Court grants summary judgment in favor of correctional staff on inmate’s medical and discrimination claims.

December 16, 2020

The Honorable Iain D. Johnston in the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment in favor of ten corrections officers, the Chief of Corrections, the Corrections Lieutenant, County Sheriff Roger Scott, and the County of DeKalb in Eric Bernard v. Roger Scott, et al., Case No. 15-cv-50277 (November 20, 2020). Plaintiff, Eric Bernard, a former pre-trial and convicted detainee at the DeKalb County Jail sued the Sheriff, the County, Administrative personnel at the DeKalb County Jail, and several corrections officers for allegedly inadequate mental health treatment, discrimination, and for isolating him from other detainees. Plaintiff alleged the Sheriff’s policies regarding mental health treatment were inadequate.

Eric Bernard, a multi-time convicted felon, and convicted jail escapee spent several stints in the DeKalb County Jail. He was incarcerated in the Jail for about 18 months while awaiting trial and for two weeks after this conviction for armed robbery. Plaintiff had several mental health conditions, but refused medication while in the jail, and refused to meet with the jail’s qualified mental health professional, instead demanding to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. The Court found that the Jail’s corrections and administrative staff appropriately relied on contracted medical and mental health staff to treat Plaintiff’s mental health condition(s). Additionally, the Court found that the Jail’s policies were not inadequate either in provision and delivery of care or in allowing corrections staff to dispense medications. The Court also found that the Jail Administration were afforded deference in their decisions, made in the interests of jail safety, to administratively segregate Plaintiff from the general population of the Jail based on his criminal history. Finally, the Court found that Plaintiff’s discrimination claims were unsupported by the evidence. The Sheriff, County, and Corrections officials were represented by Michael Bersani and Tony Fioretti.

Eric Bernard v. Roger Scott, et al., Case No. 15-cv-50277 (November 20, 2020)

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