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Does v. Kane County

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

April 11, 2018

JANE DOES I-IV and JOHN DOES I and II, Plaintiffs,


          AMY J. ST. EVE United States District Judge.

         The present consolidated lawsuits are based on a tragic incident that took place at Defendant Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital (hereinafter “Delnor Community Hospital”) in Geneva, Illinois, where a Kane County Correctional Officer lost control of pretrial detainee Tywon Salters, who then took nurses hostage at gunpoint and physically assaulted two of the nurses. After a three-hour hostage standoff, Kane County S.W.A.T team members shot and killed Salters. Four nurses, two of their husbands (“Doe Plaintiffs”), and two hospital patients, Victoria Weiland and Deanna Chrones (“Patient Plaintiffs”), have brought claims against Defendants Delnor Community Hospital, Kane County, Kane County Correctional Officer Shawn Loomis, and Apex3 Security based on their Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process right to bodily integrity and common law negligence pursuant to the Court's original and supplemental jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1367(a).[1]

         In particular, in their Second Amended Complaint, the Jane Doe Plaintiffs bring the following claims: (1) substantive due process against Defendant Loomis (Counts I, VII, XI, XIV); and (2) common law negligence against Apex3 Security (Counts III, IX, XII, XV). The John Doe Defendants bring loss of consortium claims based on their wives' substantive due process claims (Counts II and VIII) and common law negligence claims (Counts IV and X). The Doe Plaintiffs also bring indemnification claims against Kane County in the remaining counts pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/9-102. Similarly, in their First Amended Complaint, the Patient Plaintiffs bring: (1) a substantive due process claim against Defendant Loomis (Count I); (2) a negligence claim against Defendant Apex3 Security (Count II); and (3) a negligence claim against Defendant Delnor Community Hospital (Count III). The Patient Plaintiffs also bring an indemnification claim under 745 ILCS 10/9-102 against Kane County (Count IV).

         Before the Court are Defendants' motions to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court grants in part Defendant Kane County's motion to dismiss in relation to the John Doe constitutional loss of consortium claims alleged in Counts II and VIII of the Second Amended Complaint, along with the John Doe Plaintiffs' indemnification claims related to their constitutional loss of consortium in Counts VI and X. The Court denies the remainder of Defendant Kane County's motions to dismiss. Further, the Court denies Defendant Loomis' and Defendant Apex3 Security's motions to dismiss in their entirety. Last, the Court grants Defendant Delnor Community Hospital's motion to dismiss Count III of the Patient Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint.


         “A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) challenges the viability of a complaint by arguing that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., 761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014); see also Hill v. Serv. Emp. Int'l Union, 850 F.3d 861, 863 (7th Cir. 2017). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Pursuant to the federal pleading standards, a plaintiff's “factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). Put differently, a “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). When determining the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, courts accept all well-pleaded facts as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. See Cannici v. Vill. of Melrose Park, 885 F.3d 476, 479 (7th Cir. 2018).


         The Doe Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint and the Patient Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint allege that Tywon Salters served a sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections for Class 2 felonies and was released on parole in October 21, 2016. (R. 24, Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 15-16; R. 57, First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 11-12.) Less than five months later, on March 11, 2017, law enforcement officers arrested Salters and booked him into the Kane County Jail on felony charges related to his receiving and possessing a stolen vehicle. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 17; First Am. Compl. ¶ 13.) Based on Salters' violent past, the Kane County State's Attorney successfully argued against any bond reduction that would allow Salters out of custody. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 19.) At that time, Kane County Correctional Officers knew that Salters took medications for his mental conditions and that Salters was a member of the Black Disciple street gang. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 15, 20; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 10, 14.)

         On May 7, 2017, while in custody, Salters ingested hydrogen peroxide, after which Kane County Correctional Officers transported him to Delnor Community Hospital, and once released, Kane County officials placed him on suicide watch at the Kane County Jail. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 21-23; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 15-16.) The next day, Salters ingested a jail-issued sandal and liquid cleaner, and, once again, Kane County Correctional Officers transported him to Delnor Community Hospital for medical treatment. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 24-25, First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 17-18.) On May 9, 2017, the hospital transferred Salters to the medical-surgical unit on the third floor of the hospital where he stayed until the incident that took place on May 13, 2017. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 26-27; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 19-20.) Plaintiffs assert that during that time period, Kane County Correctional Officers were aware that Salters was combative, uncooperative, and manipulative. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 32; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 22-23.) Further, Plaintiffs state that Kane County Correctional Officers, including Defendant Loomis, were aware that Salters was a flight risk and posed a serious danger to the hospital staff, nurses, and patients. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 33; First Am. Compl. ¶ 24.)

         Plaintiffs allege that pursuant to the polices of the Kane County Sheriff's Office, Kane County Correctional Officers were required to protect hospital staff, nurses, and patients from Salters while he was at Delnor Community Hospital. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 42; First Am. Compl. ¶ 37.) Also, armed Kane County Correctional Officers were to guard and maintain control over Salters at all times while he was a patient, including that Salters' leg was to remain shackled to his hospital bed. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 37-39; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 32-34.)

         On May 8, 2017, while in the emergency room of Delnor Community Hospital, Salters asked to use the bathroom, at which time the Kane County Correctional Officer guarding him released Salters from his shackles, vacated the room, and left Salters alone with a nurse while he used the toilet. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 46; First Am. Compl. ¶ 41.) The hospital notified the Kane County Sheriff's Office and Apex3 Security of this incident. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 46; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 41-42.) On both May 11 and May 12, 2017, Correctional Officers unshackled Salters and allowed him to walk unrestricted through the hallways on the third floor of the hospital. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 51, 52; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 47, 48.) Correctional Officers also allowed Salters' unrestricted use of the telephone in his hospital room. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 49; First Am. Compl. ¶ 45.)

         On the morning of May 13, 2017, nurses observed Kane County Correctional Officers sitting in Salters' hospital room using their electronic devices while Salters was unshackled. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 53-54; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 49-50.) Sometime thereafter, Correctional Officer Defendant Loomis began guarding Salters and removed Salters' leg shackle more than once so that Salters could use the toilet. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 57, 59; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 51-52.) After unshackling Salters, Defendant Loomis did not restrain or shackle Salters after he used the bathroom. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 58, 60; First Am. Compl. ¶ 53.) Instead, Defendant Loomis allowed Salters to remain unshackled and without any restraints in his hospital room for at least thirty minutes. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 62; First Am. Compl. ¶ 53). Jane Doe III then entered Salters' hospital room and observed him sitting unrestrained on the side of his hospital bed, after which she asked Defendant Loomis why Salters was not restrained. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 61.) Defendant Loomis did not respond. (Id.) After Jane Doe III left, Salters grabbed Defendant Loomis' 9mm handgun and ran out of his hospital room onto the third floor despite Defendant Loomis' duty to protect and holster his firearm so that no one would be unable to gain access to it. (Id. ¶¶ 63-64; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 43, 54-55.) Furthermore, Plaintiffs allege that after Defendant Loomis lost control of Salters, he did not protect or warn hospital staff, nurses, or patients. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 65-66; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 56-57.) Rather, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Loomis ran from the situation and purposely hid in another hospital room. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 64; First Am. Compl. ¶ 55.)

         In the meantime, Salters went to an office where he took Jane Doe I hostage, forced her to remove her clothes, threatened her, and physically and verbally abused her while holding her at gunpoint. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 67; First Am. Compl. ¶ 58.) Jane Doe II then entered the office, at which time Salters took her hostage at gunpoint forcing her to go to a “decontamination room” on the first floor of the hospital. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 68, 69.) While forcing Jane Doe II at gunpoint, Jane Doe IV came upon Salters and Jane Doe II. (Id. ¶ 70.) Thereafter, Salters held Jane Doe II hostage in the decontamination room for over three hours at gunpoint, during which he repeatedly beat her, forced her to remove her clothes, violently raped her, threatened her life, and verbally abused her. (Id. ¶ 71.) For part of this time period, Jane Doe III was in close proximity to the hostage situation. (Id.) In the interim, a standoff ensued between Salters and Kane County S.W.A.T. team members while Salters was holding Jane Doe II hostage. (Id. ¶ 72.) At approximately 4:00 p.m. on May 13, 2017, the S.W.A.T. team members shot and killed Salters. (Id. ¶ 73.) The bullet that struck and killed Salters also struck Jane Doe II. (Id.)

         After Defendant Loomis lost control of Salters, Patient Plaintiff Weiland was able to hear screams from staff members whom Salters was holding hostage and then she called 911. (First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 59, 61.) Plaintiff Weiland remained in her windowless room on the third floor of the hospital for over an hour without knowing any information about her safety. (Id. ¶¶ 60-61.) Plaintiff Chrones was in a nearby hospital room on the third floor, could hear hostage negotiations, and had a direct line of sight to the S.W.A.T. team members - although hospital staff eventually moved her to another room during the standoff. (Id. ¶¶ 61-63.) The Patient Plaintiffs assert that they have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of these events. (Id. ¶ 66.) Plaintiff Weiland specifically alleges that she has been afraid to return to any medical facilities since the hostage standoff and Plaintiff Chrones alleges that she has suffered health problems based on her anxiety resulting from the incident. (Id. ¶¶ 67, 68.) Similarly, the Jane Doe Plaintiffs allege that they suffered emotional, as well as physical injuries, as a result of the hostage situation. (Id. ¶¶ 79, 87, Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 83, 93, 111, 121, 139, 147, 160, 168.)

         Plaintiffs further contend that during the relevant time period, Defendant Apex3 Security was a private Illinois security company responsible for the safety, security, and well-being of Delnor Community Hospital's staff and patients. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 34; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 25-26.) Specifically, Delnor Community Hospital hired Apex3 Security to provide security for those on the hospital's premises. (First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 26, 27.) According to Plaintiffs, Apex3 Security voluntarily provided security measures for those who were lawfully on the premises and was also tasked with monitoring inmates admitted to the hospital. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 35-36; First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 28-29.) As part of the contract ...

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