Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Plummer v. Godinez

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

March 4, 2015

EDWARD PLUMMER, Plaintiff,
v.
S.A. GODINEZ, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HARRY D. LEINENWEBER, District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant Joy Urubusi's ("Urubusi") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) [ECF No. 38]. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

On November 17, 2013, Plaintiff Edward Plummer (hereinafter, "Plummer" or "Plainitff") filed a twenty-nine count Complaint alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and medical malpractice. Urubusi, a psychiatrist who treated Plummer while he was incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections, is one of sixteen Defendants ("Defendants") named in the Complaint.

Plummer claims that during his incarceration from approximately 1991 to 2007, Defendants forced him to take certain psychotropic medications, which caused him to suffer permanent injuries including diminished mental capacity. According to Plummer, on June 20, 2004, Urubusi added two milligrams of Prolixin to Plummer's medication regiment with no basis for doing so. Plummer claims that changing his medication without medical basis violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and constituted medical malpractice. Plummer claims that he discovered his alleged injuries after he requested copies of his mental health records on May 3, 2012.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). A complaint must contain a short and plain statement showing the plaintiff is entitled to relief and providing the defendant with fair notice of the claim and its basis. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citing FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2)). A complaint need only contain sufficient factual allegations that, if accepted as true, state a claim for relief that is "plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570) (internal quotations omitted).

III. ANALYSIS

Urubusi argues that Plummer has failed to state § 1983 and medical malpractice claims because: (1) both claims are barred by the applicable statutes of limitations, (2) Plummer failed to allege facts sufficient to show that Urubusi acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment, (3) Plummer failed to comply with the pleading requirements for medical malpractice actions contained in 735 ILCS 5/2-622, and (4) the claims brought in Counts XIII and XX do not identify Urubusi properly.

A. Statute of Limitations

Urubusi first argues that the two-year statute of limitations for Plummer's § 1983 and medical malpractice claims has run. Plummer filed his Complaint on November 17, 2013. Urubusi allegedly added the Prolixin to Plummer's medication regiment on June 20, 2004. Urubusi argues that Plummer knew or should have known of his alleged injury no later than December 20, 2007, which is when he stopped taking all previously administered medications. Urubusi adds that in any case, the four-year statute of repose for medical malpractice claims in Illinois expired on June 20, 2008.

Plummer's response to Urubusi's statute of limitations defense is muddled, and much of the case law he relies on is not relevant. Plaintiff's main arguments appear to be that: (1) he suffered diminished mental capacity due to Defendants' alleged conduct "and was by the time he was released from prison unable to determine the cause of the injuries he suffered, " (2) he was "not qualified" to make medical determinations regarding his injuries, and (3) "the fact and extent of [his] injuries" only became clear after his medical records were requested. (Pl.'s Resp., ECF No. 43, at 2-3.) Plummer further argues his medical malpractice claims are not time barred because his diminished mental capacity tolled the statute of limitations.

Both § 1983 claims and medical malpractice claims are subject to two-year statutes of limitations with tolling provisions for legal disability. The applicable limitations period for § 1983 actions brought in federal court in Illinois is Illinois' two-year statute of limitations for personal injury actions. Smith v. City of Chi. Heights, 951 F.2d 834, 839 (7th Cir. 1992) (citing 735 ILCS 5/13-202). Federal law governs when the claims accrue. Wilson v. Geisen, 956 F.2d 738, 740 (7th Cir. 1992). "Civil rights claims... accrue when the plaintiff knows or should know that his or her constitutional rights have been violated." Id. An individual who is under a legal disability at the time a personal injury cause of action accrues may bring the action "within 2 years after... the disability is removed." 735 ILCS 5/13-211(a).

The applicable limitations period for medical malpractice actions is two years from "the date on which the claimant knew, or through use of reasonable diligence should have known, or received notice in writing of the existence of the injury or death for which damages are sought in the action." 735 ILCS 5/13-212(a). A plaintiff cannot bring a claim more than four years after the act alleged to have caused the injury occurred. Id. However, if a medical malpractice plaintiff was under a legal disability at the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.