United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Marvin E. Aspen United States District Judge
Luis Ojeda (“Ojeda”) filed this action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Donald Kramer,
Sheriff of Kane County (“Kramer”); James Lewis,
Director of Kane County Jail (“Lewis”); Kathleen
Sanchez, Medical Administrator of Kane County Jail
(“Sanchez”); the Kane County Adult Justice Center
(“Kane County Jail”); and the Kane County
Sheriff's Office. Presently before us is a motion to
dismiss Ojeda's second amended complaint for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted, filed by
Defendants Kramer, Lewis, Kane County Jail, and Kane County
Sheriff's Office. (Dkt. No. 34.) For the reasons stated
below, we grant in part and deny in part Defendants'
motion to dismiss stage, we accept all well-pleaded
allegations in the complaint as true unless they are
“threadbare recitals of a cause of action's
elements, supported by mere conclusory statements.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1940 (2009); Katz-Crank v. Haskett, 843 F.3d
641, 646 (7th Cir. 2016). Plaintiff Ojeda's
claims stem from his time as a pre-trial detainee at the Kane
County Jail from April 8, 2015 until August 28, 2015. (2d Am.
Compl. (Dkt. No. 24) ¶ 10.) Ojeda alleges that
Defendants Kramer and Lewis were personally aware that he had
leukemia cancer and that he received incorrect dosages of
medication while in their custody at Kane County Jail.
(Id. ¶¶ 27, 33, 35, 41.) He asserts that
both Kramer and Lewis failed to intervene to correct the
dosages. (Id.) He further alleges that he
experienced jaundice, dehydration, nausea, vomiting,
indigestion, stomach and abdominal pain, severe discoloration
of his urine, mucus in his stool, and other medical symptoms
as a result of the improper dosages. (Id.
¶¶ 28, 36.) Ojeda contends Kramer and Lewis were
aware of his worsening symptoms and his repeated requests for
medical attention or treatment, and also knew that he
received no medical attention or treatment. (Id.
¶¶ 28-31, 36-39.) Lastly, Ojeda alleges that
Defendants Kramer and Lewis failed to provide adequate
medical staffing and training, used reprimands and promotions
to discourage staff from arranging medical treatment, and
rewarded staff members who withheld treatment from detainees.
(Id. ¶¶ 32, 40.)
August 19, 2015, Ojeda filed a pro se complaint under §
1983, and on November 10, 2015 we dismissed that complaint
without prejudice and appointed counsel to represent Ojeda.
(Dkt. No. 8.) After Ojeda filed an amended complaint on
January 8, 2016 (Dkt. No. 10), Defendants moved to dismiss
that complaint on July 28, 2016. (Dkt. No. 18.) Ojeda then
filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint
on September 1, 2016, which we granted on September 7, 2016.
(Dkt. Nos. 20, 23.) Ojeda filed the operative second amended
complaint (hereinafter “complaint”) on September
7, 2016, alleging Defendants Kramer, Lewis, Sanchez, the Kane
County Jail, and the Kane County Sheriff's Office are
liable pursuant to § 1983 because they violated his
constitutional rights as a result of their deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs. (Dkt. No. 24.)
November 22, 2016, Defendants Kramer, Lewis, Kane County
Jail, and Kane County Sheriff's Office moved to dismiss
Ojeda's complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
urging that: (1) the complaint contains insufficient
allegations regarding Kramer or Lewis' personal
involvement, such that it fails to plausibly state a claim
for their deliberate indifference to his medical needs; (2)
the complaint does not allege sufficient facts to support a
widespread policy of denying medical care to detainees, and
therefore Plaintiff cannot sustain his claims against the
Defendants in their official capacities pursuant to
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of N.Y.,
436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018 (1978); and (3) the Kane County
Jail is not a suable entity. (Mem. ISO Mot. to Dismiss
(“Mem.”) (Dkt. No. 35) at 3, 5-6.)
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at
1949 (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007)); Katz-Crank,
843 F.3d at 646. “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949; Yeftich v. Navistar, 722
F.3d 911, 915 (7th Cir. 2013). The plausibility standard
“is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, '
but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 540
U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65). In evaluating a motion to
dismiss, we must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the
complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor. Thompson v. Ill. Dep't of
Prof'l Reg., 300 F.3d 750, 753 (7th Cir. 2002).
Ojeda brings his claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.
(2d Am. Compl. ¶ 1.) Ojeda was a pretrial detainee at
Kane County Jail; therefore, his § 1983 claims arise
under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause, not the
Eighth Amendment. Budd v. Motley, 711 F.3d 840, 842
(7th Cir. 2013); Brown v. Budz, 398 F.3d 904, 910
(7th Cir. 2005). Nonetheless, “there is little
practical difference between the two standards.”
Budz, 398 F.3d at 910 (citing Weiss v.
Cooley, 230 F.3d 1027, 1032 (7th Cir. 2000)) (internal
quotations omitted); see also Heard v. Sheahan, 148
F.App'x. 539, 540 (7th Cir. 2005) (explaining that the
Fourteenth Amendment analysis is “practically identical
to the Eighth Amendment standard of deliberate
indifference”). Accordingly, “we use the Eighth
Amendment case law as a guide in evaluating his
claims.” Budd, 711 F.3d at 842; accord.
Rice ex rel. Rice v. Corr. Med. Servs., 675 F.3d 650,
664 (7th Cir. 2012).
SECTION 1983 CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANTS KRAMER AND LEWIS IN
THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES
first move to dismiss Ojeda's claims against Defendants
Kramer and Lewis in their individual capacities (Counts I and
II). Defendants argue that Plaintiff pled insufficient facts
regarding Kramer and Lewis' personal involvement to
plausibly state a claim for their deliberate indifference to
his medical needs. (Mem. at 3.) The Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment protects pretrial detainees
“against a lack of medical care that ‘may result
in pain and suffering which no one suggests would serve any
penological purpose.'” Rodriguez v. Plymouth
Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 828 (7th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103, 97
S.Ct. 285, 290 (1976)); Holloway v. Delaware Cnty.
Sheriff, 700 F.3d 1063, 1072 (7th Cir. 2012) (“The
Supreme Court has interpreted the Eighth Amendment's
prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, as
incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment, to impose a duty on
states to provide adequate medical care to incarcerated
individuals.” (internal quotations omitted)). Thus,
“[p]rison officials violate the Constitution if they
are deliberately indifferent to a prisoner's serious
medical needs.” Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 750 (7th Cir. 2011) (citing Estelle, 429 U.S.
at 104, 97 S.Ct. at 291).
claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need
contains both an objective and a subjective component.”
Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 652 (7th Cir. 2005).
The plaintiff must allege “an objectively serious
medical condition and an official's deliberate
indifference to that condition.” Perez v.
Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015). Here, there
is no dispute at the pleading stage regarding whether
Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged his leukemia was a serious
medical condition. Rather, Defendants contend Plaintiff has
not adequately alleged they were deliberately indifferent. To
satisfy this subjective component, a prisoner must
demonstrate that the relevant official was both “aware
of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also
draw the inference.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 837, 114 S.Ct., 1920, 1979 (1994); see also
Perez, 792 F.3d at 776 (“Deliberate indifference
occurs when a defendant realizes that a substantial risk of
serious harm to a prisoner exists, but then disregards that
risk.”). “The deliberate indifference standard
reflects a mental state somewhere between the culpability
poles of negligence and purpose, and is thus properly equated
with reckless disregard.” Perez, 792 F.3d at
I and II concern the liability of Defendants Kramer and
Lewis, the County Sheriff and the Director of Corrections,
respectively. “Claims of deliberate indifference to
medical needs are examined differently depending on whether
the defendants in question are medical professionals or lay
persons.” McGee v. Adams, 721 F.3d 474, 481
(7th Cir. 2013). Generally, non-medical prison officials are
“entitled to relegate to the prison's medical staff
the provision of good medical care.” Burks v.
Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 990 (7th Cir. 2009); see
also Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435, 440 (7th Cir.
2010) (non-medical jail administrators are generally
“entitled to defer to the judgment of jail health
professionals” so long as they do not ignore a
detainee). However, non-medical prison officials “may
be found to be deliberately indifferent to a prisoner's
serious medical needs if ‘they have a reason to believe
(or actual knowledge) that prison doctors or their assistants
are mistreating (or not treating) a patient.'”