United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
WALTER WILLIAMS and MONTRELL CARR, individually and for a class, Plaintiffs,
SHERIFF OF COOK COUNTY and COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
FEINERMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Williams and Montrell Carr, pretrial detainees at Cook County
Jail, filed this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Sheriff of Cook County and Cook County itself, alleging that
dental care at the jail is constitutionally inadequate. Doc.
15. They seek injunctive relief, but not damages, for
themselves and a putative class. Defendants move to dismiss
the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Doc. 25. The motion is denied.
resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court assumes the truth
of the operative complaint's well-pleaded factual
allegations, though not its legal conclusions. See Zahn
v. N. Am. Power & Gas, LLC, 815 F.3d 1082, 1087 (7th
Cir. 2016). The court must also consider “documents
attached to the complaint, documents that are critical to the
complaint and referred to in it, and information that is
subject to proper judicial notice, ” along with
additional facts set forth in Plaintiffs' brief opposing
dismissal, so long as those additional facts “are
consistent with the pleadings.” Phillips v.
Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 714 F.3d 1017, 1020 (7th
Cir. 2013). The facts are set forth as favorably to
Plaintiffs as those materials allow. See Pierce v.
Zoetis, 818 F.3d 274, 277 (7th Cir. 2016). In setting
forth those facts at the pleading stage, the court does not
vouch for their accuracy. See Jay E. Hayden Found. v.
First Neighbor Bank, N.A., 610 F.3d 382, 384 (7th Cir.
are pretrial detainees at Cook County Jail. Doc. 15 at ¶
2. The jail employed a full-time oral surgeon until 2007.
Id. at ¶¶ 5-6. In the oral surgeon's
stead, Defendants adopted a policy of sending detainees in
need of oral surgery to Stroger Hospital, but that policy is
ineffective because they do not provide the resources
necessary to transport detainees to the hospital.
Id. at ¶¶ 11-12. In 2011, the chief of
dental services at the jail warned that employing a full-time
oral surgeon was “absolutely essential.”
Id. at ¶ 15.
January 4, 2016, a jail dentist examining Williams, who had
complained of dental pain, determined that his pain could
have resulted from a fractured tooth, which would require a
microscope to diagnose. Id. at ¶ 19. Instead of
attempting such a diagnosis, the dentist removed a filling
and replaced it with a temporary sedative filling.
Ibid. The dentist did not note signs of infection,
but prescribed antibiotics anyway. Ibid.
Williams's pain persisted, and on January 26, the dentist
suggested that he see a different provider. Id. at
March 29, a physician's assistant referred Williams for a
priority dental appointment to treat “chronic
toothache.” Id. at ¶ 21. On April 13, a
dentist prescribed painkillers and another dose of
antibiotics. Id. at ¶ 22. During an examination
on April 20, Williams asked to have the tooth pulled, but the
dentist declined. Id. at ¶ 23. On June 8,
Williams received antibiotics and pain medications but again
did not have his tooth pulled. Id. at ¶ 26.
dentist examined Carr in February 2016 due to pain in his
wisdom teeth. Id. at ¶¶ 34-35. The dentist
told him he needed to see an oral surgeon at Stroger to have
the teeth pulled. Id. at ¶ 35. Carr saw the
same dentist three or four more times; each time, he received
pain medication and was told that his appointment at Stroger
was “coming soon.” Id. at ¶ 36. He
was never treated by an oral surgeon. Id. at ¶
suit, Plaintiffs seek “appropriate injunctive
relief.” Id. at 8. They have moved to certify
these two injunction classes under Rule 23(b)(2):
1. All persons confined at the Cook County Jail who have been
referred by a dentist at the Jail for an extraction by an
oral surgeon and are experiencing pain while awaiting
treatment by an oral surgeon.
2. All persons currently confined at the Cook County Jail
who, having complained of dental pain, have been prescribed
successive course[s] of treatments with antibiotics without
having received the dental procedure required to permanently
alleviate the dental pain.
Doc. 30 at 1.
press three arguments in their motion to dismiss. ...