United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division.
Jose Lopez, by his wife and next best friend, Sandra Cardiel, Plaintiff,
Stevan Vidljinovic, Star No. 4051 et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert Blakey United States District Court Judge.
Jose Lopez, by his wife and next best friend Sandra Cardiel,
sued defendants Chicago Police Officers Stevan Vidljinovic,
John Guettler, Jose Valdovinos, Antonio Valenzuela, Manuel
Gonzalez, Armando Alamillo, Joseph DeMonica and Daniel Lopez,
Supervising Sergeant Mark Kearns, Watch Commander Robert
Dubiel, Paramedics Sandra Cheatam and Julio Mendoza, and the
City of Chicago. Plaintiff alleges five causes of action: (1)
unlawful seizure in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2)
excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (3)
failure to intervene in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983;
(4) assault and battery; and (5) intentional infliction of
emotional distress. Fourth Am. Compl.  ¶¶
91-128. Defendant City of Chicago has moved for summary
judgment. Chi. Mot. Summ. Judg. . This Court grants that
22, 2011, at approximately 3:00 a.m., Plaintiff Jose Lopez
began having chest pains. CSOF  ¶ 4. Lopez’s
friend, Guadalupe Guzman, called 911 shortly thereafter. PSOF
 ¶ 1. Firefighters and paramedics arrived on the
scene at approximately 3:30 a.m. Id. ¶¶ 1,
3. Paramedics Sandra Cheatam and Julio Mendoza attempted to
administer medical treatment to Lopez. DSOF  ¶ 8.
Personnel at the scene determined that the situation was a
medical emergency and called the Chicago Police Department
(“CPD”) for assistance. Id. Defendant
CPD Officers Stevan Vidljinovic, John Guettler, Antonio
Valenzuela, Manuel Gonzalez, Jose Valdovinos, Armando
Alamillo, Joseph De Monica, Daniel Lopez, and Mark Kearns
(“Defendant CPD Officers”) all responded to the
call for CPD assistance. Id. ¶¶ 10-13.
parties dispute what happened after the Defendant CPD
Officers arrived. Lopez asserts that the Defendant CPD
Officers ignored his refusals of medical treatment. CSOF
 ¶ 5. CPD Officer Vidljinovic asserts that Lopez
moved towards him with his fists clenched, in an aggressive
manner. DSOF  ¶ 31. The parties do not dispute that
Officer Vidljinovic eventually tased Lopez. Id.
¶ 13. After he was tased, Lopez was transported to Mt.
Sinai Hospital. Id. ¶ 14.
regard to the City of Chicago, Lopez alleges liability
pursuant to Monell v. Dept. of Social Services, 436
U.S. 658 (1978). More specifically, Lopez alleges that four
explicit policies were the cause of his injuries: (1)
Municipal Code Sec. 4-68-110; (2) Chicago EMS Policies and
Procedures; (3) CPD Special Order S03-08; and (4) CPD Special
Order S02-01-04. Municipal Code Sec. 4-68-110 provides that
CPD officers may assist an emergency medical technician in
transporting a person to a hospital when the officer is
informed by an emergency medical technician that the
situation constitutes an emergency and that person is in need
of immediate hospitalization. PSOF  ¶ 7. Chicago
EMS Policies and Procedures provide that CFD paramedics and
EMS personnel are required to seek police assistance if a
citizen will not cooperate with them by allowing either
examination or transportation to a medical facility.
Id. ¶ 6. CPD Special Order S03-08 requires CPD
officers to assist paramedics in the transportation of a
citizen for medical attention, unless that citizen refuses
transportation on religious grounds. Id. ¶ 11.
CPD Special Order S02-01-04 provides that citizens believed
to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be assisted
to a treatment facility if they consent. Id. ¶
also alleges that the City of Chicago failed to train its
personnel regarding the use of force. To support this claim,
Lopez has identified five discrete categories of purported
evidence: (1) a newspaper article chronicling the increase in
taser use by the CPD, PSOF  ¶ 15; (2) reports
commemorating the dismissal of Independent Police Review
Authority (“IPRA”) investigations into
allegations of excessive force, id. ¶¶
16-17; (3) statements by Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledging a
“code of silence” within the CPD, id.
¶¶ 27-30; (4) letter requests from prominent
politicians encouraging the United States Department of
Justice (“DOJ”) to investigate the CPD,
id. ¶ 35; and (5) the alleged failure of the
IPRA to investigate Lopez’s own case, id.
judgment is appropriate if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Spurling v. C
& M Fine Pack, Inc., 739 F.3d 1055, 1060 (7th Cir.
2014). A genuine dispute as to any material fact exists if
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The
party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact.
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986). In determining whether a genuine issue of material
fact exists, this Court must construe all facts and
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. See CTL ex rel. Trebatoski v. Ashland
School District, 743 F.3d 524, 528 (7th Cir. 2014).
plaintiff may bring a claim against a municipality for a
federal civil rights violation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social Serves., 436
U.S. 658, 690 (1978). To succeed on such a claim, however, a
plaintiff must show that he suffered “a constitutional
injury resulting from a municipal policy, custom, or
practice.” Lewis v. Cnty. of Cook, No.
10-cv-1313, 2011 WL 839753, at *13 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 24, 2011).
A plaintiff must also show that the municipal policy, custom,
or practice “not only caused the constitutional
violation, but was the moving force behind it.”
Starks v. City of Waukegan, 946 F.Supp.2d 780, 792
(N.D. Ill. 2013) (quoting Estate of Sims ex rel. Sims v.
Cnty. of Bureau, 506 F.3d 509, 514 (7th Cir. 2007)). An
official policy or custom may be established via three
different methods of proof: “ by means of an express
policy,  a widespread practice which, although unwritten,
is so entrenched and well-known as to carry the force of
policy, or  through the actions of an individual who
possesses the authority to make final policy decisions on
behalf of the municipality or corporation.” Rice ex
rel. Rice v. Corr. Med. Servs, 675 F.3d 650, 675 (7th
Cir. 2012). Under each of the foregoing theories, the burden
is on the plaintiff to demonstrate the existence of the
policy or custom at issue. Smith v. Chicago School Reform
Board of Trustees, 165 F.3d 1142, 1149 (7th Cir. 1999)
(citing Board of Commissioners of Bryan County, Oklahoma
v. Brown, 520 U.S. 379 (1997)). Here, Lopez does not
assert that a person with final policymaking authority caused
his alleged constitutional injury. The Court therefore must
determine whether Lopez’s injuries can be reasonably
ascribed to either an explicit policy or an established
custom or practice.
are actually two varieties of “express policy”
claims under Monell. The first variation applies
“where a policy explicitly violates a constitutional
right when enforced.” Calhoun v. Ramsay, 408
F.3d 375, 379 (7th Cir. 2005). Under this type of claim, one
application of the offensive policy resulting in a
constitutional violation is sufficient to establish municipal
second way of attacking an “express policy” is to
object to “omissions in the policy.” Hughes
v. City of Chicago, No. 08-cv-627, 2011 WL 5395752, at
*5 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 8, 2011). To prevail under this variation
of the express policy theory, a plaintiff must adduce