Turnage v. Dart

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
No. 20-3167
Decision Date: 
October 26, 2021
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Vacated and remanded

Dist. Ct. erred in dismissing for failure to exhaust administrative remedies plaintiff-prisoner’s action under Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of Rehabilitation Act, where: (1) plaintiff fell from upper-bunk in jail cell and incurred broken ankle and other injuries under circumstances, where, according to plaintiff, defendants-jail personnel knew that plaintiff suffered from occasional seizures, but failed to enforce plaintiff’s lower-bunk permit; and (2) plaintiff failed to file grievance within 15 days of his placement in cell that forced him to sleep in upper-bunk. Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies, where record showed that plaintiff had filed prison grievance within 15 days of his injuries, and instant prison rules allowed plaintiff to file grievance within 15 days of “incident,” which included occasion when plaintiff incurred his injuries. Ct. rejected Dist. Ct.’s rationale that plaintiff’s failure to file grievance within 15 days of risk of injury that occurred on day of his placement in cell blocked any complaint about his actual injuries that occurred 28 days later. Moreover, defendants failed to cite to any decision that held that when two events could be subject of intra-prison grievance, grievance filed only after second event always is untimely. As such, plaintiff actually did sufficiently exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing instant lawsuit.