Defendant Thomas Dworak ("Mr. Dworak"), an officer with the Wilmette Police Department, subsequently arrived at the Skokie police station and transported Mr. Anderson-EL to the Wilmette police station. Upon arrival at the Wilmette police station, Mr. Anderson-EL told Mr. Dworak that he wanted to go to the hospital and that he wanted an attorney present for questioning. Mr. Dworak responded that Mr. Anderson-EL would be taken to the hospital at a later time. On the following day, Mr. Anderson-EL woke up at about noon in the Wilmette police station and again asked to be taken to the hospital.
At approximately 3:00 p.m. that afternoon, Wilmette firefighter paramedics James Winter ("Mr. Winter") and Michael McGreal ("Mr. McGreal") arrived at the Wilmette police station to transport Mr. Anderson-EL to Evanston Hospital. Mr. Anderson-EL informed Messrs. Winter and McGreal that he had been beaten by Skokie police officers and complained of a tender scrotum, neck, and head, as well as symptoms of heroin withdrawal. According to the paramedics, Mr. Anderson-EL had normal vital signs and no visible injuries.
They gave him the highest possible "trauma score," indicating that he had good mobility, that he exhibited no life-threatening conditions, and that he did not require immediate medical attention. The paramedics did not treat Mr. Anderson-EL during the transport, nor did they transport him to the hospital on an accelerated basis.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., Mr. Anderson-EL arrived at Evanston Hospital, where he was examined by a nurse, a resident, and a physician, Dr. Leonara Gatewood ("Dr. Gatewood"). Dr. Gatewood testified that Mr. Anderson-EL had normal vital signs, that he had no acute distress, and that none of his organs were swollen or otherwise injured. X-rays of his chest indicated that he had no fractures. A range of motion exercise revealed that he had full range of motion in his left shoulder. The nurse observed a small abrasion on Mr. Anderson-EL's chest. The final diagnosis was "musculoskeletal chest pain - abrasion." Mr. Anderson-EL was advised to take Advil or Tylenol every four hours as needed for pain. Dr. Gatewood testified that, in her opinion, Mr. Anderson-EL did not have a serious medical condition and that any delay in his transport to the hospital did not exacerbate his injuries. Mr. Anderson-EL testified that he has never been advised by any other medical professional that the delay exacerbated his injuries. On December 23, 1991, Mr. Anderson-EL was transported to Cook County Jail. He is currently incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center.
On April 30, 1993, Mr. Anderson-EL brought this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Messrs. O'Keefe, Fowler, and Dworak; William Miller ("Mr. Miller"), Chief of Police for the City of Skokie; and George Carpenter ("Mr. Carpenter"), Chief of Police for the City of Wilmette. On February 8, 1994, Judge Andersen, to whom this case was then assigned, dismissed the official and individual capacity claims against Mr. Miller and the official capacity claims against Mr. Dworak. On May 4, 1994, Judge Andersen granted plaintiff's motion to voluntarily dismiss Mr. Carpenter from the case. Mr. Dworak now moves for summary judgment on the remaining claims against him.
Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). A genuine issue of material fact exists when "there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). The movant bears the initial burden of submitting affidavits and other evidentiary materials to show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). If the movant sustains this burden, the opposing party may not avoid judgment by resting upon the allegations or denials of the pleadings. Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., supra, 24 F.3d at 920. Rather, the non-movant must come forward with specific evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id.; FED. R. CIV. P. 56(e). If the non-movant fails to do so, "then the court must enter summary judgment against [him]." Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., supra, 24 F.3d at 920 (citations omitted) (emphasis in original).
Mr. Anderson-EL alleges that Mr. Dworak failed to provide him with timely medical treatment despite his repeated requests for immediate care. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits officials from punishing pretrial detainees prior to a formal adjudication of guilt. Brownell v. Figel, 950 F.2d 1285, 1289 (7th Cir. 1991) (citing Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535-39, 60 L. Ed. 2d 447, 99 S. Ct. 1861 (1979)). It is well settled that prohibited punishment includes "deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of pretrial detainees." 950 F.2d at 1289-90 (citations omitted). See also Salazar v. City of Chicago, 940 F.2d 233, 239 (7th Cir. 1991).
Accordingly, Mr. Anderson-EL must demonstrate that Mr. Dworak acted "deliberately indifferent" to his "serious medical needs" in order to prevail on his Section 1983 claim. Id. He must also demonstrate that the delay in receiving medical care caused him to suffer "substantial harm." See Thomas v. Pate, 493 F.2d 151, 158 (7th Cir.), vacated on other grounds sub nom. Cannon v. Thomas, 419 U.S. 813, 42 L. Ed. 2d 39, 95 S. Ct. 288 (1974); De La Paz v. Danzl, 646 F. Supp. 914, 922-23 (N.D. Ill. 1986). Mr. Dworak argues that summary judgment is appropriate because (1) the alleged injuries did not amount to a "serious medical need" requiring immediate medical care, (2) he did not act with "deliberate indifference" to Mr. Anderson-EL's medical needs, and (3) Mr. Anderson-EL did not suffer "substantial harm" as a result of the delay. He argues in the alternative that he is entitled to qualified immunity.
Serious Medical Needs
The "due process clause requires treatment only for serious wounds." Davis v. Jones, 936 F.2d 971, 972 (7th Cir. 1991) (emphasis in original). The Seventh Circuit has explained that an injury or condition is "serious" only if it is "life threatening or pose[s] a risk of needless pain or lingering disability if not treated at once." Id. The inquiry is an objective one: a pretrial detainee must be given medical treatment "if a reasonable officer would have considered the injury serious." Murphy v. Walker, 51 F.3d 714, 719 (7th Cir. 1995) (per curiam) (citation omitted). See also Davis v. Jones, supra, 936 F.2d at 973 ("the question is not what was in the officers' heads but how things should have appeared to competent officers").
In his motion for summary judgment, Mr. Dworak has come forward with evidence showing that a reasonable officer would conclude that Mr. Anderson-EL's injuries were relatively minor and certainly not life-threatening. Mr. Anderson-EL testified in his deposition that he suffered from a bruise on the left side of his head, a scratch on his chest, and soreness of his eye, throat, and testicles as a result of the beatings. He stated that he did not feel the bruise on his head until he awoke the day after the beatings and that he could not see the bruise because it was under his hair. He also stated that his eye first became swollen a few days later after he slept on a cold cement floor at Cook County Jail. He further stated that he had been under the influence of heroin and cocaine during the beatings and that, consequently, the pain had been tolerable until he awoke on the following day.
The paramedics who transported Mr. Anderson-EL to the hospital did not record any, let alone life-threatening, injuries, and found that he had normal vital signs and good mobility. Likewise, the staff at Evanston Hospital found that he had normal vital signs, no acute distress, no fractures, and that none of his organs were swollen or otherwise injured. The only objective medical finding of injury was a small abrasion on his chest, which Mr. Anderson-EL himself described in his deposition as "a little scratch" which was the size of "a fingernail cut." Dr. Gatewood testified that this abrasion did not constitute a serious medical condition and accordingly prescribed only Advil or Tylenol. Mr. Anderson-EL has not come forward with any evidence contesting these facts. The court therefore concludes that Mr. Anderson-EL did not exhibit a medical condition which a reasonable police officer would characterize as "serious." Accord, Davis v. Jones, supra, 936 F.2d at 972 (evidence that the plaintiff suffered a scraped elbow and a shallow one-inch cut in his temple was "too thin to allow a reasonable inference that [his] wounds appeared serious"); Martin v. Gentile, 849 F.2d 863, 871 (4th Cir. 1988) (evidence that plaintiff had a small cut over one eye, a quarter-inch sliver of glass embedded in his palm, and bruises on his shoulders and elbows was insufficient to establish a "serious medical need").
To establish a constitutional violation, a pretrial detainee must also show that a defendant acted with "deliberate indifference" to his medical needs. Brownell v. Figel, supra, 950 F.2d at 1290 & n.5. In Farmer v. Brennan, 128 L. Ed. 2d 811, 114 S. Ct. 1970, 1979 (1994), the U.S. Supreme Court defined "deliberate indifference" in the context of a prison conditions case brought under the Eighth Amendment. The Court explained that a prison official cannot be held liable for denying a prison inmate humane conditions of confinement
unless the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the inference.