On July 11, 2007, paraplegic residents of Illinois who use wheelchairs for mobility, filed a civil action arising under Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12132, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §794(a) and 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Sheriff of Cook ...
read more >
On July 11, 2007, paraplegic residents of Illinois who use wheelchairs for mobility, filed a civil action arising under Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12132, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §794(a) and 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Sheriff of Cook County and Cook County, Illinois in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Elaine Bucklo). The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for a trial by jury, and damages. They claimed discrimination because of disability while assigned to the Residential Treatment Unit (“RTU”) of the Division Eight and the hospital wing of Division Eight, Cermak Hospital, during the time they were held in custody of the Cook County Jail.
Plaintiffs claimed the RTU of Division Eight failed to provide appropriate shower facilities, toilet facilities, transportation and beds for persons who use wheelchairs. All of the plaintiffs claimed they suffered physical injuries, were subjected to emotional distress, and were deprived of equal protection law, as secured by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and were discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12132 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. In the Amended Complaint, 2007 U.S. Dist. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 7450.
Plaintffs sought certification of a class to include all former and current mobility impaired inmates at the Cook County Department of Corrections who on or after July 12, 2005, were subjected to discrimination because of their disabilities in violation of §202 of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 because the defendants failed to provide appropriate shower facilities, appropriate toilet facilities, and appropriate beds for persons who use wheelchairs. The plaintiffs sought monetary relief.
On March 26, 2008, Judge Bucklo certified plaintiffs’ proposed class. 249 F.R.D. 298 (N.D. Ill. 2008).
On November 25, 2009, Judge Bucklo, denied all of the parties’ motions and cross-motions for summary judgment. 681 F. Supp. 2d 899 (N.D. Ill. 2009)
On September 17, 2010, Judge Bucklo approved a proposed class settlement which provided that the defendant Cook County would, within 30 days, pay incentive awards of $25,000 each to two of the plaintiffs, $15,000 to a third plaintiff, and $10,000 to the fourth plaintiff. Defendant Cook County also agreed to pay attorneys' fees and costs of $700,000 and $35,000 respectively.
The court reserved jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement until September 1, 2011. Denise Heberle - 08/03/2012