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Crockwell v. Dart

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

August 26, 2016

Raymone Crockwell, Plaintiff,
Thomas Dart, Sheriff of Cook County, and Cook County, Illinois. Defendants.


          Manish S. Shah Judge

         Plaintiff Raymone Crockwell, who uses a wheelchair, was a pretrial detainee at the Cook County Jail in 2012 and 2013. He sued Cook County and the Sheriff, Thomas Dart, under: § 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C 12132; § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a); and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [24].[1]Defendants move for summary judgment, [58], [61], on all of Crockwell's claims. Crockwell acquiesces to judgment on his § 1983 claims, [67] at 1-2, and moves for partial summary judgment on liability two of his ADA claims. [64].

         For the following reasons, defendants are granted summary judgment on Crockwell's § 1983 claims and on some of his ADA claims, and Crockwell is granted summary judgment as to liability on his ADA claims concerning the M-house and Leighton courthouse toilets.

         I. Legal Standards

         Summary 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); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). 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). “Cross-motions [for summary judgment] must be evaluated together, and the court may not grant summary judgment for either side unless the admissible evidence as a whole-from both motions-establishes that no material facts are in dispute.” Bloodworth v. Vill. of Greendale, 475 Fed.App'x 92, 95 (7th Cir. 2012) (citing Dynegy Mktg. & Trade v. Multiut Corp., 648 F.3d 506, 517 (7th Cir. 2011)).

         II. Background[2]

         After a gunshot wound in 2009, Raymone Crockwell became a paraplegic, unable to use his lower body and needing a wheelchair to ambulate. [65] ¶ 4; [71] ¶ 2. His physical condition required the use of catheters to urinate, and he needed to manually evacuate his bowels with a gloved hand. [65] ¶ 13. Crockwell was in custody at the Cook County Jail from June 6, 2012 through March 29, 2013. [65] ¶ 5; [71] ¶ 1. The first day he was at the jail, Crockwell was housed in Division 10, which was not accessible for a wheelchair-using detainee. [71] ¶ 31.[3] He did not shower or relieve himself for the entire day he was in Division 10, but he did not request a shower or bathroom, and he was eventually moved to Division 2. [71] ¶ 31. Except for three days in January 2013 when he was placed in isolation, Crockwell was housed in Division 2, Dorm 2 for the remaining several months. He was assigned to live in M-house from June 7, 2012 until August 28, 2012, and in N-house from August 28, 2012 through March 29, 2013. [65] ¶¶ 7-8; [71] ¶¶ 8, 33.

         During his time in Division 2, Crockwell was never unable to shower although at times the shower handrail was loose and sometimes the shower was broken. [71] ¶ 32. There was never a shortage of catheters or gloves for his use, [65] ¶¶ 13, 36, but while he was in the M-house, the ADA-accessible toilet broke.[4] [65] ¶ 16; [71] ¶ 10. Crockwell had to use a regular toilet with the assistance of a toilet seat cover, which raised the height of the non-accessible toilet seat and was unstable. [71] ¶¶ 12-14. He reported the broken toilet to correctional officers, who told them they could not do anything about it. [71] ¶ 11. Crockwell tried to use the regular toilet but fell to the ground on one occasion in August 2012 because the cover was unstable. [65] ¶¶ 16-17; [71] ¶¶ 10, 15. After the fall, Crockwell experienced hip and back pains lasting until the next day. [65] ¶ 18; [71] ¶ 16. He received ibuprofen from another detainee and informed a correctional officer that he had fallen, but he did not go to the hospital, and he has not sought treatment for a back injury since leaving the jail. [65] ¶¶ 18, 28. There were work orders to repair handicap railings in the M-house bathroom on June 21, July, 9, and August 23, 2012, [65] ¶ 20, [5] but no orders to fix the ADA-accessible toilet or any toilet seat during that time; in August 2012, multiple bathroom inspections noted that the toilet was not working. [71] ¶ 10; [66] at 74-80. While the ADA toilet was inoperable, Crockwell never asked to be taken to another toilet or moved from that division. [65] ¶ 29. Crockwell submitted no grievances during the nine months he was at the jail and did not inform either of the two social workers assigned to his dorm in the M-house that there were any problems with any of the facilities. [65] ¶ 26, 31.

         Crockwell did not have any problems using bathroom facilities while he was assigned to the N-house. [65] ¶ 19. Even when shower rails became loose, they were still usable and were fixed. [65] ¶ 15. When the toilets required periodic maintenance, they were fixed and regular toilets were available with handicapped chairs. [65] ¶ 15. For a few days in January 2013, Crockwell was held in an isolation cell because he exhibited flu-like symptoms, and he was unable to use the isolation cell shower because of his disability. [71] ¶¶ 33-34.

         While detained at the jail, Crockwell was required to attend hearings at the Leighton courthouse on a near-monthly basis. [71] ¶ 17. Wheelchair-using detainees were brought out of their living unit to a tunnel area before being brought over the Leighton court building and were the last persons to be called in the morning. [71] ¶ 18.[6] While waiting for court, Crockwell's wheelchair did not fit in the bullpen bathroom. [65] ¶ 21. Prior to April 2014, no ADA-accessible bathroom was available to detainees at the Leighton court building. [71] ¶ 19.[7] As a result, Crockwell was unable to use a bathroom and at times soiled himself. [65] ¶ 21; [71] ¶ 20.

         III. ADA and Rehabilitation Act Claims

         Defendants seek summary judgment on Crockwell's ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims. To establish a violation of Title II of the ADA, Crockwell must show that (1) he is a “qualified individual with a disability, ” (2) he was denied “the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity” or otherwise subjected to discrimination by an entity, and (3) the denial or discrimination was “by reason of” his disability. Love v. Westville Corr. Ctr., 103 F.3d 558, 560 (7th Cir. 1996). The Rehabilitation Act claim is functionally identical, with the additional requirement that the relevant state agency accept federal funds, which all states do. Wagoner v. Lemmon, 778 F.3d 586, 592 (7th Cir. 2015). There is no dispute that the Sheriff and Cook County are “public entities” subject to Title II of the ADA. [71] ¶ 5.

         To recover compensatory damages for alleged violations of the ADA or Rehabilitation Act, Crockwell must show that the discrimination was intentional. Strominger v. Brock, 592 Fed.App'x 508, 511 (7th Cir. 2014). The Seventh Circuit has yet to decide whether discriminatory animus or deliberate indifference is required to show intentional discrimination, but mere negligence is insufficient under either standard. Id. The parties agree that Crockwell is a qualified individual with a disability. They dispute whether he was denied access to services (or was subjected to other discrimination) on the basis of his disability and whether there is sufficient evidence in the factual record to show intentional discrimination.

         A. ...

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