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Blossom v. Dart

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

August 14, 2014

TAURUS BLOSSOM, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS DART and COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, Defendants

Page 1159

For Taurus Blossom, Plaintiff: Kenneth N Flaxman, Kenneth N. Flaxman, P.C., Chicago, IL.

For Thomas Dart, Sheriff of Cook County, Defendant: Mary Anne V. Spillane Matkus, LEAD ATTORNEY, Michael L. Gallagher, Cook County State's Attorneys Office (50 W) Chicago, IL.

For Cook County, Illinois, Defendant: David Richard Condron, Cook County State's Attorney's Office (69W), Chicago, IL.

Page 1160

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Rubé n Castillo, Chief United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Taurus Blossom brings this action against Defendants Cook County, Illinois and Thomas Dart, the Sheriff of Cook County, alleging a deprivation of rights secured by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and unlawful discrimination in violation of section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the " ADA" ) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. (R. 1, Compl. ¶ 1.) Presently before the Court is Dart's motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (R. 14, Def.'s Am. Mot.) For the reasons stated below, Dart's motion to dismiss is denied.

BACKGROUND

Blossom was a detainee at the Cook County Jail (the " Jail" ) from August 30, 2013 until November 12, 2013. (R. 1, Compl. ¶ 5.) Blossom is missing his right leg and is able to walk by using a prosthetic limb and a cane or crutches. ( Id. ¶ 2.) Blossom entered the Jail with his prosthetic leg. ( Id. ¶ 6.) As part of the intake process at the Jail, medical personnel employed by Cook County determined that Blossom was disabled and required his prosthetic leg and crutches in order to walk. ( Id. ¶ 7.) Nonetheless, in accordance with Dart's official policy that gives correctional officers discretion in assigning housing, an officer assigned Blossom to a top bunk in a housing unit that was not handicapped-accessible. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 9-10.) Because of his housing assignment, Blossom was unable to safely get into and out of bed or shower and was required to walk up and down the stairs to participate in Jail programs and services. ( Id. )

On September 7, 2013, Blossom fell from his top bunk and sustained serious personal injuries. ( Id. ¶ 11.) Blossom was treated for his injuries, and Jail personnel then assigned him to Division 10 at the Jail. ( Id. ¶ 12.) In September 2013, Blossom fell in the shower in his housing unit in Division 10 because it was not equipped with grab bars or a shower seat; he sustained serious injuries from the fall. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 15-16.)

Blossom alleges that in response to the litigation in Phipps v. Sheriff of Cook County, No. 07 C 3889 (N.D. Ill. filed July 11, 2007), Dart adopted a revised policy for assigning housing to wheelchair-bound detainees in order to accommodate their disabilities while they were detained. ( Id. ¶ 8.) Dart did not, however, adopt an accommodative assignment policy for disabled detainees that were not wheelchair-bound. ( Id. ) Blossom also alleges that Dart knew that disabled inmates assigned to Division 10 had

Page 1161

sustained injuries because the shower and toilet facilities in Division 10 were not equipped with appropriate grab bars, toilets, and shower seats, but that disabled prisoners nevertheless continued to be assigned to Division 10. ( Id. ¶ 13.)

Blossom filed the instant complaint on December 26, 2013, alleging that Dart's deliberate indifference caused him serious personal injuries and constituted a deprivation of his constitutional rights and discrimination in violation of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 14-17.) On March 5, 2014, Dart filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), (R. 11, ...


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