Estate of Perry v. Wenzel, No. 16-3130 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
After his arrest, Perry stated that he suffered from seizures as a result of a previous head injury, that his seizures were treated with medication, and that he had not taken his medication. He was placed in a “bullpen” and, 12 hours later, suffered a seizure and was transported to the hospital. After he returned to the jail, the city failed to provide Perry with medical care although he displayed signs of deteriorating health. He was shackled and had a spit mask placed over his face. Officers ignored his cries for help and complaints that he could not breathe and transferred him to the county facility, where nurses decided that Perry was medically unfit to be booked, but provided no medical care and failed to remove the mask, which was seeping blood. When a nurse removed the mask, Perry was not breathing. Despite emergency efforts, Perry died less than 24 hours after his arrest. On summary judgment, the district court rejected his family’s claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983, and a Monell claim, alleging that the city had a de facto policy of failing to investigate in-custody deaths and ignoring detainees' medical complaints. The Seventh Circuit reversed in part; the evidence, which includes surveillance footage, would permit a jury to grant relief on the section 1983 claims. Rejecting claims of qualified immunity, the court stated that it was clearly established that a detainee was entitled to objectively reasonable medical care.