United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Z. Lee, United States District Judge
case arises from events that took place while Plaintiff
George Padilla was being held as a pretrial detainee at the
Adult Justice Center of Kane County, Illinois (hereinafter,
“the Jail”). Padilla has sued Sheriffs of Kane
County Patrick Perez and Donald Kramer, as well as Directors
of Corrections Corey Hunger and James Lewis (collectively,
“the Supervisory Defendants”). He has also sued
correctional officers Jacob Watson and Justin Hunt. Each
Defendant has been sued in both his individual and official
Third Amended Complaint, Padilla brings federal claims under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failure to protect and deliberate
indifference to medical needs (Counts I-III), a state law
claim for negligence (Count IV), and a state law claim
against the Supervisory Defendants for respondeat superior
liability (Count V). Defendants have moved to dismiss Counts
IV and V and to dismiss Padilla's request for punitive
damages with respect to the same. For the reasons provided
herein, Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied
February 19, 2014, Padilla was locked inside of a cell in an
area of the Jail where correctional officer Watson was on
duty. 3d Am. Compl. ¶¶ 14, 23, ECF No. 78.
Meanwhile, an inmate named Lopez was mopping up an area of
the Jail and had propped open a nearby door. Id.
¶ 21. Padilla asked for the door to be closed because
cold air was blowing through it. Id. ¶ 23. When
Watson closed the door in response to Padilla's request,
Lopez became angry with Padilla. Id. He walked over
to Padilla's cell and threatened to burn off his tattoos.
Id. Intending to make good on this threat, Lopez
then walked to a nearby microwave and began heating up a cup
of water. Id. ¶ 24. Watson heard Lopez's
threat and saw him heating the water for use as a weapon, but
he “simply smirked and stayed seated at his desk
computer” rather than intervening. Id.
Lopez continued heating water in the microwave, correctional
officer Hunt came to take over Watson's duties.
Id. ¶ 27. Written policy required all inmates
to be locked inside of their cells during correctional
officers' shift changes. Id. ¶ 16. Contrary
to this policy, however, Watson allowed Lopez to remain
outside of his cell during the shift change. Id.
¶ 18. Also contrary to written policy, Watson did not
inform Hunt that Lopez had confronted and threatened Padilla.
Id. ¶ 29. According to Padilla, these
deviations from written policy were part of a broader pattern
of favoritism that Watson and other correctional officers
frequently showed toward Lopez. Id. ¶¶
Watson and Hunt completed their shift change, Padilla left
his cell and went into a common area. Id. ¶ 32.
He told Hunt that Lopez had threatened him and was heating
water to use as a weapon, but Hunt declined to intervene.
Id. ¶¶ 30-31. Shortly thereafter, Lopez
again confronted Padilla and threw the cup of boiling water
onto Padilla's chest, face, and arms. Id. ¶
32. The boiling water caused blistering and severe burns all
over Padilla's chest and face. Id. ¶¶
that day, Padilla was sent to the emergency room, where
doctors determined that his burns were so severe that he
needed to be transported to the Loyola Burn Center.
Id. ¶ 34. After spending a night at Loyola,
Padilla was sent back to the Jail. Id. ¶ 35.
The doctor who saw Padilla at Loyola ordered that he be given
two tablets of Norco every six hours for the next ten days
and that he return to Loyola in seven days for a follow-up
visit. Id. The doctor warned that if Padilla did not
timely return for the follow-up visit, “the wounds
could improperly heal and the new skin that was being
regenerated could grow into [the] bandages.”
days after returning to the Jail, Padilla's wounds became
very painful and began leaking a puss-like discharge.
Id. ¶ 36. Padilla repeatedly requested medical
attention, but Jail staff denied his requests. Id.
Jail staff also refused to give him the pain medication his
doctor had prescribed. Id. ¶ 37. Instead, they
gave him only Tylenol and Aleve, which were insufficient to
abate his pain. Id.
February 27, 2014, seven days after Padilla left the Loyola
Burn Center, he requested that he be transported back to
Loyola for the follow-up visit as ordered by his doctor.
Id. ¶ 38. Jail staff refused to transport him,
stating that “it was not necessary for him to go back
to Loyola.” Id. Still in extreme pain, Padilla
commenced a hunger strike, which finally provoked Jail staff
to transport him to Loyola after lunchtime on February 28,
2014. Id. ¶¶ 39-40. By then, Padilla's
burns had grown into the bandages as his doctor had warned.
Id. ¶ 41. The doctor therefore had to reopen
Padilla's wounds in order to remove his dressing, which
caused Padilla further severe pain. Id. Padilla
alleges that Jail staff's refusal to give him the
prescribed medication and to timely transport him to Loyola
were part of a broader practice or custom of deliberate
indifference to inmates' medical needs. Id.
motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the
plaintiff's complaint. Christensen v. Cnty. of Boone,
Ill., 483 F.3d 454, 457 (7th Cir. 2007). To survive a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). The complaint “need only provide a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, sufficient to provide the defendant with
fair notice of the claim and its basis.” Tamayo v.
Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). In reviewing a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept as
true all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint and must
draw reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
See Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081.
Count IV: State Law Negligence
Count IV, Padilla brings a claim for negligence under
Illinois law. This claim is premised both upon
Defendants' failure to protect Padilla from other inmates
as well as upon the Supervisory Defendants' failure to
provide Padilla with adequate medical care. 3d Am. Compl.
¶¶ 74-76. Defendants contend that Padilla's
negligence claim should be dismissed for three reasons.
First, they argue that the claim is barred by Illinois's
statute of limitations. Second, they argue that they are
immune from liability for negligence under Illinois's
Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity
Act, 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. 10/1 et seq. (“Tort
Immunity Act”). Finally, they argue that the claim
should be ...