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Hernandez v. Illinois Department of Corrections

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 14, 2018

JOSE HERNANDEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Hon. Reona J. Daly, United States Magistrate Judge.

         The matter has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly by United States District Judge David R. Herndon pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), and SDIL-LR 72.1(a) for a Report and Recommendation on the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 52) filed by Defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc. Plaintiff timely filed a Response (Doc. 55). It is RECOMMENDED that the District Court ADOPT the following findings of fact and conclusions of law and Defendant's Motion be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         Findings of Fact

         On April 25, 2018, Plaintiff, through counsel, filed an Amended Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §794 et seq., alleging his rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”). Plaintiff, a partial quadriplegic, alleges defendants violated his rights by ignoring pleas for assistance which resulted in him breaking his arm and refusing to properly treat his broken arm. Although his claims arose during his incarceration, Plaintiff was not a "prisoner" on the date he filed the action, as that term is defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(c), so threshold review pursuant to § 1915A(a)-(b) was unwarranted. Because Plaintiff paid his full filing fee, a frivolity review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) was also unnecessary (Doc. 4). Plaintiff is currently proceeding on six claims:

Count 1: Defendant IDOC (American with Disabilities Act)
Count 2: Defendant IDOC (Rehabilitation Act)
Count 3: Defendants Elizabeth Tredway and John Coe (Eighth Amendment - Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical Need)
Count 4: Defendant John Coe (Eighth Amendment - Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical Need)
Count 5: Defendant Wexford (Eighth Amendment Deliberate Indifference - Respondeat Superior)
Count 6: Defendant Wexford (Eighth Amendment Deliberate Indifference - Institutional Policy or Custom)

         Defendant Wexford filed a Motion to Dismiss Counts Five and Six. Defendant argues Count Five should be dismissed because Plaintiff cannot state a respondeat superior claim against Wexford under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendant argues Count Six should be dismissed because Plaintiff's allegations fail to assert a valid Monell claim. Plaintiff's counsel acknowledges that there is Seventh Circuit precedent holding respondeat superior liability does not apply to private corporations; however, he argues those cases are erroneous and he would like to preserve the issue for appeal. Plaintiff relies on dicta from the Seventh Circuit's decision in Shields v. Ill. Dep't Corr., 746 F.3d 782');">746 F.3d 782 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court in Shields discussed the possibility of extending vicarious liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to private corporations.

         Conclusions of Law

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint, not its merits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in the plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor. AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th Cir. 2011). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of a claim's basis, but must also be facially plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (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, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Count ...


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