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Young v. Peoria County

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

December 15, 2017

JASON YOUNG, as Administrator of the Estate of Tyler. D. Young, Deceased, Plaintiff,

          ORDER & OPINION

          JOE BILLY McDADE United States Senior District Judge

         The matter is before the Court on Motions to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint filed by Olivia Radcliff-Tish, Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc., and Correct Care Solutions, Inc. (the “Medical Defendants”) (Doc. 34) and Corrections Superintendent Brian Asbell, Morgan Hanse, Stan Kester, Peoria County Sheriff Michael McCoy, Alex Michel, Michael Smith, and Peoria County (the “Correctional Defendants”) (Doc. 42). The motions have been fully briefed. For the reasons stated below, both motions are GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.


         On October 12, 2014, the decedent, Tylor Young, committed suicide in his jail cell at Peoria County Jail (the “Jail”) (Doc. 31, ¶ 5). On September 30, 2016, Plaintiff Jason Young, as the administrator of Tylor Young's estate, filed the instant civil rights suit against Peoria County, Peoria County Sheriff Michael McCoy, Corrections Superintendent Brian Asbell, Officer Morgan Hanse, Officer Alex Michel, Officer Michael Smith, and Officer Stan Kester (collectively referred to as the “Correctional Defendants”), Correctional Healthcare Companies (“CHC”), Correct Care Solutions, LLC (“CCS”), and Nurse Olivia Radcliff-Tish (collectively referred to as the “Medical Defendants”).

         The following facts are taken from Plaintiff's second amended complaint[1] and are assumed to be true for purposes of these motions to dismiss. See Murphy v. Walker, 51 F.3d 714, 717 (7th Cir. 1995). On October 6, 2014, Young was booked into the Jail on a charge of failure to appear. (Doc. 31, ¶ 25). Prior to and at the time of his arrest, Young was struggling with heroin addiction, asthma, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Id. ¶ 26. Upon arrival at the Jail on October 6, 2014, Young was examined and evaluated. Id. ¶ 30. Young was identified as suffering from heroin abuse, opioid withdrawal, asthma, mental health problems, and he was deemed a suicide risk and a medical alert as a pre-trial detainee. Id. ¶¶ 30, 36, 38. At that time, Young was participating in a Narcotic Treatment Program (“NTP”) and taking methadone daily as part of his treatment. Id. at ¶¶ 30-31. Young was exhibiting severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal including nausea, vomiting, and sweats. Id. ¶ 31.

         Notwithstanding Young's evaluation at booking, he was placed into the Jail's general population, in a section called the “F-Pod.” Id. ¶ 53. The “F-Pod” did not have suicide-proof cells and did not allow for adequate supervision of “at-risk” inmates like Young. Id. ¶ 54. After booking and through his stay at the Jail, Young was denied access to or was not given methadone despite exhibiting withdrawal symptoms and severe mental distress. Id. ¶ 46.

         On October 10, 2014, the Medical Defendants discharged Young from observation despite knowing that he was not receiving methadone treatment for his opioid addiction, and having observed that Young was exhibiting withdrawal symptoms, verbal and non-verbal behaviors and other characteristics associated with mental illness and distress including anxiety, appetite change, and refusal to communicate or cooperate with Defendants. Id. ¶¶ 47, 50. That same day, Young placed a recorded phone call to his grandparents during which he expressed his intent to kill himself if they did not bond him out of Jail. Id. ¶ 48.

         Officers at the Jail are required to make cell checks on all inmates at least every fifteen minutes. Id. ¶ 79. On October 12, 2014, Officer Michel was assigned to work on “F-Pod's” first shift. Id. ¶ 80. He completed an inmate check at 10:15 A.M. Id. At approximately 10:29 A.M., Officer Michel took his lunch break; he did not perform another inmate check before taking his lunch break. Id. ¶ 81. Officer Smith was also on duty and in the guard station that covered “F-Pod.” Id. ¶ 82. Officer Smith did not perform an inmate check while Officer Michel at was lunch. Id. ¶ 83. When Officer Michel returned from lunch, Officer Smith went to perform an inmate check at 11:05 A.M. Id. ¶ 86. At that time, Young was found to have committed suicide by hanging in his cell. Id. ¶ 87.

         Counts I-IV of the second amended complaint allege individual-capacity deliberate indifference claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sheriff McCoy, Superintendent Asbell, the Sheriff's Employees, and the Medical Defendants. Counts V and VI allege official-capacity Monell claims against Sheriff McCoy, Superintendent Asbell, the Sheriff's Employees, CHC and CCS. Count VII alleges violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, by Sheriff McCoy and Superintendent Asbell. Count VIII alleges Illinois Wrongful Death claims against the Medical Defendants, and Count IX alleges indemnification against Peoria County.

         On October 9, 2017, the Medical Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, and on November 13, 2017, the Correctional Defendants did the same. Plaintiff has responded to both motions, and this matter is ripe for decision.

         Legal Standard

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), “the court must treat all well-pleaded allegations as true and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party.” In re marchFIRST Inc., 589 F.3d 901, 904 (7th Cir. 2009). The complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff's complaint must contain sufficient detail to give defendant notice of the claim, and the allegations must “plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a ‘speculative level.'” EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). The plausibility standard requires enough facts to “present a story that holds together, ” but does not require a determination of probability. Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010). Though detailed factual allegations are not needed, a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.


         The Medical Defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against them under § 1983, Monell, or the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. The Correctional Defendants also argue that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against them under § 1983 and Monell. The Correctional Defendants also argue that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim under the ADA against Superintendent Asbell, and that Plaintiff's § 1983 claims are barred by the Illinois Tort Immunity Act and the statute of limitations.

         I. Plaintiff's Individual-Capacity Section 1983 Claims

         Plaintiff purports to bring individual-capacity § 1983 claims against the Nurse Radcliff-Tish, CCS, CHC, Sheriff McCoy, Superintendent Asbell, and Officers Hanse, Kester, Smith, and Michel.

         Section 1983 imposes liability when a defendant acts under color of state law and violates a plaintiff's rights under the Constitution or laws of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. “Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability and predicated upon fault; thus, liability does not attach unless the individual defendant caused or participated in a constitutional deprivation.'” Vance v. Peters, 97 F.3d 987, 991 (7th Cir.1996), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1230 (1997) (quoting Sheik-Abdi v. McClellan, 37 F.3d 1240, 1248 (7th Cir.1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1128 (1995)). Medical providers who contract with jails to perform the public function of providing medical services to inmates are treated the same as municipalities for liability purposes of a § 1983 claim. Minix v. Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 832 (7th Cir. 2010). As such, there is no question that CHC, CCS, and nurse Radcliff-Tish are state actors for purposes of this case. Furthermore, it is undisputed that the individual Correctional Defendants were acting in their capacities as state actors. The only issue, then, is whether Young was sufficiently pleaded that he was deprived by the defendants of a right or an interest secured by the Constitution.

         It is well established that, while in the custody of state or local authorities, a pretrial detainee must be afforded certain protections under the Fourteenth Amendment, including access to adequate medical care. See City of Revere v. Massachusetts Gen. Hosp., 463 U.S. 239, 244 (1983); Payne for Hicks v. Churchich, 161 F.3d 1030, 1040-41 (7th Cir. 1998). “The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits ‘deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of pretrial detainees.'” Pittman ex rel. Hamilton v. Cty. of Madison, Ill., 746 F.3d 766, 775 (7th Cir. 2014) (quoting Brownell v. Figel, 950 F.2d 1285, 1289 (7th Cir. 1991)). A plaintiff claiming a constitutional violation under § 1983 for denial of medical care must meet two requirements. “First, he must show that his medical condition was objectively serious.” Id. “Second, the plaintiff must show that the defendant officials had a sufficiently culpable state of mind-that their ‘acts or omissions [were] sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference' to his serious medical needs.” Id. (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). The Seventh Circuit has held that suicide qualifies as a serious medical condition. See id.; Collins v. Seeman,462 F.3d 757, 760 (7th Cir.2006); Cavalieri ...

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