Miller v. Nordstrom, No. 11-3418 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, runs a number of youth detention facilities. Jamal, age 16, had a history of mental illness and was known to have attempted suicide at least three times when he arrived at one of those facilities in 2008. His intake assessment noted a history of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, behavior disorders, and anger and drug abuse counseling. His behavioral history included delinquency, gang affiliations, anger, aggression, setting of fires, cruelty to animals, putting a gun to a cousin’s head, threatening to kill teachers, learning disabilities, alcohol abuse, and cannabis use. Jamal denied that he had manic or depressive symptoms, that he was depressed, or that he had experienced suicidal thoughts since his June 2008 attempt; the intake doctor prescribed Prozac and lithium. Jamal was noncompliant, had disciplinary problems, and was periodically evaluated for suicide risk before he committed suicide by hanging himself from a bunk bed. In his mother’s suit, alleging deliberate indifference to Jamal’s serious mental illness, in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights, the district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.