United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JADEN THOMAS, RYAN BRAVERMAN, KATIE DEDELOW, JAKE RAMSEY, ISABELLA BLACKFORD, MICHAEL DUKE, and LINDSAY FREEMAN individuals, each on behalf of himself/herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
THE TRUSTEES OF INDIANA UNIVERSITY, Defendant.
ORDER ON MOTION TO EXTEND TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Emergency
Motion for Extension of Temporary Restraining Order
(“TRO”) (Filing No. 48). The Plaintiffs
seek an extension of the Court's TRO entered November 21,
2018 (Filing No. 42). Plaintiffs' Motion focuses
on Defendant, the Trustees of Indiana University's
(“IU”) plans to inspect and then to remediate, if
appropriate, rooms within the Teter dormitories over the
winter break, though (as the Court understands it), the
Plaintiffs' desire for relief is not limited to Teter.
They view the Court's November 21, 2018 TRO as extending
to any mold-remediation efforts that may take place with
respect to any dorm room or dorm common area anywhere on the
IU-Bloomington campus at any time before the Court rules on
the preliminary injunction issues, after hearing, that will
be presented to the Court in connection with the briefing
schedule shown at Filing No. 53.
contrast, views this case as limited to the McNutt and Foster
dorms in which the named Plaintiffs live. IU reported to the
Magistrate Judge during a conference held December 7, 2018,
that all scheduled remediation efforts for student-occupied
rooms in those two dorms have been completed and, at this
point, IU does not conduct inspections and perform further
remediation activities at those dorms unless it receives an
individual complaint by a student requesting an inspection.
IU thus contends that the matters which led to the TRO-the
scheduled remediation of McNutt and Foster-have been
completed and there is no basis for ordering a temporal
extension of the TRO. IU also asserts that the mold-sampling
work the Plaintiffs want their expert(s) to continue to do
would substantially interfere with IU's ability to
conduct and complete the inspection/remediation work for the
Teter dormitories over the winter break.
Court has carefully considered the parties' briefing on
the Plaintiffs' Motion for extension of the TRO, and
FINDS and ORDERS as
Because the scheduled inspection/remediation efforts with
respect to the McNutt and Foster dorms have been completed,
and further inspection/remediations are conducted only if a
student makes a request for inspection, the TRO is deemed to
have expired with respect to the McNutt and Foster dorms.
Court will not require IU to coordinate with the Plaintiffs
with respect to inspections and remediations that occur
because of individualized requests for inspections made by
students. This does not mean that IU should discontinue the
work, as it has described to the Court, that it or its agents
do engage in to document mold conditions and remediation. The
Court also does not find, and its TRO did not find, that
IU's remediation of mold without taking physical samples
of mold and attempting to preserve physical samples of mold
for testing, constitutes spoliation of evidence that would
warrant an adverse evidentiary inference.
TRO did permit the Plaintiffs to take physical samples of
mold for testing. And, as the Court understands it, the
Plaintiffs' expert did collect samples in numerous rooms
within the McNutt and Foster dorms. The Court is not
persuaded that the Plaintiffs are entitled to take physical
samples of mold in every room of every dorm where mold might
be present anywhere on the IU Bloomington campus.
Court will, however, permit the Plaintiffs to add to the
number of samples they already have gathered. The Court finds
it appropriate to permit the Plaintiffs to gather additional
samples during the inspection/remediation scheduled over the
winter break at the Teter dormitories.
Court is concerned, however, with the prospect of the
Plaintiffs' sampling work interfering with IU's
ability to complete its inspection and remediation work at
the Teter dormitories over the winter break. It is also
concerned with the prospect of IU personnel interfering with
the Plaintiffs' sampling work in a manner to unreasonably
delay their ability to efficiently gather samples.
Court will allow the Plaintiffs to use a team of experts to
gather samples on a random basis at the Teter dormitories
during the winter break inspection/remediation.
Court also approves the protocol set forth by IU at
Filing No. 51-3 to govern the Plaintiffs'
gathering of samples.
Order does not require IU itself to gather or maintain mold
Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Extension of Temporary
Restraining Order (Filing No. 48) is
DENIED. Instead, the Court permits the
Plaintiffs to gather mold samples during the Teter
inspection/remediation as provided in this Order.