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Brooks v. Bukowski

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

May 12, 2015

JERMAINE BROOKS, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMOTHY BUKOWSKI, OFFICER HENSHAW, OFFICER LAZARUS HUGHES, OFFICER AHRAMOVICH, OFFICER NOLAN, and CAPTAIN VOSS, Defendants.

MERIT REVIEW OPINION

JAMES E. SHADID, District Judge.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se from his incarceration in Stateville Correctional Center, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis on claims arising from an incident in the Jerome Coombs Detention Center.

The case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In reviewing the Complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to "state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(quoted cite omitted).

ALLEGATIONS

On the morning of August 29, 2014, Plaintiff was sitting in a dayroom at the Jerome Coombs Detention Center. Around 10:15 a.m., he told Defendants Henshaw and Ahramovich that he had blood in his urine, sharp pains in the left side of his chest and was having difficulty breathing. He told the officers that he needed his two inhalers. Officers Henshaw and Ahramovich allegedly denied Plaintiff's request for medical attention or his inhalers, even after Plaintiff suffered two asthma attacks in the officers' presence and other detainees tried to help by pressing the emergency button and knocking on the observation window. According to Plaintiff, Officers Henshaw and Ahramovich ignored the pleas and continued to play computer games.

Though Plaintiff's difficulties continued, lunch was served, and then the detainees in the dayroom were directed to return to their cells. Plaintiff was unable to comply with the direction because he was still experiencing chest pains and having trouble breathing. Officers Henshaw and Ahramovich again allegedly ignored Plaintiff's request for medical attention. Six officers then came into the dayroom, including Defendant Voss, a supervisor. Voss and the other officers also allegedly ignored Plaintiff's requests for medical help and instead threatened, harassed, and degraded Plaintiff. Plaintiff then had a third asthma attack in front of the officers. Thirty minutes later, Voss informed the medical unit about Plaintiff's asthma attacks.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff states an arguable constitutional claim against Defendants Henshaw, Ahramovich, and Voss for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.[1] Gomez v. Randle, 680 F.3d 859, 865 (7th Cir. 2012)(Eighth Amendment prohibits deliberate indifference to inmate's medical needs).[2] Plaintiff's description of his symptoms allows an inference that his medical needs were serious and that these three Defendants deliberately ignored Plaintiff's requests for medical care. Plaintiff's supplemental state law claim for the intentional infliction of emotional distress will also proceed against these three Defendants, as will the indemnification claim against Sheriff Bukowski in his official capacity. See 745 ILCS 10/9-102. Kankakee County will be added as a necessary party. See Olson v. Champaign County, ___ F.3d ___, 2015 WL 1934388 (7th Cir. 2015)(745 ILCS 10/9-102 "requires the county to indemnify Sheriffs and their deputies for damages for torts committed in the scope of their employment.... Champaign County is a necessary party to a suit against a Sheriff under federal law.")

Plaintiff names Officers Nolan and Hughes as Defendants without explaining their involvement. The Court cannot tell from the Complaint if Nolan or Hughes were in the dayroom or were aware of what was happening. At this point, Defendants Nolan and Hughes will be dismissed, without prejudice to reinstatement if Plaintiff files a motion to reinstate explaining how Nolan and Hughes were personally involved in the denial of medical care. Kuhn v. Goodlaw, 678 F.3d. 552, 555 (7th Cir. 2012)("§ 1983 liability is premised on the wrongdoer's personal responsibility.")

Plaintiff pursues an unconstitutional policy claim for failure to train, but the allegation is too conclusory. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) ("Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.")( citing Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 550, 555-56 (2007). A constitutional failure to train claim requires that the Sheriff's Office have a policy or practice of deliberate indifference to a detainee's civil rights. See Hollins v. City of Milwaukee, 574 F.3d 822 (7th Cir. 2009); Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001)(no respondeat superior liability under § 1983). The failure to train claim will be dismissed, but without prejudice to filing an amended complaint if discovery supports the addition of the claim.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:

1) Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court finds that Plaintiff states the following claims against Defendants Henshaw, Ahramovich, and Voss based on the alleged events which occurred August 29, 2014: (1) Fourteenth Amendment federal claim for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs; and, (2) supplemental state law claim for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff also states an indemnification claim against Sheriff Bukowski in his official capacity.

2) Kankakee County is added as a necessary party.

3) Plaintiff's failure to train claim is dismissed, ...


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