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Hahn v. Walsh

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Urbana Division

March 14, 2013

Patrick HAHN and Erik Redwood, Administrator of the Estate of Janet Louise Hahn, Deceased, Plaintiffs,
Daniel WALSH, et al., Defendants.

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Jude Marie Redwood, Redwood Law Office, St. Joseph, IL, for Plaintiffs.

Brian Michael Smith, Keith Eric Fruehling, Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen, Urbana, IL, Howard W. Small, Law Office of Small & Freeman Ltd., Champaign, IL, for Defendants.


MICHAEL P. McCUSKEY, District Judge.

This case is before the court for ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment (# 124) filed by Defendants City of Urbana, Sylvia Morgan, Matthew Bain and Angela Menocci (Urbana Defendants), the Motion for Summary Judgment (# 130) filed by Defendants Daniel Walsh (Walsh) and County of Champaign, Illinois (Champaign County), the Motion for Summary Judgment (# 133) filed by Defendant Health Professionals Ltd. (HPL), and related Motions to Strike (# 138, # 159, # 161). This court has carefully considered the arguments of the parties and the documents provided by the parties. Following this careful and thorough review, this court rules as follows: (1) the Urbana Defendants' Motion to Strike (# 138) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; (2) the Motions to Strike (# 159, # 161) filed by Plaintiffs, Patrick Hahn and Erik Redwood, Administrator of the Estate of Janet Louise Hahn, are DENIED; and (3) Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment (# 124, # 130, # 133) are GRANTED.


Janet Hahn (Janet) was a 33-year-old type 1 insulin-dependent diabetic who also suffered from mental health issues. She and Patrick Hahn (Patrick) were married in November 2006, although they had a lengthy relationship prior to the date of their marriage. They had a child together in June 2006 in Bloomington, Illinois. The child was removed from their care by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) immediately after the child's birth. Janet and Patrick had visitation with the child and a service plan was

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in place which set out specific goals and tasks to be accomplished in order to obtain custody of the child. Janet and Patrick moved to Urbana the summer of 2006. At that time, Janelle Dobbin was working for Catholic Charities, a service provider for DCFS. In October 2006, Dobbin began working with Janet and Patrick. Dobbin testified that Janet and Patrick were making little or no progress in accomplishing the goals and tasks set out in their service plan. Dobbin testified that, in May 2007, she had written a report recommending the termination of Janet and Patrick's parental rights. Dobbin testified that, at that point, reunification with their child was unlikely if not impossible.

Janet had problems with control of her diabetes. In 2006 and 2007, calls were made to Metropolitan Computer Aided Dispatch (METCAD) on numerous occasions. The documentation shows that Janet was reported to be unconscious in many of these calls. Calls were also made to report domestic violence situations involving Janet and Patrick. Urbana police officers took Janet to the hospital for treatment of her diabetes following some of these calls. On February 25, 2007, Janet was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. The documentation states that Janet reported taking too much insulin in an attempt to kill herself. The report was signed by Urbana Police Officer Alex Ruggieri. The documentation does not show when Janet was released from the mental health facility. However, it shows that METCAD was called on March 10, 2007, and a report was made that Janet was at her residence and was unconscious. Police officers responded to this call and other calls in March and Janet was again involuntarily committed on March 27, 2007. On April 13, 2007, Janet was observed walking in and out of traffic and laying in the road. The police were called and Janet was admitted to a mental health facility for a mental evaluation.

John Hawn, Janet and Patrick's landlord, testified that Janet was mentally slow. Hawn testified that, on approximately six occasions, Patrick had called on him to administer insulin injections to Janet because she had fallen unconscious.

Janet was arrested in May 2007 and was taken to the Champaign County jail. Susan Swain, a nurse who worked for HPL at the jail sent an email on May 6, 2007 regarding Janet which stated:

Hi there! This young lady is quite a challenge to work with. She refuses to disclose any of her medical history or conditions except for the fact that she is insulin dependant diabetic. She also refuses to sign any release of information and told me that she will not tell me who her doctor is or where she seeks treatment at. She will be leaving tomorrow (05-07-07) and she states that she will not eat while she is here. She has pretty much tied my hands as far as helping her goes. Please bring her to the infirmary to test her blood sugar tonight and tomorrow morning BUT I am not at all sure that she will cooperate with the test. She can give herself insulin per sliding scale however I am pretty sure that she will not do that either! Thanks for your assistance in this matter!!!!

The email was sent to " Corrections."

On June 15, 2007, Dobbin drove Janet to an appointment for a mental health evaluation required as part of the service plan. Dobbin testified that Janet was cooperative and said she had some food with her in her purse. Dobbin testified, however, that she did not know if Janet had anything to eat that day or if Janet took any insulin. Dobbin returned Janet to her home late that afternoon. Dobbin testified that Janet called her and left her a voice mail message around 4:00 that afternoon. Dobbin stated that Janet sounded agitated on the voice mail. Hawn testified that he was at the trailer park doing maintenance

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and saw Janet yelling at Patrick, throwing things and chasing Patrick around the trailer park. Hawn testified that he called 911 before Janet caught Patrick. Patrick testified that Janet chased him around the trailer park with a knife and he ended up getting stabbed on the left side of his lower back.

Around 5:36 p.m. that day, METCAD received a call involving a female chasing a male with a knife. Urbana Police Officers Sylvia Morgan and Matthew Bain responded to the call. Urbana Police Officer Angela Menocci [2] also responded to the call. Menocci had previously responded to a call to Janet's residence. Menocci saw Patrick lying on the ground. She investigated Patrick's wound and determined that it was about one inch long and a quarter of an inch deep and did not appear life threatening. Menocci went along with Patrick on his ambulance ride to the hospital. At his deposition, taken August 26, 2010, Patrick testified that he did not remember whether he had an occasion to speak to the police and tell them anything about what had happened on June 15, 2007.

Menocci testified that she spoke to Hawn and Sherie Davis at the scene. Davis, who was apparently a neighbor of Janet and Patrick's in the trailer park, stated in her Declaration that she was interviewed by an unnamed female Urbana police officer before Patrick was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Davis said she told the officer that Janet was a diabetic who needs insulin every day, that Janet had a really hard time controlling her diabetes, especially in summer, and that Janet kept insulin in Davis's refrigerator. Davis said that she also told the officer that Janet had mental problems and had talked about killing herself. Davis said she told the officer that the ambulance was always coming and taking Janet to the emergency room and Janet needed to be taken to the emergency room that day. Davis stated that she offered to get Janet's insulin but the officer told her to go into her apartment and stay there.

Morgan was the commanding or supervising officer at the scene. Morgan testified that she asked the dispatcher to call for medical personnel. Morgan testified that she knew through other police officers that the police had been called to Janet and Patrick's address before because of domestic problems and that there was something wrong with Janet mentally. Janet had been seen entering her trailer after she stabbed Patrick. Bain kicked the door to Janet and Patrick's trailer and Bain and Morgan entered and found Janet inside lying on the couch with her eyes closed. Morgan ran her knuckles along Janet's sternum in an attempt to get a reaction from her. Janet did not react to the sternum rub. Morgan testified that they had to physically hold her up to put handcuffs on her. Morgan testified that they waited for the medical personnel to arrive. Two EMTs, Brian Nightlinger and Randy Hausle entered the trailer. Nightlinger testified that he had responded to a call at Janet's trailer on a prior occasion and knew she was a diabetic. Nightlinger checked her blood pressure, which was 130/84, and Hausle checked her blood sugar, which was 96, a reading within the normal range. Nightlinger testified that Janet had a decent blood sugar and a decent blood pressure. No other vital signs were taken by the EMTs. Nightlinger testified that paramedics arrived and used smelling salts and Janet responded. Morgan testified that Janet opened her eyes in response to the smelling salts. The paramedics thought Janet had been faking unconsciousness. Nightlinger and Hausle testified that Janet scored a 15 on the Glasgow coma scale, which Hausle testified

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was the highest rating on the scale and meant that the person is " fully alert and there's nothing— nothing wrong that would indicate any problem." Nightlinger testified that the score meant that " she had good contact, she had good motor skills and verbal, she was able to speak to us." Hausle testified that he witnessed that Janet was able to speak. Nightlinger testified that the paramedics determined that Janet was okay to be released for transport by the Urbana police.

Morgan testified that the medical personnel determined that Janet did not need to go to the hospital and that Janet agreed to walk out of the trailer on her own. Bain also testified that Janet walked out of the trailer. Hawn testified that he saw Janet being taken out of the trailer. He stated that Janet was upright but it did not look like she was walking and instead looked like three people were dragging her. Hawn testified that he told the officers that they should take Janet to the emergency room. Hawn testified that the officers told him " we don't go to the emergency room, we go to the jail." Janet was arrested for aggravated domestic battery and Bain transported her to the Champaign County satellite jail. Bain testified that Janet spoke to him and answered questions during transport. Bain turned Janet over to a correctional officer at the jail. Morgan testified that Officer Ruggieri was at the scene and she instructed him to recover some kitchen knives from the house of a neighbor and to take some pictures. Morgan did not recall Ruggieri informing her that he had been on the scene within the last few months when Janet was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.

Janet arrived at the Champaign County satellite jail at approximately 6:23 p.m. Chad Schweighart was working as a correctional officer and assisted Janet out of the Urbana police car and into the jail. Walsh is the Champaign County Sheriff and is responsible for the Corrections Division of the Champaign County Sheriff's Office, including the downtown jail and the satellite jail. The Sheriff's Office contracts with HPL to provide medical care and mental health care for inmates in the jails. HPL is a privately owned Illinois corporation engaged in administering medical and behavioral healthcare to correctional facilities. HPL staffed the jails with an on-site doctor who came once per week, registered nurses and mental health personnel. HPL staff were at the satellite jail seven days a week. Correctional officers could call the on-call nurse anytime. In June 2007, HPL had written policies, procedures and protocols in effect regarding the identification and handling of pretrial detainees suffering serious medical conditions, including mental illness and diabetes. The protocol for diabetic inmates whose medical condition was unknown was for blood sugars to be checked twice daily, insulin to be delivered per sliding scale and an evening snack.

Walsh had no involvement with Janet during the time she was in the jail. However, the Sheriff's Office had written protocols regarding care of diabetic inmates. It is the policy of the Sheriff's Office that all examinations, treatments and procedures affected by informed consent standards in the community are observed for inmate health care. Therefore, it is the policy of the Sheriff's Office that if a person appears to make a knowing decision to refuse medical care, the Sheriff's Office will not force medical care upon an inmate. When a diabetic inmate fails or refuses to have his or her blood sugar checked with Accu-Chek, supervisors are to report this occurrence to medical staff. Per policy, if an inmate makes a knowing decision to refuse to use the Accu-Chek machine to check blood sugar or to refuse meals, the Sheriff's Office does not force an inmate to use the Accu-Chek machine or eat. When

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a diabetic patient does not cooperate with medical care, the correctional officer is to notify the supervisor and an HPL nurse. In June 2007, it was HPL policy that if a diabetic inmate refused treatment, the nurse was to attempt to have the inmate sign a refusal of care form. Correctional officers were advised that medication could not be forced upon inmates.

In 2007, it was procedure that if an inmate refused a meal, the correctional officer distributing meals was to notify the supervisor. If an inmate refused more than one meal, it was the normal practice for the correctional officer to report that information to the supervisor and the medical staff. The medical staff and/or the mental health care staff would make the determination as to the appropriate course of care for an inmate who was refusing meals. Correctional officers confronted with a situation where an inmate was non-compliant, whether the non-compliance involved a non-medical or medical issue, were to report the situation to their supervisor. It is undisputed that it was the policy of the Champaign County Sheriff's office that METCAD or 911 would be called if an inmate was experiencing an " obvious/life-threatening acute/emergency situation."

It is undisputed that correctional officers at the jail received medical training at the Police Training institute for correctional officers. Correctional officers also received follow-up medical and mental health training on an annual basis. It is undisputed that this training included training about the care and monitoring of diabetic patients, including instruction about the warning signs for hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood sugar). This training was performed by HPL.

When Janet entered the jail, Schweighart completed an intake form. Schweighart testified that Janet was angry and uncooperative and " refus[ed] to do everything we ask[ed] her to do." Schweighart asked Janet a series of routine intake questions. He asked Janet if she was suicidal. Initially she would not answer but later reported that she was diabetic and that she felt like hurting herself. She otherwise refused to answer his questions. It is undisputed that Janet refused to provide information about the type of insulin she was prescribed and refused to sign releases for medical information. Schweighart documented that Janet was " not oriented for time and place" during booking and described her as " not being all there." Schweighart called his supervisor, Michael Johnson, and advised him that Janet reported being suicidal and diabetic and otherwise refused to answer questions.

Janet was placed on suicide watch which called for correctional officers to personally observe her and check on her well-being every 15 minutes. Correctional Officer Jenna Thode testified that, when doing the checks of inmates every 15 minutes, she would make sure there was movement, make sure they are breathing. Janet was issued a suicide gown, or green gown, and a green blanket as a suicide precaution. Both are made of non-tear material and designed in such a way that they cannot be easily fashioned into a tool of suicide because they cannot be torn into strips and fashioned into a noose. Schweighart testified that, as the night went on, Janet was banging on the door of her cell and was yelling.

Joanne Lewis was a correctional officer and was on duty the evening of June 15, 2007. At the beginning of her shift, she opened the door to the cell to speak to Janet. She later opened the door and gave Janet a meal.[3] On both occasions,

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Janet was wearing the green gown. Later, Janet stuffed the green blanket or gown into the toilet in the cell. There is conflicting testimony regarding whether this caused flooding in the cell, but it is undisputed that the water to her cell was shut off. It is undisputed that, when drinking water is shut off to an inmate's cell, water was provided upon request. At some point, Janet was naked in her cell and Lewis went into the cell to convince her to get into the green gown and assisted her in putting it on.

Johnson spoke to Janet and discussed that she was a diabetic and discussed checking her blood sugar. Initially Janet refused to check her blood sugar, and after extensive discussions, Johnson was able to convince her to have it checked. However, Janet was unwilling to prick her own finger to test her blood sugar with the Accu-Chek machine. Johnson conferred with Kendra Adams, the HPL nurse who was on-call. Johnson discussed the propriety of pricking Janet's finger to gather blood for the Accu-Chek machine, given that Janet had consented and expressed a desire for him to do so. At 9:40 p.m., Janet's blood sugar was taken and the reading was 160. The blood sugar was recorded on a form called the " Blood Sugar and Insulin Tracking Sheet." A normal blood sugar reading is 80-120 but no insulin was given to Janet. According to Johnson, Adams advised him that the 160 reading was within an acceptable range. [4]

Johnson wrote an email to HPL staff that night and stated that Janet was in booking and needed to be seen. He also stated that Janet was a " psych patient" and had meds in the drawer in booking. He advised that Janet had a cut and stitches on her left hand and that the bandage was removed due to Janet making statements of self-harm. He stated that Janet was unpredictable and had flooded the booking area by placing her gown and blanket in the toilet, and had remained naked for a period of time until he and Lewis were able to convince her to stay dressed. He reported that her blood sugar was 160 and she was not given insulin. Johnson also used the pass-on log to pass information about Janet to others on duty and subsequent shifts. Johnson included most of the same information and also stated that Janet had been very uncooperative. Johnson also advised the following shift that the water in Janet's cell had been turned off. A segregation log, a chart for noting information including meals, refusal of meals and comments, was started for Janet because she was housed alone on suicide watch. Donald MacFarlane testified that he was an inmate at the jail during the time Janet was there in June 2007. MacFarlane testified that, after about 9:00 on June 15, 2007, Janet was standing at the cell window for more than an hour yelling that she needed help and to call her doctor.

Karee Voges testified that she was a correctional officer and worked from 11:45 p.m. on June 15, 2007 to 8:15 a.m. on June 16, 2007. She testified that she knew Janet was a Type 1 diabetic. Voges testified that, although Janet was angry and uncooperative during her prior incarceration, she and Janet built a rapport over the course of that incarceration. Throughout the night, Janet asked for cups of water which Voges brought to her. Voges brought breakfast to Janet around 6:30 a.m. and documented that Janet refused breakfast.

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Alyson Morris worked for HPL as a mental health clinician in June 2007.[5] Morris testified that she had a master's degree in counseling and received training through her employment, which including training regarding suicide prevention and risk factors related to suicide in a correctional environment. Morris had a brief interaction with Janet before 10:00 a.m. on June 16, 2007. Morris wrote an email to Johnson, and copied her co-worker Jennifer Nicholas and supervisor Greg Whicker. Morris reported that Janet was still uncooperative and angry. At approximately 9:30 a.m., Nurse Susan Swain arrived at the satellite jail. Swain reviewed paperwork completed the night before by Schweighart. Swain recalled that Janet had not cooperated with her medical care during her prior incarceration. Swain checked Janet's medical records from her prior incarcerations and was aware that Janet was an insulin-dependent diabetic, had previously refused insulin and blood sugar checks and had endometriosis.

Generally, blood sugars were tested with an Accu-Chek machine twice a day, in the morning and late afternoon, in the infirmary of the jail. Janet's blood sugar was checked at 9:57 a.m.[6] Correctional Officer Carl Brown brought the Accu-Chek machine to her rather than forcing her to go to the infirmary. Janet's blood sugar reading was 396. This reading was documented on the Blood Sugar and Insulin Tracking Sheet. Brown called Swain and advised her of the reading. Swain visited Janet and attempted to take vital signs, perform other assessments and obtain a medical history. Janet was not forthcoming with information. A way of obtaining information regarding an inmate's medical history is to contact the inmate's physician and/or health care providers in an attempt to obtain records and thereby provide the opportunity to establish continuity of care. However, it is undisputed that this requires a signed release of information by the inmate. Janet refused to sign any medical releases. Swain testified that Janet was oriented to time and place and did not complain she was not feeling well. Swain offered to take Janet to the infirmary for insulin. Janet refused to go to the infirmary. Swain offered to bring the insulin to Janet and Janet took 20 units of regular insulin, which was recorded on the Blood Sugar and Insulin Tracking Sheet. Later that morning, Janet was in bond court.

Morris conducted an in-person assessment of Janet and concluded that Janet was to remain on suicide watch and be reassessed in 24 to 48 hours. Morris completed an Initial Mental Health Screening and Assessment Form and noted that Janet reported that she had been taking Seroquel for a few months and was receiving treatment from Dr. Yang at the Mental Health Clinic. At 2:09 p.m., Morris communicated via email with the corrections staff, Nicholas and Whicker about her observations. Morris stated that Janet was " mentally retarded and a poor historian" and that the information she was able to get indicated that Janet was taking meds primarily for sleep. Morris stated that Janet was to remain on suicide watch for at least 72 hours and that mental health would reassess in 24 to 48 hours. Morris also informed Swain that Janet was uncooperative

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and angry and that Morris was trying to reenforce to Janet and impress upon her the need to cooperate with the medical staff regarding taking her insulin and Accu-Cheks regularly, eating and drinking. Janet was set up in a medical protocol to monitor and treat her diabetes which required blood sugar checks twice per day, insulin to be administered per the sliding scale established by HPL and an evening snack. There is no evidence that Janet did, or did not, receive an evening snack during her incarceration at the jail.

Brown informed Eric Ruff, who was working the subsequent shift, that Janet was diabetic and did not eat lunch. Jenna Thode was also aware that Janet was a diabetic. Thode escorted Janet to the infirmary around 4:00 p.m. for a blood sugar check. The reading was 107, which is a normal blood sugar. Thode testified that she initially wrote her badge number, 320, in the space for the blood sugar reading, scratched it out and wrote 107 on the Blood Sugar and Insulin Tracking Sheet. Officers documented that Janet refused dinner that evening. MacFarlane testified that Janet was standing at the window of her cell that night. He testified that she looked very sickly and pale and looked " really withdrawn and out of it."

Voges worked from 11:45 p.m. on June 16, 2007, to 8:15 a.m. on June 17, 2007. She brought Janet water on multiple occasions. Voges asked Janet to have her blood sugar checked in the morning. Voges testified that the Accu-Chek machine read " E." An additional attempt was made to check Janet's blood sugar and the machine again read " E." This was not documented on the Blood Sugar and Insulin Tracking Sheet. Terrance Alexander worked as a correctional officer between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. that day. The earlier shift informed his shift that Janet had refused to eat breakfast and that attempts were ...

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