy County Jail for nine months. During this period Plaintiff began suffering from seizures. He also suffered from anxiety attacks and back pain. The complaint does not give a specific date when the seizures began, nor does it state how many seizures Plaintiff suffered from. Plaintiff told Defendants of his need for anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, and pain medication. Defendants also observed his physical symptoms.

Despite being on notice of Plaintiff's serious medical need, Defendants failed to provide needed medical attention. The complaint states that Defendants "took no steps" to provide Plaintiff with his medications (Compl. ¶ 33) and that he sometimes "went a week or more without any medications." (Compl. ¶ 34). Rather than give Plaintiff the medication he needed, Defendant Clauson provided him with Benadryl, for which he had no need. Defendant Clauson told Plaintiff that he would not be given his other medications unless he took the Benadryl.

As a result of the deficient medical care Plaintiff suffered repeated seizures, anxiety attacks and persistent back pain, which resulted in physical and emotional injuries.

On December 28, 2011, Plaintiff filed a seven-count complaint against Defendants. Counts one through four--denial of medical care, unreasonable detention, conspiracy, and failure to intervene--are brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Counts five through seven--intentional infliction of emotional distress, respondeat superior, and a claim for indemnification--are state law claims. Defendants move to dismiss all claims, with the apparent exception of the state law claims against Defendant Clauson.

II. ANALYSIS

A Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) requires that I analyze the legal sufficiency of the complaint, and not the factual merits of the case. Autry v. Northwest Premium Servs., Inc., 144 F.3d 1037, 1039 (7th Cir.1998). I must take all facts alleged in Plaintiff's complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences from those facts in favor of Plaintiff. Caldwell v. City of Elwood, 959 F.2d 670, 671 (7th Cir.1992). Plaintiff, for its part, must do more than solely recite the elements for a violation; it must plead with sufficient particularity so that its right to relief is more than a mere conjecture. Bell Atl., Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Plaintiff must plead its facts so that, when accepted as true, they show the plausibility of its claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Plaintiff must do more than plead facts that are "consistent with Defendant's liability" because that only shows the possibility, not the plausibility, of their entitlement to relief. Id. (internal quotations omitted).

In applying Twombly and Iqbal, the Seventh Circuit has required the plaintiff to "provid[e] some specific facts" to support the legal claims set out in the complaint. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). "[T]he plaintiff must give enough details about the subject matter of the case to present a story that holds together." Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010). The more complex ...


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