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Maxis v. Layton

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

May 1, 2019

YONEL MAXIS, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN LAYTON, BEN LOUZON, JOSE QUINONES, JAMES ELLIS, JASON LAKAS, JOSHUA JORDAN, TYLER MCCARTHY, JUSTIN LAMB, JASON CARNES, MICHAEL JABKIEWICZ, ROBERT AMOS, SMITH Corporal, SHANIKA BULLOCK, CHAD MEEKS, JAMES KOERS, COX Corporal, DEIDRE BAKER, and CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS’ MOTION TO DISMISS

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on a second Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) by Defendant Correct Care Solutions (“CCS”) (Filing No. 53). Plaintiff Yonel Maxis (“Maxis”) initiated this action, seeking monetary damages for violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights while he was incarcerated in the Marion County Jail. CCS successfully moved to dismiss Maxis’ Monell claim against it, and Maxis filed an Amended Complaint, realleging the Monell claim. CCS again has moved to dismiss Maxis’ sole claim against it, arguing that the allegations in the Amended Complaint fail to not support a Monell claim against CCS. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants CCS’s second Motion to Dismiss.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but as required when reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all factual allegations in the complaint and draws all inferences in favor of Maxis as the non-moving party. See Bielanski v. County of Kane, 550 F.3d 632, 633 (7th Cir. 2008). The facts of this case are set forth in detail in the Court’s Order on CCS’s first motion to dismiss at Filing No. 43 at 2–4 and will thus are only summarized, with the exception of additional facts based on the allegations in the Amended Complaint.

         Maxis, a native of Haiti, speaks Haitian Creole and knows only a few words in English. When he tried to board an IndyGo bus on July 20, 2017, he encountered a language barrier and was prevented from boarding the bus. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers arrived, noted a language barrier, and tried to communicate with Maxis using hand signals. They eventually handcuffed Maxis and pulled him away from the scene. Maxis was suffering from a mental impairment at the time of his arrest. He was taken to the Arrestee Processing Center. Thereafter, in the early morning hours of July 21, 2017, Maxis was transported to the Marion County Jail. Upon arrival at the Marion County Jail, he was placed in a cell (Filing No. 47 at 4– 6).

         CCS contracts with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to provide medical care and treatment to inmates at the Marion County Jail. Id. at 4. CCS Registered Nurse Erica Morris (“RN Morris”) completed an initial screening of Maxis. RN Morris used the “language line” and Google to translate when communicating with Maxis. She marked answers for each question, but no signature was captured from Maxis. RN Morris found that Maxis had no lesions or abrasions and determined that he could be placed in general population. RN Morris also noted that Maxis answered “no” to all questions concerning the use of narcotic drugs and that she did not observe any physical marks indicative of drug abuse. Id. at 6.

         Licensed Practical Nurse Jhervon Gunn (“LPN Gunn”) interacted with Maxis at approximately 6:40 a.m. on July 21, 2017. In his notes, LPN Gunn explained that Maxis spoke very little English but was able to make gestures and followed commands. LPN Gunn had access to the language line and a translator but failed to utilize either of those services. Because of the language barrier, LPN Gunn could not directly communicate with Maxis regarding his condition. Id.

         During his first day at the Marion County Jail, RN Abimbola Modupe-Fry (“RN Modupe-Fry”) noted that Maxis was offered Gatorade at approximately 1:30 p.m. RN Modupe-Fry did not use the language line or a translator for this interaction. As a result of the language barrier, she could not directly communicate with Maxis regarding his condition. Id. at 7. At approximately 3:57 p.m., LPN Tracy Roberts (“LPN Roberts”) completed a “Pre-Segregation Health Assessment” form. LPN Roberts noted that Maxis spoke no English. LPN Roberts did not use the language line or a translator for the assessment. LPN Roberts could not directly communicate with Maxis regarding his condition. She took some but not all of Maxis’ vital signs; she took his pulse but not his blood pressure. He noted that Maxis was anxious, but his speech was normal, and Maxis did not have any lesions or abrasions. LPN Roberts cleared Maxis for segregation. Maxis had not ingested any narcotics nor did any of the CCS medical staff with whom Maxis interacted note that he exhibited any signs of narcotic ingestion. Id. at 7–8.

         On July 22, 2017, Michael Schrettenbrunner (“Schrettenbrunner”), a CCS employee, evaluated Maxis and completed a “Suicide Watch Daily Follow Up / Discharge” form. Schrettenbrunner indicated that Maxis was on suicide watch because of suicidal ideation or threat. Schrettenbrunner noted that Maxis was sleeping and would not wake up, but he was breathing. He determined that Maxis’ risk of suicide was high and that he should continue on suicide watch. However, Schrettenbrunner did not use the language line or a translator for this evaluation (Filing No. 47 at 9).

         On July 23, 2017, Schrettenbrunner again evaluated Maxis and completed a “Suicide Watch Daily Follow Up / Discharge” form. During the evaluation, Schrettenbrunner noted that he could not understand Maxis because he was speaking a foreign language, and he appeared to be African. Maxis was anxious and had pressed speech. Schrettenbrunner did not use the language line or a translator to evaluate Maxis or to determine that he had suicidal ideation or threats. Because of the language barrier, Schrettenbrunner could not directly communicate with Maxis regarding his condition. However, Schrettenbrunner still determined that Maxis had a high risk of suicide and that he should continue on suicide watch. Id. at 9–10.

         On July 24, 2017, prior to Maxis being taken to court, Megan Andrews (“Ms. Andrews”), a CCS employee, evaluated Maxis and completed a “Suicide Watch Daily Follow Up / Discharge” form at approximately 12:32 p.m. Ms. Andrews noted that Maxis was nude because of flooding in his cell. She noted that Maxis did not appear to speak English and that she intended to use the language line to assist with his assessment after he returned from court. Ms. Andrews did not use the language line or a translator to evaluate Maxis, so she could not directly communicate with him about his condition. She concluded that Maxis had a low risk of suicide, but he should continue on suicide watch with his property allowed. Id. at 10.

         During the evening of July 24, 2017, jail staff entered Maxis’ cell and forcibly pushed him into the bunk and wall. They issued three strikes to his forearm, three strikes to his peroneal nerve, utilized a pain point located behind his ear and jaw, deployed the cartridge function of a taser, and deployed two drive stuns with the taser. The jail staff called CCS staff to remove the taser prongs from Maxis. CCS staff members LPN Marsha Williams (“LPN Williams”), Nikia, Shelby, and Rachel were present. An “Emergency Response Worksheet” was completed by a nurse employed by CCS. LPN Williams noted that she could not take Maxis’ blood pressure because his handcuffs were so tight. Throughout this encounter, the language line and a translator were not used by the medical staff. Thus, the CCS staff could not directly communicate with Maxis about his condition. Id. at 10–11.

         On July 25, 2017, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Ms. Andrews again evaluated Maxis and completed a “Suicide Watch Daily Follow Up / Discharge” form. During the evaluation, Ms. Andrews observed that Maxis was laying on the floor of his cell block. When he attempted to move, Maxis appeared to have difficultly lifting himself up to his bunk. Ms. Andrews noted that Maxis was of average intelligence, had intact but poor insight, and intact but poor judgment. It also was noted that he was withdrawn. A translator was called to assist with this evaluation. Maxis indicated that he could not get up, that he was weak, that he had been refusing food, and that he was scared and did not understand what was happening over the last few days. LPN Rachel Allen also interacted with Maxis during this time and noted that he was shaky and looked like he was not feeling well. She shared this information with the night shift staff. Id. at 12.

         Also on July 25, 2017, LPN Tamnil Hill, (“LPN Hill”), interacted with Maxis and noted that other inmates indicated that Maxis was not eating his meals and was giving away his food. LPN Hill indicated that Maxis appeared fatigued and weakened, and he appeared to have no sensation in his left leg, which was swollen. LPN Hill noted ...


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