Hahn v. Walsh

Decision Date14 March 2013
Docket NumberNo. 09–CV–2145.,09–CV–2145.
Citation915 F.Supp.2d 925
PartiesPatrick HAHN and Erik Redwood, Administrator of the Estate of Janet Louise Hahn, Deceased, Plaintiffs, v. Daniel WALSH, et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Central District of Illinois

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Jude Marie Redwood, Redwood Law Office, St. Joseph, IL, for Plaintiffs.

Brian Michael Smith, Keith Eric Fruehling, Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen, Urbana, IL, Howard W. Small, Law Office of Small & Freeman Ltd., Champaign, IL, for Defendants.

OPINION

MICHAEL P. McCUSKEY, District Judge.

This case is before the court for ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment (# 124) filed by Defendants City of Urbana, Sylvia Morgan, Matthew Bain and Angela Menocci (Urbana Defendants), the Motion for Summary Judgment (# 130) filed by Defendants Daniel Walsh (Walsh) and County of Champaign, Illinois (Champaign County), the Motion for Summary Judgment (# 133) filed by Defendant Health Professionals Ltd. (HPL), and related Motions to Strike (# 138, # 159, # 161). This court has carefully considered the arguments of the parties and the documents provided by the parties. Following this careful and thorough review, this court rules as follows: (1) the Urbana Defendants' Motion to Strike (# 138) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; (2) the Motions to Strike (# 159, # 161) filed by Plaintiffs, Patrick Hahn and Erik Redwood, Administrator of the Estate of Janet Louise Hahn, are DENIED; and (3) Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment (# 124, # 130, # 133) are GRANTED.

FACTS 1

Janet Hahn (Janet) was a 33–year–old type 1 insulin-dependent diabetic who also suffered from mental health issues. She and Patrick Hahn (Patrick) were married in November 2006, although they had a lengthy relationship prior to the date of their marriage. They had a child together in June 2006 in Bloomington, Illinois. The child was removed from their care by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) immediately after the child's birth. Janet and Patrick had visitation with the child and a service plan was in place which set out specific goals and tasks to be accomplished in order to obtain custody of the child. Janet and Patrick moved to Urbana the summer of 2006. At that time, Janelle Dobbin was working for Catholic Charities, a service provider for DCFS. In October 2006, Dobbin began working with Janet and Patrick. Dobbin testified that Janet and Patrick were making little or no progress in accomplishing the goals and tasks set out in their service plan. Dobbin testified that, in May 2007, she had written a report recommending the termination of Janet and Patrick's parental rights. Dobbin testified that, at that point, reunification with their child was unlikely if not impossible.

Janet had problems with control of her diabetes. In 2006 and 2007, calls were made to Metropolitan Computer Aided Dispatch (METCAD) on numerous occasions. The documentation shows that Janet was reported to be unconscious in many of these calls. Calls were also made to report domestic violence situations involving Janet and Patrick. Urbana police officers took Janet to the hospital for treatment of her diabetes following some of these calls. On February 25, 2007, Janet was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. The documentation states that Janet reported taking too much insulin in an attempt to kill herself. The report was signed by Urbana Police Officer Alex Ruggieri. The documentation does not show when Janet was released from the mental health facility. However, it shows that METCAD was called on March 10, 2007, and a report was made that Janet was at her residence and was unconscious. Police officers responded to this call and other calls in March and Janet was again involuntarily committed on March 27, 2007. On April 13, 2007, Janet was observed walking in and out of traffic and laying in the road. The police were called and Janet was admitted to a mental health facility for a mental evaluation.

John Hawn, Janet and Patrick's landlord, testified that Janet was mentally slow. Hawn testified that, on approximately six occasions, Patrick had called on him to administer insulin injections to Janet because she had fallen unconscious.

Janet was arrested in May 2007 and was taken to the Champaign County jail. Susan Swain, a nurse who worked for HPL at the jail sent an email on May 6, 2007 regarding Janet which stated:

Hi there! This young lady is quite a challenge to work with. She refuses to disclose any of her medical history or conditions except for the fact that she is insulin dependant diabetic. She also refuses to sign any release of information and told me that she will not tell me who her doctor is or where she seeks treatment at. She will be leaving tomorrow (05–07–07) and she states that she will not eat while she is here. She has pretty much tied my hands as far as helping her goes. Please bring her to the infirmary to test her blood sugar tonight and tomorrow morning BUT I am not at all sure that she will cooperate with the test. She can give herself insulin per sliding scale however I am pretty sure that she will not do that either! Thanks for your assistance in this matter!!!!

The email was sent to “Corrections.”

On June 15, 2007, Dobbin drove Janet to an appointment for a mental health evaluation required as part of the service plan. Dobbin testified that Janet was cooperative and said she had some food with her in her purse. Dobbin testified, however, that she did not know if Janet had anything to eat that day or if Janet took any insulin. Dobbin returned Janet to her home late that afternoon. Dobbin testified that Janet called her and left her a voice mail message around 4:00 that afternoon. Dobbin stated that Janet sounded agitated on the voice mail. Hawn testified that he was at the trailer park doing maintenance and saw Janet yelling at Patrick, throwing things and chasing Patrick around the trailer park. Hawn testified that he called 911 before Janet caught Patrick. Patrick testified that Janet chased him around the trailer park with a knife and he ended up getting stabbed on the left side of his lower back.

Around 5:36 p.m. that day, METCAD received a call involving a female chasing a male with a knife. Urbana Police Officers Sylvia Morgan and Matthew Bain responded to the call. Urbana Police Officer Angela Menocci 2 also responded to the call. Menocci had previously responded to a call to Janet's residence. Menocci saw Patrick lying on the ground. She investigated Patrick's wound and determined that it was about one inch long and a quarter of an inch deep and did not appear life threatening. Menocci went along with Patrick on his ambulance ride to the hospital. At his deposition, taken August 26, 2010, Patrick testified that he did not remember whether he had an occasion to speak to the police and tell them anything about what had happened on June 15, 2007.

Menocci testified that she spoke to Hawn and Sherie Davis at the scene. Davis, who was apparently a neighbor of Janet and Patrick's in the trailer park, stated in her Declaration that she was interviewed by an unnamed female Urbana police officer before Patrick was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Davis said she told the officer that Janet was a diabetic who needs insulin every day, that Janet had a really hard time controlling her diabetes, especially in summer, and that Janet kept insulin in Davis's refrigerator. Davis said that she also told the officer that Janet had mental problems and had talked about killing herself. Davis said she told the officer that the ambulance was always coming and taking Janet to the emergency room and Janet needed to be taken to the emergency room that day. Davis stated that she offered to get Janet's insulin but the officer told her to go into her apartment and stay there.

Morgan was the commanding or supervising officer at the scene. Morgan testified that she asked the dispatcher to call for medical personnel. Morgan testified that she knew through other police officers that the police had been called to Janet and Patrick's address before because of domestic problems and that there was something wrong with Janet mentally. Janet had been seen entering her trailer after she stabbed Patrick. Bain kicked the door to Janet and Patrick's trailer and Bain and Morgan entered and found Janet inside lying on the couch with her eyes closed. Morgan ran her knuckles along Janet's sternum in an attempt to get a reaction from her. Janet did not react to the sternum rub. Morgan testified that they had to physically hold her up to put handcuffs on her. Morgan testified that they waited for the medical personnel to arrive. Two EMTs, Brian Nightlinger and Randy Hausle entered the trailer. Nightlinger testified that he had responded to a call at Janet's trailer on a prior occasion and knew she was a diabetic. Nightlinger checked her blood pressure, which was 130/84, and Hausle checked her blood sugar, which was 96, a reading within the normal range. Nightlinger testified that Janet had a decent blood sugar and a decent blood pressure. No other vital signs were taken by the EMTs. Nightlinger testified that paramedics arrived and used smelling salts and Janet responded. Morgan testified that Janet opened her eyes in response to the smelling salts. The paramedics thought Janet had been faking unconsciousness. Nightlinger and Hausle testified that Janet scored a 15 on the Glasgow coma scale, which Hausle testifiedwas the highest rating on the scale and meant that the person is “fully alert and there's nothing—nothing wrong that would indicate any problem.” Nightlinger testified that the score meant that she had good contact, she had good motor skills and verbal, she was able to speak to us.” Hausle testified that he witnessed that Janet was able to speak. Nightlinger testified that the paramedics determined that Janet was okay to be released for transport by the Urbana police.

Morgan...

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