United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DAWN CORBIER, as Administrator of the ESTATE OF JOSHUA B. JURCICH, Plaintiff,
ST. CLAIR COUNTY SHERIFF RICHARD WATSON, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Wexford Health
Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”), Doctor Muddasani
Reddy, Nurse Sandra Thurman, Nurse Jana Reuter, and Nurse
Brandy Nichols (collectively, the “individual
Defendants”) motions to dismiss Counts I, II, and VI of
Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to F.R.C.P.
12(b)(6) (Docs. 122, 124, 126, 128, 130, 132). The individual
defendants move to dismiss Count I on the grounds that
Plaintiff failed to plead facts necessary to state a claim.
The individual defendants also move to dismiss Count VI on
the grounds that Plaintiff failed to attach the requisite
affidavit for medical malpractice claims in Illinois. Wexford
moves to dismiss Count II on the grounds that Plaintiff
failed to plead facts that allege that Wexford employees
violated Plaintiff's decedent's constitutional
rights. Plaintiff opposes the motions (Doc. 153). For the
following reasons, the motions are GRANTED.
Complaint alleges the following facts. Plaintiff's
decedent, Joshua Jurcich, was arrested for possession of a
controlled substance and taken to the St. Clair County Jail
on March 6, 2014. Jurcich had been detained at the St. Clair
County jail many times over a 16 year period. On at least
seven occasions, Jurcich had informed the jail staff that he
suffered from mental health problems. On at least one of
those occasions, an unspecified booking officer noted that
Jurcich was suicidal.
the most recent detention, Defendant Officer Steven J.
Frierdich gave Jurcich a mental health screening and referred
him for further mental health evaluation. Jurcich informed
Defendant Nurse Thurman that he was “dope sick”
and had been diagnosed with scabies. Nurse Thurman placed
Jurcich in medical segregation.
March 11, 2014, Defendant Officers James D. Wagner, Mark J.
Harris, Dante S. Beattie, Thomas Mesey and Eric L. Walter
beat Jurcich for refusing to return to his medical
segregation cell. Jurcich was then examined by Defendant
Nurse Reuter who cleared him to be placed in general
population. Jurcich was placed in a maximum security cell
where he verbalized suicidal thoughts to fellow detainees. On
the evening of March 11, 2014, jail staff found Jurcich
unconscious in his cell from a suicide attempt. He succumbed
to his injuries and died two days later.
others, Plaintiff asserts the following claims as the
Administrator of Mr. Jurcich's estate: Count I, brought
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleges that the individual
defendants violated Jurcich's constitutional rights by
knowingly disregarding the risk that he would commit suicide;
Count II, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleges that
Wexford is liable for the actions alleged in Count I because
Wexford's policies allow its employees to routinely deny
detainees with mental health issues access to proper
treatment; and Count VI asserts a wrongful death claim under
Illinois state law based on the aforementioned actions of
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court must
accept all allegations in the Complaint as true. Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In order to
state a claim for which relief can be granted, a plaintiff
need only provide a “short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). However, the allegations must be
“more than labels and conclusions.” Pugh v.
Tribune Co., 521 F.3d 686, 699 (7th Cir. 2008). The
requirements of Rule 8 are satisfied if the Complaint (1)
describes the claim in sufficient detail to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests and (2) plausibly suggests that the
plaintiff has a right to relief above a speculative level.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; see Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009); EEOC v.
Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir.
2007). “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, 129 S.Ct.
at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
properly plead a failure to protect claim under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, Plaintiff must allege facts showing that (1) Mr.
Jurcich was “incarcerated under conditions posing
substantial risk of serious harm” and (2) “the
defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his health
or safety.” Santiago v. Walls, 599 F.3d 749,
756 (7th Cir. 2010) (internal quotations omitted). Deliberate
indifference means “actual knowledge . . . of the
existence of the substantial risk and that the [defendant]
considered the possibility that the risk could cause serious
harm.” Washington v. LaPorte Cty. Sheriff's
Dep't, 306 F.3d 515, 518 (7th Cir. 2002).
alleges that Brandy Nichols was “responsible for the
medical care, treatment, and welfare of Mr. Jurcich while he
was detailed at the Jail, and failed in that
responsibility.” (Doc. 118, p. 5). Plaintiff further
alleges that Brandy Nichols was “working at the Jail
that night and responded to Officer Knyff's request for
assistance after he found Mr. Jurcich hanging in the cell[,
]” and that she “had knowledge of the fact that
Mr. Jurcich was a suicide risk and failed to take any
measures to monitor and protect him.” (Doc. 118, p.
Nichols argues that Plaintiff alleges only the vague legal
conclusion that she knew Jurcich was a suicide risk. She
further argues that Plaintiff fails to allege that Nichols
had any interaction with Jurcich, that she knew he had been
in an altercation or that she knew that he had been placed in
a maximum security cell. Plaintiff maintains that it is
reasonable to infer that Nichols had access to Jurcich's
mental health records and “therefore must have known
about his mental health issues.” (Doc. 153, ...