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Hoffman v. Dupage County

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

March 27, 2018

RENEE HOFFMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
DUPAGE COUNTY, Illinois, SHERIFF ZARUBA in his official capacity as sheriff of DuPage County, Illinois, SHERIFF DEPUTY J. RITTER, SHERIFF DEPUTY LYTHBERG, SHERIFF LT. EIFERT, SHERIFF SGT. DORN, SHERIFF SGT. CAUNCA, SHERIFF DEPUTY SLATTERY, SHERIFF DEPUTY SCIANNA, SHERIFF SGT. CAMPBELL, SHERIFF DEPUTY SIEKMANN, SHERIFF SGT. TEGTMYER, SHERIFF SGT. VANHOOSE, MSU GARCIA, MSU KACZYNSKA, MSU URBONAS, MSU WEIGEL, MSU SWEENEY, MSU VENECIA, and MSU HUGHES, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          REBECCA R. PALLMEYER United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Renee Hoffman was incarcerated for six days in the DuPage County Jail in October 2015. In this lawsuit, Hoffman has sued the County, its Sheriff in his official capacity, and eighteen DuPage County officers and medical providers, alleging that all were deliberately indifferent to her serious medical conditions, and that the inadequate treatment she received has resulted in ongoing injury. Her Second Amended Complaint alleges a denial of medical care (Count I), conspiracy (Count II) and failure to intervene (Count III), all in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; in addition, Plaintiff alleges state law claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count IV), willful and wanton conduct (Count V), and negligence (Count VI) and names the County of DuPage as liable to indemnify the individual Defendants for the state law claims (Count VII). The medical provider Defendants (Garcia, Kacynska, Urbonas, Weigel, Sweeney, Venecia, and Hughes) have moved to dismiss Counts II, III, IV, and VI, and the jail officers (Campbell, Caunca, Dorn, Eifert, Lythberg, Ritter, Scianna, Siekmann, Slattery, Tegtmyer, Vanhoose) have joined that motion. For the reasons explained here, the motions are granted in part and denied in part.

         BACKGROUND

         The court views the allegations of the Second Amended Complaint in the light most favorable to Plaintiff Hoffman. See Cole v. Milwaukee Area Tech. Coll. Dist., 634 F.3d 901, 903 (7th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff Renee Hoffman alleges she was incarcerated for six days at the DuPage County Jail in October 2015. (Second Amended Complaint [34], ¶ 8.) At the time she was taken into custody, Plaintiff alleges, she suffered from diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease, and other unspecified “serious medical conditions” and was taking prescribed medications. (Id. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff informed the individual Defendants, including medical staff, about her medical conditions and prescriptions. (Id.) The individual Defendants confiscated Plaintiff's prescribed medications and did not return them to her at any time during her incarceration. (Id. ¶¶ 9, 10.)

         In addition to her medications, Plaintiff required an oxygen machine to breathe. (Id. ¶ 11.) Although Plaintiff's husband had an operable oxygen tank for Plaintiff to use, “[o]ne or more of the Individual Defendants” refused to permit her husband to bring the oxygen tank to the plaintiff at any time while she was in jail. (Id.) Instead, Defendants provided Plaintiff with other oxygen equipment that “was defective and allotted less than half of the oxygen that she was prescribed, ” with the result that Plaintiff had trouble breathing throughout the time she was incarcerated. (Id.)

         Plaintiff also needed a wheelchair while she was in jail. (Id. ¶ 12.) She alleges that the individual Defendants “eventually” provided one, but because “the space within [Plaintiff's] cell was not large enough to accommodate the wheelchair, ” Plaintiff at one point “tipped over on the wet cell floor” and fell out, “causing pain and injury.” (Id.)

         In addition to the lack of medication, the inadequate oxygen equipment, and the need for a wheelchair, Plaintiff “developed vomiting and diarrhea” during her incarceration at DuPage County Jail. (Id. ¶ 13.) “One or more of the Individual Defendants” failed to provide Plaintiff with a fresh uniform or fresh underwear, instead instructing Plaintiff to wash her soiled clothing in the toilet, which Plaintiff did “out of necessity.” (Id.)

         Plaintiff complained to one or more Defendants “throughout her incarceration about her serious medical needs and lack of appropriate medical care, ” but her complaints were ignored. (Id. ¶ 14.) During Plaintiff's incarceration, none of the Individual Defendants provided her with “appropriate amount of her required medication.” (Id. ¶ 15.) Although the medications and operable oxygen tank were “authorized by Plaintiff's doctor and pharmacist, ” “[o]ne or more of the Individual Defendants” prevented Plaintiff's husband from providing the medications and the operable oxygen tank. (Id.) One or more of the Defendants told Plaintiff that the Jail “was not a nursing home.” (Id. ¶ 16.)

         At the time she was released from DuPage County Jail, Plaintiff “was not feeling well.” (Id. ¶ 17.) Within 24 hours of her release, her condition deteriorated to the point where her family could not wake her. (Id.) Family members took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with an “infection on her rectal area that developed during her incarceration and she had sepsis as a result.” (Id.) Plaintiff was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and had a “lengthy hospital stay.” She was treated with an insulin pump, which she continues to use, and after her time in the hospital was treated at an out-patient wound care program for her rectal infection, which, she alleges, has still not completely healed. (Id.)

         Plaintiff believes these allegations support claims for denial of medical care, conspiracy, and failure to intervene, as well as state law claims of intentional torts and negligence. The Medical Defendants have moved to dismiss Counts II, III, and IV (conspiracy, failure to intervene, and intentional infliction of emotional distress) for failure to state a claim, and seek dismissal of Count VI (the negligence claim) on the strength of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act. The correctional officer Defendants have joined the motion.

         DISCUSSION

         To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Olson v. Champaign Cty., Ill., 784 F.3d 1093, 1098 (7th Cir. 2015); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545 (2007). While the complaint does not need detailed factual allegations, the plaintiff is required to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief beyond labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Adams v. City of Indianapolis, 742 F.3d 720, 728 (7th Cir. 2014); McReynolds v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., 694 F.3d 873, 885 (7th Cir.2012); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. A well-pleaded complaint contains “a short and plain statement . . . showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . .” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010). The court construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the pleader, accepting as true all well-pleaded facts alleged, and drawing all possible inferences in the pleader's favor. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).

         Plaintiff here argues that her allegations of conspiracy, failure to intervene, and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Counts II, III, and IV) are sufficient under these generous standards. As explained below, with respect to each of these claims, the court concludes that greater detail is required to support these claims.

         A. Count ...


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