United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JERRY L. HUDSON, SR., Plaintiff,
ROBERT SHEARING and FRANK LAWRENCE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL Chief U.S. District Judge
6, 2018, Plaintiff Jerry L. Hudson, Sr.
(“Hudson”), who was incarcerated at Menard
Correctional Center, filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that Defendant Robert Shearing and Defendant
Samuel Nwaobasi were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs. Now before the Court is a motion to dismiss
(Doc. 28) filed by Defendant Shearing in which he argues that
Hudson filed suit against him after the expiration of the
applicable statute of limitations. For the reasons explained
below, Shearing’s motion to dismiss is granted.
alleges in his complaint that Dr. Shearing first saw him for
his illness and back mass in November 2012 and that Dr.
Shearing continued to treat him until August 2013. At that
point, Dr. Shearing ended his employment at Menard
Correctional Center, and other doctors took over
Hudson’s medical care. There are no allegations of
treatment by Dr. Shearing after August 2013.
complaint must include enough factual content to give the
opposing party notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), and Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 698 (2009). To satisfy the
notice-pleading standard of Rule 8, a complaint must provide
a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief” in a manner that
provides the defendant with “fair notice” of the
claim and its basis. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 93 (2007) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 and
quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). In ruling on a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim, a court must
“examine whether the allegations in the complaint state
a ‘plausible’ claim for relief.” Arnett
v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011) (citing
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677-78).
applicable statute of limitations period for actions brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is a state’s period
for personal injury torts. Kalimara v. Ill. Dep’t
of Corr., 879 F.2d 276, 277 (7th Cir. 1989). In
Illinois, where the events in Hudson’s complaint
occurred, that period is two years. Woods v. Illinois
Dep’t of Children and Family Servs., 710 F.3d 762,
765-66 (7th Cir. 2013); 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Ongoing violations
of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights may delay the
accrual date under the continuing violation doctrine. See
Heard v. Sheahan, 253 F.3d 316, 319 (7th Cir. 2001). But
a defendant’s continuing violation of a
plaintiff’s rights can delay the start of the
limitations period only “for as long as the defendant
had the power to do something about [the plaintiff’s]
condition.” Id. at 318. That is, if a
defendant leaves his or her employment at the correctional
facility where a plaintiff is incarcerated, the statute of
limitations begins to run. Id. As such,
Hudson’s claim accrued as to Dr. Shearing in August
2013 when Shearing left his employment in the healthcare unit
at Menard, and the statute of limitations lapsed
approximately three years before Hudson filed suit against
the dismissal of Hudson’s claims against Defendant
Shearing, the Court turns to a motion to reconsider the
dismissal of Hudson’s claims against Defendant Nwaobasi
(Doc. 38). On February 22, 2019, Magistrate Judge Gilbert C.
Sison directed the parties to take action regarding Defendant
Samuel Nwaobasi, who had not been served and who passed away
in October 2018. When neither party did so, the undersigned
dismissed Hudson’s claims against Dr. Nwaobasi for want
of prosecution. Hudson asks the Court to reconsider its order
dismissing his claims against Nwaobasi and to substitute his
employer, Wexford Health Sources, Inc., as a defendant in
this action. Wexford cannot be held liable for the actions of
its employees under a respondeat superior theory of
liability. See Shields v. Dep’t Corr., 746
F.3d 782, 792 (7th Cir. 2014). As such, permitting the
substitution as requested would be futile, and Hudson’s
motion to reconsider is denied.
reasons set forth above, Defendant Robert Shearing’s
motion to dismiss is GRANTED. Plaintiff
Jerry L. Hudson’s claims against him are dismissed with
prejudice, as they are barred by the applicable statute of
limitations. Hudson’s motion to reconsider is
DENIED. Defendant Frank Lawrence was added
to this action in his official capacity for the purpose of
carrying out any injunctive relief. As Hudson’s claims
against Shearing and Nwaobasi have been dismissed, Defendant
Lawrence is dismissed from this action. The Clerk of Court
shall enter judgment accordingly and close this case.