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Guerrero v. Piotrowski

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

September 16, 2014

MARIA GUERRERO and RAUL MARTINEZ, as Co-Special Administrators of the Estate of DIANA PAZ, deceased, Plaintiffs,
v.
KRZYSZTOF PIOTROWSKI, in his individual capacity, Defendant

Page 964

For Maria Guerrero, Raul Martinez, as Co-Special Administrators of the Estate of Diana Paz, deceased, Plaintiffs: Benjeman L. Nichols, Cavanagh Law Group, Chicago, IL.

For Krzysztof Piotrowski, in his individual capacity, Defendant: Scott M. Crouch, LEAD ATTORNEY, Illinois Attorney General's Office, Chicago, IL; Thor Yukinobu Inouye, Illinois Attorney General, Chicago, IL.

Page 965

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

John Z. Lee, United States District Judge.

Early in the morning on September 2011, Defendant State Trooper Krzysztof Piotrowski arrested Diana Paz for driving under the influence of alcohol after observing Paz driving her car headlong into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the expressway. After Paz was processed, Piotrowski dropped her off at a local gas station, although Paz did not have her cell phone or money. Thinking that her car was on the expressway, Paz ventured onto the expressway, where she was struck by a car and killed. Plaintiffs Maria Guerrero and Raul Martinez, as administrators of Paz's estate, have sued Piotrowski, in his individual capacity, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating Paz's right to due process (Count I) and under Illinois common law for negligence/wrongful death (Count II). Piotrowski has moved to dismiss Counts I and II pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Rule" ) 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).[1] For the reasons provided herein, the Court grants the motion and dismisses the complaint without prejudice.

Facts[2]

I. The Events of September 2, 2011

On September 2, 2011, at 3:43 a.m., State Trooper Krzysztof Piotrowski observed Diana Paz driving headlong into traffic on the wrong side of the Eisenhower Expressway and stopped her because he suspected that she was driving under the influence of alcohol. Compl. ¶ ¶ 1-12. Piotrowski noticed that Paz's eyes were bloodshot and glossy and that she demonstrated slurred and confused speech. Id. ¶ ¶ 9-10. When Piotrowski removed Paz from her vehicle and placed her in the back of his squad car, he knew that she had left her personal belongings, including

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her money, purse, cell phone, keys, and driver's license, in her vehicle and that the vehicle was towed from the scene. Id. ¶ ¶ 13, 15.

Piotrowski drove Paz to a nearby location and administered sobriety tests. Id. ¶ ¶ 16-17. Paz failed the sobriety tests, and Piotrowski arrested her for driving under the influence of alcohol and transported her to the Westchester Police Department. Id. ¶ 19. While Piotrowski was at the Westchester Police Department, he received Paz's vehicle log sheet, which listed her personal belongings that remained in the towed vehicle. Id. ¶ 20.

At 4:56 a.m., the Westchester Police Department finished processing Paz's arrest. Id. ¶ 24. Piotrowski knew that Paz was still under the influence of alcohol upon her release. Id. ¶ 23. At 5:40 a.m., roughly two hours after Piotrowski stopped Paz, he placed her back into his vehicle and transported her to the parking lot of a gas station at 825 Mannheim Road in Westchester, and left her there, even though he knew that Paz had no money, purse, or cell phone. Id. ¶ ¶ 25-26. Because Paz believed her vehicle was still located on the highway, she walked onto the Eisenhower Expressway and was struck and killed by a motor vehicle. Id. ¶ ¶ 33-34.

II. The State Court Proceeding

On March 15, 2012, Plaintiffs sued Piotrowski and the Village of Westchester for negligence in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division. See Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss, Ex. A, Compl. After the Village was dismissed as a defendant, Plaintiffs amended the complaint to allege negligence (Count I) and willful and wanton conduct (Count II) against Piotrowski. See id., Ex. B, 2d Am. Compl.

According to Plaintiffs, in the state court proceeding, Piotrowski moved to dismiss the negligence claim (Count I) and the willful and wanton allegations (Count II) pursuant to 735 Illinois Compiled Statute 5/2-615 (" 2-615 Motion" ), arguing that Piotrowski did not owe a duty to Paz. See Pls.' Resp. Mot. Dismiss 2. Piotrowski also moved to dismiss Counts I and II pursuant to 735 Illinois Compiled Statute 5/2-619 (" 2-619 Motion" ) and ...


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