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Moore v. Kankakee County

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

December 4, 2013

KRYSTAL MOORE on behalf of herself, on behalf of JA'QUAN TERRELL SMITH (a minor, deceased), JA'QUAY TERRENCE SMITH (a minor, deceased), and TERRENCE SMITH Plaintiffs,


COLIN S. BRUCE, District Judge.

Defendants filed this Partial Motion for Summary Judgment (#97) on July 1, 2013. Plaintiffs filed their Response (#101) to the motion on August 8, 2013. Defendants filed their Amended Reply (#122) on September 12, 2013. The motion is now fully briefed and ready for judgment. For the following reasons, Defendants' Partial Motion for Summary Judgment (#97) is GRANTED in full.


Factual Background

The Parties

Plaintiff Krystal Moore, at all relevant times in this case, was detained in the Flex Housing Unit at the Jerome Combs Detention Center (JCDC) in Kankakee, Illinois. Plaintiff Terrence Smith[1] was the father of the twins that Plaintiff Moore was carrying. Defendant Sheriff Timothy Bukowski was responsible for the operation of the JCDC. Defendants Dr. Clyde Dayhoff and Dr. Jeffrey Long were two of the Medical Directors at the JCDC. Defendant Ivetta Charee Sangster was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) employed by the JCDC. Defendant Cpl. Sabrina Flowers was the supervising correctional officer assigned to booking at JCDC. Defendants Jacqueline Harcar, David Schultz, Marty Calloway, and Dean Dyer were correctional officers at the JCDC. Additionally, Calloway was assigned to booking and Dyer was a "first responder."

The Incident

On September 11, 2011, Plaintiff was 22 to 24 months pregnant with twins. This was Plaintiff's first pregnancy. Plaintiff testified during her deposition that she had begun experiencing pain through her back and stomach during the early morning hours of September 11 and complained to cellmate Kenyatta Williams of the pain. Alicia Hunter was housed in the cell next to Plaintiff and heard Plaintiff requesting aid early in the morning of September 11 by pushing the intercom button. The intercoms connect inmates to the correctional officers working in the housing units. At five or six o'clock that morning Plaintiff told Hunter that she was still in pain. Hunter pressed the intercom in her cell to summon aid, but a male correctional officer (unidentified) on the other end of the intercom told her to mind her own business. After the cell doors opened at 8:00 a.m., Hunter took a shower and then went to Plaintiff's cell to look in on her. Hunter saw Plaintiff balled up on the bed.

Defendant Officer Harcar stated that she first became aware of Plaintiff's complaints of stomach pain sometime after 9:30 in the morning.[2] Plaintiff disputes Harcar's claim, arguing that, due to visual inspections conducted by the correctional officers, Harcar would have become aware of Plaintiff's situation before 9:30. Harcar was on shift in Flex from 6:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and was obliged to report to her housing unit by 7:15. Harcar had previously interacted with Plaintiff while Plaintiff was in the JCDC. Harcar was not aware of Plaintiff having a bad reputation at JCDC before September 11, 2011. Plaintiff claimed that she told Harcar she thought she was in labor and needed to go to the hospital. Harcar denied that Plaintiff told her she thought she was in labor. Kenyatta Williams told Harcar that morning that Plantiff was having contractions. Harcar knew that Plaintiff was pregnant with twins and believed Plaintiff to be five to six months in to her pregnancy.

Harcar asked Defendant Officer Schultz to contact Defendant Cpl. Flowers about Plaintiff's complaints. Schultz was also on shift in Flex from 6:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., during which he was supposed to perform a check every 30 minutes. During the check officers must hit an electromagnetic sensor with a wand and do a visual scan of each cell. Kenyatta Williams claims she saw Schultz standing in Plaintiff's doorway between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. At this time she could also see Plaintiff. Schultz knew that Plaintiff was pregnant, but did not himself know how far along Plaintiff was in her pregnancy. Schultz had been told that Plaintiff was "probably" six months pregnant. Schultz admitted that Plaintiff asked to go to the hospital. At around 9:36 a.m. Schultz contacted booking and informed Defendant Officer Dyer, a first responder, that a pregnant inmate was complaining about stomach pain. A first responder is a correctional officer who has been trained to take vitals, including pulse, blood pressure, and temperature and to recognize and assess some kinds of emergency situations.

Dyer informed Flowers about Plaintiff's complaint. Flowers instructed Schultz to call the nurse because Flowers knew Defendant Nurse Sangster was at the JCDC that morning. Sangster was at the JCDC that morning for a few hours and was on-call along with Registered Nurse Heather Gill for the remainder of the day. Sangster was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and if officers had a medical issue, she was contacted. Schultz called the medical department as instructed, but Sangster was not there. He called around to other housing units and was eventually able to speak to Sangster about Plaintiff's complaints. Schultz did not recall the specifics of his conversation with Sangster, but the nurse did not inform him that this was an emergency situation. Schultz saw Plaintiff walking around the housing unit throughout his shift and she did not appear, to Schultz at least, to be in any distress. Flowers spoke with Sangster face to face while she was still in the jail that morning. Sangster told Flowers that she was aware of Plaintiff's situation, that there was nothing wrong, and that Plaintiff would be seen the following day by the doctor. Flowers did not see or speak with Plaintiff at all on September 11, 2011.

At some point during the morning, before 11:30, Plaintiff asked Williams to call her mother. Williams called Julie Moore, Plaintiff's mother, and asked her to call the prison because Plaintiff was having pains and wanted to go to the hospital. Julie Moore called the prison and spoke with Dyer. Moore informed Dyer that Plaintiff was having pains, that it could be contractions, and that she probably needed to go to the hospital because it was too early to have the children. Dyer told Moore that he had a call in to the nurse and they were supposed to be coming out. Moore asked if a nurse was on her way to see Plaintiff, and Dyer answered in the affirmative.

Shortly before 11:30 am, Plaintiff complained to Harcar about continued pain. Harcar then contacted Flowers and informed her that she needed a first responder to come to Flex because Plaintiff was complaining about stomach pain. Flowers told Harcar that Sangster said nothing was wrong with Plaintiff. Flowers told Harcar to tell Plaintiff that "she can stop calling her mama because her mama can't do nothing up in here." Flowers knew that Julie Moore had called in to the facility and said that Plaintiff was having stomach pains and needed to go to the hospital. Harcar told Flowers that Plaintiff did not appear to be in any distress. Harcar told Plaintiff to try and relax. Harcar related to Plaintiff that she (Harcar) had previously been pregnant with twins and knew that at times it could be uncomfortable.[3] Harcar told Plaintiff that her body was going to go through some changes and pain while carrying two babies. Harcar allowed Plaintiff to stay out of her cell so she could try to get comfortable.[4] Harcar also allowed inmates Kenyatta Williams and Alicia Hunter to stay with Plaintiff.

Flowers directed Dyer to go to the Flex Housing Unit and provide first responder services to Plaintiff. However, before going to the housing unit Dyer called Sangster, who was no longer at JCDC. Dyer, who had just spoken to Plaintiff's mother, informed Sangster that Plaintiff was complaining about stomach pain. Their conversation was as follows:

"Dyer: Okay. And the next thing I have is a female down in Flex, pregnant, states she's having stomach pains. Her mom called here, said she called home, said we wouldn't do nothing about it, and she thinks she's having contractions.
Sangster: She's not having any bleeding or anything; is she?
Dyer: I'm going down to first respond her now.
Sangster: Yeah, they called me when I was out there actually about her. Krystal Moore, she's - in my opinion, a lot of times she's full of shit. She don't even want to take her prenatal vitamins for the baby.[5] You know what I'm saying?
Dyer: Okay.
Sangster: And now you talking about she having stomach cramps. You can go eyeball her and call me back if you want. She's probably full of shit. But you can let her know that she can see the doctor tomorrow if she'd like. Actually, she was scheduled to see him, but refused. So if she doesn't - take her blood pressure. If she doesn't appear to be in any serious distress, she's going to wait until tomorrow.
Dyer: Okay.
Sangster: All right. Thanks.
Dyer: Uh-huh.
Sangster: All right. Bye."
Dyer then went to the Flex Housing Unit with Calloway. Kenyatta Williams was with Plaintiff while Dyer and Calloway were in the Flex unit. Dyer took Plaintiff's vitals, which were all within the normal range. Dyer asked Plaintiff if she was bleeding and she told him that she was not. Plaintiff claims that she told Dyer that she thought she was in labor. Plaintiff did not ask to speak with Calloway. Plaintiff did not look to be in distress to either Dyer or Calloway while they were in the Flex Housing Unit with her[6]. Neither Dyer nor Calloway had any further contact with Plaintiff that day. Dyer informed Harcar that Plaintiff's vitals were all within the normal range and that she did not look to him to be in any distress. Williams testified that Dyer and Plaintiff had a disagreement about the blood pressure cuff, but she did not remember the nature of the disagreement. Dyer also informed Flowers that Plaintiff's vitals were fine.

After this incident, Plaintiff called her mother Julie Moore and told her she was in pain and was afraid she was in labor. Plaintiff told her mother she knew it was contractions and that the pain was going down to her private parts. Plaintiff was in tears while speaking to her mother. No nursing staff or doctors came to visit with Plaintiff that day. Dyer was in contact with Sangster throughout the day and he was the only first responder that went to see Plaintiff. Schultz had no training on how to assess whether a woman was in labor, but he was trained to contact a first responder or medical staff member, as were the other correctional officers. The correctional officer Defendants did not have training on how to assess a pregnant inmate. Harcar was aware that Sangster was only a LPN and stated, in her deposition, that "I know an LPN can only do so much... an LPN is pretty much... the RN's little flunky basically [the RN] tells [the LPN] what to do."

Sangster testified as follows about her training with regard to pregnancy:
"Attorney: Okay. When you were trained as an LPN, what sort of training did you receive regarding assessing pregnancy?
Sangster: Just like you would assess anyone else, other than asking them about their last period, if they've had any problems with the pregnancy, if they're currently having issues.
Other than that, you assess them as you would anybody else.
Attorney: So, am I correct to say that when you received your LPN training you didn't receive any other training regarding a person in labor?
Sangster: Specific training? Just assessing someone as far as if they appear to be in distress, checking their vitals, any nausea, vomiting, things of that nature.
Attorney: Uh huh.
Sangster: Any bleeding.
Attorney: Okay. So as an LPN, in your training, you didn't - strike that. As an LPN, you were not trained to assess whether or not a person was ...

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