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Outley v. City of Chicago

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

May 31, 2017

CITY OF CHICAGO, PAUL MAZUR, Individually, ALAN STARK, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Water and Individually, and THOMAS POWERS, Commissioner of the Department of Water and Individually, Defendants.

          Daniel G. Martin Magistrate Judge.



         Michael Outley's fourth amended complaint against the City of Chicago and individual officials of its Department of Water alleges discrimination on the basis of race, as well as retaliation, in violation of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, respectively 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d et seq. and 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983.[1] He also asserts a claim of negligent supervision in violation of Illinois law.[2] Defendants move to dismiss parts of the fourth amended complaint on the bases that Outley has failed to state a valid Title VI claim, his negligent supervision claim is barred by Illinois law, and certain of his claims are time-barred. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted.[3]


         The court described the factual background in its Opinion and Order of March 10, 2015 (Order) (dkt. 71) and will not repeat it here. Where the fourth amended complaint has added additional allegations that bear on the motion to dismiss, they will be discussed as necessary.


         I. The Title VI Claim

         Title VI prohibits unlawful discrimination in all federally-assisted programs. 42 U.S.C. § 2000d. Outley alleges that the City is a recipient of federal assistance in a variety of public programs and it has discriminated against African-American employees in the Water Department (as alleged in support of his Title VII claims); therefore, the City has violated Title VI. (Dkt. 118 ¶¶ 67-81.) Outley fails to recognize that Title VI is not “another way to reach discrimination in employment practices.” Ahern v. Board of Educ., 133 F.3d 975, 977 (7th Cir. 1998). To the contrary, “Title VI [provides no] judicial remedy for employment discrimination by institutions receiving federal funds unless (1) providing employment is a primary objective of the federal aid, or (2) discrimination in employment necessarily causes discrimination against the primary beneficiaries of the federal aid.” Id. at 978 (quoting Trageser v. Libbie Rehabilitation Center, Inc., 590 F.2d 87, 89 (4th Cir. 1978).[4] Neither of these exceptions is apparent within the fourth amended complaint. At least, Outley has not alleged any logical connection between his employment situation and the primary objectives or beneficiaries of any of the City's federally-assisted programs. See Commodari v. Long Island Univ., 89 F.Supp.2d 353, 378 (E.D.N.Y. 2000). Rather, Outley is asserting a straightforward claim explicitly authorized by Title VII of the same civil rights act. The Title VI claim is, at best, superfluous in any event, as he could receive no further relief than is available via his Title VII and § 1981 claims.

         Therefore, count V must be dismissed.

         II. The Negligent Supervision Claim

         Outley's negligent supervision claim arises from his allegations of race discrimination including failure to promote, disparate treatment, and retaliatory harassment.[5] (Dkt 118 ¶¶ 82- 88.) The City argues that this claim should be dismissed because (1) it is barred by § 2-201 of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act (TIA), see 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. 10/2-201; (2) the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the claim pursuant to the exclusivity provision in the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), see 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/8-111(D); or (3) it is preempted by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (IWCA), see 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 305/5(a). Because the argument that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction under the IHRA is dispositive, the court does not address the other arguments.

         Section 8-111(D) of the IHRA states that “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law, no court of this state shall have jurisdiction over the subject of an alleged civil rights violation other than as set forth in this Act.” Therefore, if Outley's negligent supervision claim seeks redress for a “civil rights violation” as defined by the IHRA, [6] before he can bring the claim in court, he must satisfy the administrative procedures set forth in the Act, which he does not allege that he has done. Garcia v. Vill. of Mount Prospect, 360 F.3d 630, 640 (7th Cir.2004) (“[T]he Act also limits the jurisdiction of Illinois courts, mandating that any party seeking to pursue a civil-rights claim in Illinois must first exhaust administrative remedies under the Act . . . .”); see also Flaherty v. Gas Research Inst., 31 F.3d 451, 458-59 (7th Cir.1994).

         A claim for negligent supervision falls within the bounds of the IHRA where “the IHRA ‘furnish[es] the legal duty that the defendant was alleged to have breached.'” Bannon v. Univ. of Chicago, 503 F.3d 623, 630 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Naeem v. McKesson Drug Co., 444 F.3d 593, 604 (7th Cir. 2006)) (alteration in original). Because Outley's allegations of negligent supervision are based entirely on the City's duty to protect him from racial discrimination and retaliation, he cannot “establish the necessary elements of the tort independent of any legal duties created by the [IHRA], ” Maksimovic v. Tsogalis, 687 N.E.2d 21, 24, 177 Ill.2d 511, 227 Ill.Dec. 98 (1997), and, therefore, his claim is preempted by that Act and must be dismissed.

         III. The ...

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