United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
ORDER AND OPINION
E. Shadid United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendants' Partial Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 34). Plaintiff has filed a Response
(Doc. 37) and Defendants have filed a Reply (Doc. 42). The
matter is therefore ripe for review. For the reasons set
forth below, Defendants' Motion (Doc. 34) is GRANTED IN
PART and DENIED IN PART.
following facts are undisputed. Plaintiff Douglas Johnson has
been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and partial
symptomatic epilepsy, although the latter diagnosis came
after the incident giving rise to this suit. (Docs. 42 at 3,
37 at 5-6). Prior to August 22, 2016, Plaintiff had suffered
two seizures, at least one of which was related to head
trauma. (Docs. 37 at 5, 42 at 6).
August 22, 2016, Plaintiff was doing schoolwork and watching
television in his second-floor bedroom with his girlfriend,
Ahna Ayler. (Doc. 42 at 17). Plaintiff began convulsing,
foaming at the mouth, and making choking noises as his eyes
became unfocused and rolled back in his head. (Doc. 42 at 2).
Ayler called for Plaintiff's mother, Susan O'Neal,
and telephoned 911, informing the operator Plaintiff was
having a seizure. (Doc. 42 at 2, 8).
Erick Duckworth, Grant Hangartner, Kim Riggenbach, and Sam
Sauder are firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
(Doc. 34 at 1). Along with Zachery Knaus, who is not a party
to this case and was then an intern with the East Peoria Fire
Department (Doc. 34-9 at 4), Defendants Duckworth,
Hangartner, Riggenbach, and Sauder were dispatched to respond
to the 911 call. (Doc. 37 at 1).
accounts begin to diverge at this point, but the broad
outlines remain undisputed. Knaus, Defendant Sauder, and
Defendant Hangartner approached the house and briefly spoke
with O'Neal, before proceeding upstairs. (Doc. 37 at 6,
2). Defendants Duckworth and Riggenbach set up a cot outside
of the house. (Doc. 37 at 2). The parties do not agree
precisely what Plaintiff's condition was when the present
Defendants and Knaus arrived in his room, but at minimum he
was either not speaking or not speaking coherently and did
not appear fully oriented. (Docs. 34 at 4, 37 at 6, 42 at 9).
They then spoke with Ayler and O'Neal. (Doc. 37 at 7).
Defendant Sauder instructed Plaintiff to walk to the cot
outside; although Plaintiff needed to be directed, he walked
under his own power down the stairs. (Docs. 34 at 5, 37 at
the bottom of the stairs and the front door, Plaintiff's
pants began to fall down and Defendant Sauder attempted to
pull them up. (Docs. 37 at 8, 42 at 10). Plaintiff turned at
least the top half of his body in a manner Defendants
Riggenbach and Sauder state they found aggressive. (Docs. 37
at 8, 42 at 10). He then ran out the front door, down the
front steps, and into the driveway, falling three times as he
ran. (Docs. 37 at 8-9, 42 at 10-11). Defendant Sauder and
Knaus, along with at least one other Defendant-Defendants
initially stated it was Riggenbach, which Plaintiff disputes,
but admit it was Hangartner in their Reply-followed Plaintiff
out and were able to catch up with him. (Docs. 37 at 9-10, 42
at 2). What happened next is disputed in large part, but the
parties agree that Defendant Sauder bear-hugged Plaintiff,
both Defendant Sauder and Plaintiff ended up on the ground,
and Defendants Duckworth, Riggenbach,  and Sauder, along
with Knaus, restrained Plaintiff on the ground. (Docs. 37 at
10, 42 at 11-12). What is disputed is whether Plaintiff was
disoriented while running (Doc. 42 at 10-11), whether
Plaintiff was behaving aggressively (Doc. 37 at 10), whether
Plaintiff was prone or supine on the ground (Docs. 37 at
10-11, 42 at 11-12), and how Defendants restrained Plaintiff
(Docs. 37 at 10-13; 42 at 11-12, 15). Defendants state, and
Plaintiff disputes, that at some point Plaintiff struck
Defendant Duckworth in the jaw. (Docs. 34 at 7, 37 at 12).
called the police. (Doc. 37 at 13). Defendant Bradley Catton,
an officer with the East Peoria Police Department, arrived
and handcuffed Plaintiff. (Doc. 37 at 2). Defendant S.H.
Gann, another police officer, arrived subsequently. (Doc. 37
at 14). Plaintiff was loaded into an ambulance and taken to
the hospital. (Doc. 37 at 2). At some point, Defendants
Duckworth, Riggenbach, and Sauder told Defendant Catton that
Plaintiff had struck Defendant Duckworth in the face. (Doc.
37 at 13). Plaintiff was arrested for aggravated battery by
Defendant Catton five days later, with Defendant Catton
having learned in the interim that Plaintiff had suffered a
seizure, had taken off running and stumbling, and did not
recall the relevant events; Defendant Catton believed
Plaintiff might have been on drugs, and indeed, asked him if
he was. (Doc. 42 at 2-3). The charges were dismissed by a
Tazewell County Assistant State's Attorney. (Doc. 34 at
2). Plaintiff then filed the instant suit, alleging claims
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act,
and Illinois tort law.
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). This burden may be met by demonstrating
“an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving
party's case.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). If it is met, the non-moving party
must present specific facts showing there is a genuine issue
for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Mere allegations
do not suffice; rather, the non-moving party must present
admissible evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2); Behrens v.
Pelletier, 516 U.S. 299, 309 (1996).
summary judgment, a judge's role is to “determine
whether there is a genuine issue for trial, ” not to
“weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the
matter.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The Court therefore construes the
record “in the light most favorable to the
nonmovant.” Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 770
(7th Cir. 2003).
have moved for summary judgment on five of Plaintiff's
twelve claims: (1) a § 1983 claim against the individual
Defendants for violating Plaintiff's due process rights
by creating or increasing the risk of harm to Plaintiff when
they took him outside, harming him in the act of restraining
him, or failing to stop that harm (Count 3); (2) a claim
under Title II of the ADA and § 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act against Defendant City of East Peoria for
failure to train the individual Defendants to recognize and
care for persons with Plaintiff's disabilities (Count 4);
(3) a claim against Defendant City of East Peoria for the
same failure to train brought under § 1983 (Count 5);
(4) a § 1983 claim against Defendant Catton for false
arrest (Count 6); and (5) a claim for malicious prosecution
against Defendant City of East Peoria (Count 7). (Doc. 34 at
2). Defendants also seek the complete dismissal of Defendant
John Knapp, Fire Chief, (Doc. 34 at 2) which Plaintiff
concedes is warranted (Doc. 37 at 47); the motion will
accordingly be granted as to that ground.
Due Process Claim (Count 3)
alleges Defendants violated his substantive due process
rights by (1) attempting to move him outside, unsecured, in
his allegedly postictal condition; (2) forcibly restraining
him while he was in a post-seizure condition; and (3) those
Defendants who “were aware of the beating and did
nothing to stop it” and “acted with deliberate
indifference to a substantial risk that Plaintiff would be
harmed.” (Doc. 25 at 6). Defendants argue this due
process claim is essentially identical to Plaintiff's
excessive force and failure to intervene claims, and
therefore cannot stand. (Doc. 34 at 25). In response,
Plaintiff focuses on the state-created danger portion of his
claim. (Doc. 37 at 42-44). He purports to decline to address
the elements and instead address only the argument that the
claim is duplicative (Doc. 37 at 42 ...