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CALHOUN v. RAMSEY

March 28, 2003

NORMAN CALHOUN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KENNETH R. RAMSEY, SHERIFF OF KANE COUNTY, ILLINOIS, PETER JAMES O'CONNOR, LYNN KIMMEL, AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES OF ILLINOIS, INC. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ronald A. Guzman, United States Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In this civil rights suit, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff Norman Calhoun ("Calhoun") has sued Kenneth R. Ramsey, Sheriff of Kane County, Illinois ("the Sheriff") in his official capacity, Correctional Services of Illinois, Inc. ("CMS"), an Illinois corporation, and Officer Peter James O'Connor ("O'Connor") and nurse Lynn Kimmel ("Kimmel"), both sued in their individual capacity, alleging that all defendants violated his rights as guaranteed under the Eighth Amendment when they failed to get plaintiff's medication to him in a timely manner on the first night of his work release confinement.*fn1 Presently before the Court is defendant's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 56. For the reasons stated herein, defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part.

FACTS

Unless noted, the following facts are undisputed or deemed admitted by the party's noncompliance with Local General Rule 56.1, a rule which this Court strictly enforces. Plaintiff is a former inmate of the Kane County Adult Correctional Facility ("the Jail"). (Defs.' LR 56.1(a)(3) ¶ 1.)*fn2 On June 1, 1999, plaintiff went to the Jail at approximately 7:00 p.m. to begin serving a 120-day work release sentence. (Id.) Plaintiff's claims arise from his incarceration at the Jail during a two to three-hour period on that night. (Id. ¶ 8.)

Shortly after plaintiff arrived at the Jail, he spoke with the booking officer, Peter O'Connor, who wrote down plaintiff's basic information. (Id. ¶¶ 15-16.) Officer O'Connor then took possession of plaintiff's various medications. (Id.) O'Connor placed plaintiff in a holding cell and called a nurse to speak with him about his medications. (Id. ¶¶ 17-18.) Shortly thereafter, a nurse, Lynn Kimmel, arrived at the booking area to speak with plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 19.) Nurse Kimmel is employed by CMS, which provides medical services to inmates at the Jail pursuant to a contract with Kane County. (Id. ¶ 5.)

Plaintiff discussed with Nurse Kimmel the purpose of each of his medications and at what time these medications had to be administered to him. (Id. ¶ 20.) Nurse Kimmel wrote down plaintiff's medical information and history. (Id.) Plaintiff's neurologist had prescribed a TENS unit to relax his muscles. (Id. ¶ 51.) A TENS unit is an electronic device that, when attached to a person's muscles, emits an electric shock and sends impulses through the muscles to relax them. (Id. ¶ 48.) Plaintiff advised Nurse Kimmel that he (1) had a herniated disc between CS and C6, (2) had a crushed disc at C5, (3) had cancer caused by Agent Orange, (4) was allergic to chlorine, (5) wanted two mattresses and a pillow while incarcerated and that he slept on a $1200 mattress at home, (6) had been diagnosed with severe cervical radiculopathy. (Id.) The following are the prescription medications that plaintiff brought with him to the Jail: Allopurinol (prescribed for gout), Lisinopril (prescribed for high blood pressure), Ibuprofen (prescribed for headaches), vitamins, Diazepam (prescribed for muscle relaxation in Calhoun's neck and shoulders) and trazodone (prescribed by his psychiatrist as an anti-depressant and an anti-inflammatory). (Id. ¶ 22.) Nurse Kimmel took Calhoun's various medications with her as she left. (Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiff was not experiencing any medical problems at this time that required immediate treatment. (Id. ¶ 21.)

Of the medications that plaintiff brought with him to the Jail, only Diazepam and Trazodone had to be administered at "QHS," a medical term referring to "hour of sleep." (Id. ¶ 23.) However, the medication that plaintiff claims he should have been administered by O'Connor and Kimmel are Diazepam, Ibuprofen and Lisinopril. (Id. ¶ 38.) Nurse Kimmel, paged the Jail physician, Dr. Aguinaldo, and the Jail psychiatrist, Dr. Kaarianinen, to obtain an order for plaintiff's medications. (Id. ¶¶ 24-25; Defs.' Ex. C, Kimmel Dep., at 11, 12, 43-44; Defs.' Ex. F, Zegar Dep., at 40-43; Kane County Jail Medical Records.) This was done at approximately 8:30 p.m. (Defs.' LR 56.1(a)(3) ¶ 24.)

Dr. Kaarianinen returned Nurse Kimmel's page at approximately 9:00 p.m. and issued a prescription for Trazodone to be taken at "QHS." (Id. ¶ 25; Defs.' Ex. C, Kimmel Dep., at 13-15.) Because Dr. Kaarianinen only prescribed psychiatric medication, Nurse Kimmel waited for Dr. Aguinaldo to call with an order for plaintiff's remaining medications. (Id.)

According to Calhoun, he started to ask for his medications at 8:00 p.m. and stated that he needed to have his medications by 9:00 p.m, and he was told not to worry. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) ¶ 14; Defs.' Ex. B, Calhoun Dep., at 69.) At 8:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and at 9:00 p.m. he repeated his statement. (Defs.' Ex. B, Calhoun Dep., at 69.)*fn3 At 9:10 or 9:15 p.m., he experienced an anxiety attack and spasms from his neck down to his lower back. (Id., at 67.) It was then that O'Connor summoned Nurse Kimmel for medical assistance. (Id. at 67-69.) Nurse Kimmel arrived within twenty minutes of the onset of Calhoun's spasms and anxiety attack. (Id. at 71.) Nurse Kimmel and Officer O'Connor entered plaintiff's cell, and Nurse Kimmel took plaintiff's vital signs and directed another officer to call for an ambulance. (Defs.' LR 56.1(a)(3) ¶¶ 29-30.)

The ambulance arrived at the jail at approximately 9:45 p.m. and transferred plaintiff to the Emergency Room at Delnor Community Hospital. (Pl.'s Ex. 1, Calhoun Dep., at 119; Kane County Jail Medical Records.) Plaintiff was admitted to the ER at approximately 10:20 p.m. (Id.; Def.'s Ex. J., Delnor Medical Records.) In the ER, plaintiff was treated with Vistaril for anxiety, Valium as a muscle relaxer, and Flexeril as a muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory. (Pl.'s Ex. 1, Calhoun Dep., at 117-19; Delnor Medical Records.) Plaintiff was observed by doctors at the ER for approximately 45 minutes, and was then discharged at approximately 11:30 p.m. (Pl.'s Ex. 1, Calhoun Dep., at 119-120; Defs.' Ex. F, Zegar Dep., at 93; Delnor Medical Records.) The ER records note that plaintiff was discharged in good shape, and he was allowed to go home from the ER because he had been released, at that time, from the Sheriff's custody. (Pl.'s Ex. 1, Calhoun Dep., at 120; Defs.' Ex. J, Delnor Medical Records.)

DISCUSSION

Pursuant to Rule 56(c) summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." To determine whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court does not weigh the evidence or determine the truth of the matters asserted. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). Instead, the court "must view the facts, and all reasonable inferences drawn therefrom, in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party." Baron v. City of Highland Park, 195 F.3d 333, 337 (7th Cir. 1999). The nonmoving party may not rest on his pleadings however, instead he must demonstrate through specific factual allegations that there is a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). Unless a reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party, summary judgment must be granted. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249.

42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides "[e]very person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law. . . ." "To state a claim under this provision, a plaintiff must allege that he was deprived of a federal right and that the deprivation was imposed upon him by a person acting under color of state Law." Harbours Pointe of Nashotah, LLC v. Vill. of Nashotah, 278 F.3d 701, 704 (7th Cir. 2002).

Plaintiff has asserted an Eighth Amendment violation based on deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs against (1) Officer O'Connor in his individual capacity, (2) Nurse Lynn Kimmel in her individual capacity, (3) Sheriff Ramsey in his official capacity, and (4) CMS, an Illinois corporation. "In an Eighth Amendment claim of inadequate medical care in a prison, a plaintiff must show that a responsible state official was deliberately indifferent to his or her serious medical condition." Dunigan ex rel. Nyman v. Winnebago County, 165 F.3d 587, 590 (7th Cir. 1999). "A deliberate indifference claim contains both objective and subjective elements." Walker v. Benjamin, 293 F.3d 1030, 1036 (7th Cir. 2002). "The deprivation suffered by the prisoner must be objectively sufficiently serious." Id. "The subjective element requires that the prison official acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind." Id. "[A] prisoner claiming deliberate indifference need not prove that the prison officials intended, hoped for, or ...


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