United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
KELLEY VALE-GUGLIUZZI as personal representative of the ESTATE OF JOSHUA BELLAMY, Plaintiff,
JOHN LAYTON in his official capacity as Sheriff of Marion County, JEJUAN WESTMORELAND in his individual and official capacities, CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS LLC, JENNIFER DEESE in her individual and Official capacities, WILBERT GORDY in his individual and official capacities, FELICIA CLARK in her individual and official capacities, MCDANIELS Deputy, Defendants.
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
case arises following the suicide of Joshua Bellamy while he
was an inmate in the Marion County Jail. Plaintiff Kelley
Vale-Gugliuzzi, as representative of Mr. Bellamy's
estate, raises multiple claims against a variety of
defendants, including Correct Care Solutions LLC
(“CCS”). Presently pending before the
Court is CCS's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. For
the reasons described below, the Court denies CCS's
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) “requires only ‘a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Fed. R. Civ.
Pro. 8(a)(2)). “Specific facts are not necessary, the
statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of
what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (quoting
Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
motion for judgment on the pleadings brought pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is governed by the same
standard that applies to a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6). United States v. Wood, 925 F.2d 1580, 1581
(7th Cir. 1991). A “court may consider only matters
presented in the pleadings and must view the facts in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party.”
Nat'l Fid. Life Ins. Co. v. Karaganis, 811 F.2d
357, 358 (7th Cir. 1987) (citing Republic Steel Corp. v.
Pennsylvania Eng'g Corp., 785 F.2d 174, 177 n. 2
(7th Cir. 1986)). The Court should “take all
well-pleaded allegations in the plaintiffs' pleadings to
be true, and [should] view the facts and inferences to be
drawn from those allegations in the light most favorable to
the plaintiffs.” Republic Steel Corp., 785
F.2d at 177 n. 2. However, “a court is ‘not bound
to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.'” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286
(1986)). “The documents a court may consider under Rule
12(c) include the complaint, the answer, and any written
exhibits attached as exhibits [to either].” N.
Indiana Gun & Outdoor Shows, Inc. 163 F.3d at
452, 452 (7th Cir. 1998) (citing Fed R. Civ. P. 10(c)).
“A motion for judgment on the pleadings may be granted
only if the moving party clearly establishes that no material
issue of fact remains to be resolved and that [the moving
party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Karaganis, 811 F.2d at 358 (citing Flora v. Home
Fed. Savings & Loan Ass'n, 685 F.2d 209, 211
(7th Cir. 1982)).
following are the factual allegations in the First Amended
Complaint, which, pursuant to the standard described above,
the Court must accept as true at this time. In 2015, at least
four inmates under the care and control of the Marion County
Sheriff's Department, including Mark Snyder, Dejuan
Shepard, Walter Gamble, and Thomas Miles, committed suicide.
[Filing No. 36 at 3; Filing No. 36 at 8.]
After those suicides, Marion County Sheriff John Layton
created a suicide prevention task force, which in 2016 issued
recommendations for several procedural changes to reduce the
risk of jail suicides. [Filing No. 36 at 3.]
about September 24, 2016, Mr. Bellamy was arrested and booked
into the Marion County Jail. [Filing No. 36 at 4.]
At the time of his arrest, Mr. Bellamy's wife informed
the arresting officers that Mr. Bellamy was suffering from
the mental and/or physical symptoms of detoxification and
withdrawal. Mr. Bellamy exhibited those symptoms while in
jail, and another inmate in the Arrestee Processing Center
indicated to jail staff that Mr. Bellamy was suffering from
them. [Filing No. 36 at 4.]
CCS is a for-profit company that contracts with the Marion
County Sheriff's Office to provide medical care and
treatment to inmates in the Marion County Jail. [Filing
No. 36 at 3.] During Mr. Bellamy's initial intake to
the jail, LPN Jennifer Deese, a nurse with CCS, completed a
“Receiving Screening Form” regarding Mr. Bellamy.
[Filing No. 36 at 4.] Ms. Deese recorded that Mr.
Bellamy used heroin and Xanax on the day of his arrest and
that he had a history of withdrawal after stopping usage of
those drugs. [Filing No. 36 at 4.] On the portion of
the form entitled “Suicide Potential Screening, ”
Ms. Deese answered “no” as to whether Mr. Bellamy
was under the influence of drugs and “no” as to
whether he was showing signs of withdrawal or mental illness.
[Filing No. 36 at 5.] On that same day, Ms. Deese
completed a “Withdrawal Score Sheet” as to Mr.
Bellamy, on which she indicated that Mr. Bellamy was
experiencing nausea/vomiting, tremors, anxiety, and
headaches. [Filing No. 36 at 5.]
about September 26, 2016, Mr. Bellamy was recorded as having
withdrawal symptoms more severe than those on September 24.
[Filing No. 36 at 5.] At approximately 3:18 p.m., a
blanket was placed over the window of Mr. Bellamy's cell,
which was obvious to any individual who walked near his cell.
[Filing No. 36 at 5.] Deputy Westmoreland, who was
responsible for checking on inmates in Mr. Bellamy's unit
that evening, conducted at least two checks of Mr.
Bellamy's unit after the blanket had been affixed.
[Filing No. 36 at 5.] Deputy Westmoreland did not
remove the blanket or check on Mr. Bellamy. [Filing No.
36 at 5.] Later that evening, other inmates opened the
door to Mr. Bellamy's cell. [Filing No. 36 at
5.] They found Mr. Bellamy with one end of a bed sheet
tied around his neck, and the other end tied around a bunk
bed. [Filing No. 36 at 5.] The inmates called for
emergency assistance. [Filing No. 36 at 5.]
the span of the next five minutes, four deputies looked
inside or entered Mr. Bellamy's cell but did not attempt
to render any aid. [Filing No. 36 at 5-7.] At
approximately 4:07 p.m., Deputies Klakamp, Mottram, and
Buchanan entered the cell and began to remove the sheet from
Mr. Bellamy's neck. [Filing No. 36 at 7.] One
officer told Deputy Klakamp not to remove the sheet from Mr.
Bellamy's neck, because it “was a crime
scene.” [Filing No. 36 at 7.] Deputy Klakamp
nonetheless removed the sheet from Mr. Bellamy's neck and
maintained Mr. Bellamy's airway while Deputy Mottram
performed CPR. [Filing No. 36 at 7.] At
approximately 4:09 p.m., medical staff arrived, and a nurse
began to perform CPR. [Filing No. 36 at 7.]
According to Deputy Klakamp, the nurse's performance of
CPR was “very poor.” [Filing No. 36 at
7.] Mr. Bellamy was pronounced dead at 4:44 p.m.
internal affairs investigation was conducted following Mr.
Bellamy's death. [Filing No. 36 at 8.] During
that investigation, Deputy Westmoreland indicated that the
situation had been overwhelming. [Filing No. 36 at
8.] The investigation determined that Deputy
Westmoreland violated Marion County ...