News

The Will County Circuit Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Village of Romeoville in Enbridge Energy, LP. v. Vill. of Romeoville, et al., No. 11 L 727 (Will Co. Aug. 10, 2016). Enbridge Energy sued the Village and a private property owner, Northfield Block, following a September 2010 oil spill. Enbridge alleged that a leaking water pipe, serving Northfield Block, caused the release of oil. The Court found that the Village was immune pursuant to the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act because the Village did not have timely notice of the condition that caused the spill. The Court also found that the Village was entitled to discretionary immunity for their decisions concerning preventative maintenance on the water line, and their decisions following notice of the water and oil leaks. Michael Bersani and Yordana Wysocki represented the Village in its defense against the claims made by Enbridge and Northfield Block.

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Federal Central District Judge Colin Bruce granted summary judgment in favor of correctional staff in Vazquez v. Wilson, et al., No. 14-2300 (C.D. Aug. 11, 2016). A jail inmate alleged that the jail nurse and correctional officer were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs following the removal of his wisdom tooth. He alleged that he did not receive the prescribed antibiotics for 56 hours following his oral surgery and that the officer refused to take him to the ER for further treatment several days later. The Court found no deliberate indifference in the 56-hour delay of prescription antibiotics and found no evidence that the officer ignored or interfered with the prescribed treatment or that the inmate demonstrated any objective conditions that would suggest he faced a life-threatening situation when he demanded to go to the ER. Thus, no constitutional violation occurred. Michael Condon and Anthony Becknek represented the defendant correctional staff.

Vazquez v. Wilson, et al.

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In Briseno v. Bukowski, et al., No. 14-2263 (C.D. Aug. 17, 2016), the District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Sheriff and jail correctional staff, finding that the inmate failed to exhaust his administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The inmate was unable to demonstrate that he filed timely grievances with the correctional staff. The Court held a hearing pursuant to Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008), and took evidence including the inmate’s testimony. The Court did not find the inmate’s testimony credible and entered judgment for the Defendants. Michael Condon and Anthony Becknek represented the defendant correctional staff.

Briseno v. Bukowski, et al.

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Chuck Hervas and Michael Bersani will be speaking at the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Civil Law Conference on September 30, 2016, on defending religious claims against jails and correctional staff under §1983, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), and the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

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Anthony Becknek is moderating a civil rights seminar/committee meeting on Prison Litigation for the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association on September 21, 2016, from 12:00-2:00 at the CBA Building. Jason Rose will be presenting on the defense bar panel.

For further information contact abecknek@hcbattorneys.com.

Christine Jordanov, our law clerk, starts law school this month! Join us in wishing her well.

7/20/16: Yordana Wysocki’s article on the impact of Kingsley v. Hendrickson on jail litigation was published in the July 2016 issue of For the Defense, a defense bar journal.

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7/12/16: Mike Bersani and Tony Fioretti won summary judgment in a police officer’s favor in Morris v. Smith, et al. Police responded to a call for domestic battery. The victim reported the battery and had visible injuries but no arrests were made. A few days later, the victim filed a citizen’s complaint against the responding officers for failure to make an arrest. Following her complaint, police arrested the plaintiff, who later sued for false arrest. The Court found that the victim’s report, coupled with her visible injuries, established probable cause for the offense of domestic battery and granted summary judgment in favor of the internal investigations officer. HC&B represented the officer, while Ancel Glink represented the Village.

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7/11/16: Michael Condon and Yordana Wysocki won summary judgment for the defendant nurses in Carter v. Bukowski, et al., No. 14-cv-27089 (C.D. Ill. June 11, 2016). Carter, a jail inmate, alleged that the nurses were deliberately indifferent to his complaints of stomach pain and rectal bleeding. The Court ruled that no jury could find that the jail nursing staff consciously disregarded a serious medical need or that the staff’s response to Carter’s complaints – scheduling a doctor’s appointment for the next day – departed from accepted medical judgment.

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7/5/16: HC&B is pleased to announce that Yordana Wysocki has become a partner of the firm.

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