United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert Blakey United States District Judge
Courtney McFields, Pierre Brunt, Tarik Page, and Anthony
Dixon sued Defendants Cook County and the Cook County Sheriff
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs, on behalf of a
proposed class, allege that Defendants violated their Eighth
Amendment rights by demonstrating deliberate indifference to
dental pain they experienced while confined at the Cook
County Jail. The Sheriff moved to dismiss. . For the
reasons explained below, this Court denies that motion.
The Complaint's Allegations
operate the Cook County Jail and share responsibility for
providing medical care to detainees.  ¶¶ 4-6.
Defendants require that detainees with dental pain complete a
“health service request form” before receiving
treatment. Id. ¶ 11. The appropriate standard
of care dictates that a registered nurse or similar provider
would review any complaints of dental pain and conduct a
face-to-face evaluation with a complaining detainee within 48
hours of the detainee submitting a request form. Id.
¶ 12. Prompt face-to-face evaluations would allow nurses
to give detainees antibiotics and over-the-counter
medications for pain relief before detainees see a dentist.
Id. ¶ 8. Defendants follow a different practice
at the jail, however: nursing staff forward request forms for
dental pain to dental staff without evaluating patients or
giving them pain medication. Id. ¶ 17.
allege that Defendants' failure to ensure timely
screening and pain relief caused Plaintiffs and others
similarly situated to experience gratuitous dental pain while
confined at the jail. Id. ¶ 19. Specifically,
Page started experiencing dental pain in January 2014 and
submitted several request forms complaining about the pain.
Id. ¶¶ 31-32. He never had a face-to-face
evaluation with a nurse, and he suffered untreated dental
pain for about 90 days before seeing a dentist. Id.
¶ 33. Dixon, whose dental pain began in May 2014, also
never had a face-to-face evaluation with a nurse despite
submitting multiple request forms. Id. ¶¶
28-29. Dixon's dental pain went untreated for 60 days
before he saw a dentist. Id. ¶ 30.
submitted a request form for dental pain in late October
2014. Id. ¶ 21. A registered nurse reviewed the
form one day after McFields submitted it; without conducting
a face-to-face evaluation or providing McFields with pain
medication, the nurse forwarded McFields' request form to
a dentist. Id. ¶ 22. McFields continued
experiencing severe dental pain and submitted a second
request form several weeks later when he still had not seen a
dentist or received any pain medication. Id. ¶
23. A dentist finally examined McFields in late November 2014
and removed an infected tooth. Id. ¶ 24. In
fall 2016, Brunt experienced dental pain and submitted
multiple request forms and grievances complaining about his
pain. Id. ¶¶ 25-26. Brunt never saw a
nurse for a face-to-face evaluation. Id. ¶ 27.
He endured untreated dental pain for about 60 days before he
saw a dentist. Id.
Page, and Dixon originally belonged to the plaintiff class in
Smentek v. Sheriff of Cook County, No. 09-cv-529
(N.D. Ill.), a similar § 1983 case. Id. ¶
34. In August 2011, the Smentek court certified the
following class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23(b)(3): “All inmates housed at Cook County Department
of Corrections on or after January 1, 2007, who have made a
written request for dental care because of acute pain and who
suffered prolonged and unnecessary pain because of lack of
treatment.” [20-1] at 2 (October 2016 Opinion and
Order). In December 2014, the court ordered the parties to
confer regarding a closing date for the class period.
Id. Instead of suggesting a single end date, the
Smentek plaintiffs proposed five subclasses for
different periods of time. Id. at 2-3. The court
rejected the proposed subclasses in an October 2016 opinion
and set a class closing date of October 31, 2013.
Id. at 8. That closing date excluded McFields, Page,
and Dixon, who suffered untreated dental pain in 2014. 
¶¶ 21- 33. McFields, Page, Dixon, and Brunt filed
this suit in October 2017. .
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
must provide a “short and plain statement of the
claim” showing that the pleader merits relief,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), so the defendant has “fair
notice” of the claim “and the grounds upon which
it rests, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A complaint must also contain
“sufficient factual matter” to state a facially
plausible claim to relief-one that “allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference” that the defendant
committed the alleged misconduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570). This plausibility standard “asks for more than
a sheer possibility” that a defendant acted unlawfully.
Williamson v. Curran, 714 F.3d 432, 436 (7th Cir.
evaluating a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), this Court
accepts all well-pleaded allegations as true and draws all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. This Court does not,
however, accept a complaint's legal conclusions as true.
Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009).
Rule 12(b)(6) limits this Court to considering the complaint,
documents attached to the complaint, documents central to the
complaint (to which the complaint refers), and information
properly subject to judicial notice. Williamson, 714
F.3d at 436.
Sheriff seeks to dismiss all claims except Brunt's as
time-barred.  at 2. The Sheriff also argues that, even if
Plaintiffs' claims proceed, ...