The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOAN H. LEFKOW, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The plaintiff, a state prisoner, has brought this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff
claims that the defendants, two officers at the Stateville Correctional
Center, violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights by subjecting him
to cruel and unusual conditions of confinement and by acting with
deliberate indifference to his medical needs. This matter is before the
court for consideration of the defendants' motion for summary judgment.
For the reasons stated in this order, the motion will be granted.
Summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with 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." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Prime Northgate Plaza Ltd. Partnership v.
Lifecare Acquisitions Corp., 985 F. Supp. 815, 817 (N.D. Ill. 1997).
In determining whether factual issues exist, the court must view all the
evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party. Walker v. Northeast Regional Commuter
Railroad Corp., 225 F.3d 895, 897 (7th Cir. 2000).
However, Rule 56(c) "mandates the entry of summary judgment, after
adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to
make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the
burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. "Where the
record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find
for the non-moving party, there is no `genuine issue for trial.'"
Chiaramonte v. Fashion Bed Group, Inc., 129 F.3d 391, 393 (7th
Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1118(1998).
The plaintiff is a state prisoner, confined at the Illinois River and
Stateville Correctional Centers at all times relevant to this action.
(Defendants' Exhibit 2, Inmate Occupancy History Sheet.) The defendant
Daniel Artl is a correctional officer at Stateville, assigned to the "F"
Unit where the plaintiff was assigned while housed at Stateville.
(Defendants' Exhibit 3, Affidavit of Daniel Artl, ¶ 2.) The defendant
Kenneth Agnew, now retired, was a captain in "F-House" at the time of the
events giving rise to this lawsuit.*fn1 (Defendants' Exhibit 4,
Affidavit of Kenneth Agnew, ¶¶ 1-2-)
The following facts are uncontested for purposes of this motion (or if
disputed are nevertheless not outcome-dispositive): On April 26, 2002,
while confined at the Illinois River Correctional Center, the plaintiff
saw an optometrist regarding blurred long distance vision. (Exhibit 5,
Affidavit of Willard Elyea, M.D., IDOC Medical Director, ¶ 6.) At the
time of the plaintiff's examination, his vision with the glasses he had
was 20/30 in the left eye, 20/25 in the right eye, and
20/25 with both eyes. (Id., ¶ 7; Plaintiff's Exhibit 7,
Medical Progress Notes dated April 26, 2002.) The optometrist ordered a
new pair of glasses for the plaintiff to correct his vision to 20/20.
(Elyea Affidavit, ¶ 7.) Eyeglasses are manufactured at the Dixon
Correctional Center; it usually takes between thirty and sixty days for
an inmate to get new eyeglasses. (Id. ¶ 8.)
Twelve days later, on May 8, 2002, the plaintiff was temporarily
transferred from the Illinois River Correctional Center to the Stateville
Correctional Center on a court writ. (Offender Tracker Sheet.) The
plaintiff remained at Stateville until May 29, 2002, for a total of three
weeks. (Id.; Exhibit 1, Deposition of Marlon Hammond, at p. 6.)
A medical screening was performed upon the plaintiff's arrival at
Stateville. (Elyea Affidavit, ¶ 9; Plaintiff's Deposition, p. 10.)
The examination revealed no significant medical needs or conditions.
(Elyea Affidavit, ¶ 9.)
The plaintiff claims that in mid-May 2002, he started experiencing
headaches and dizziness, (Plaintiff's deposition, p. 70; Plaintiff's
Affidavit, ¶ 12.) The plaintiff still gets the headaches, even with
glasses. (Id. at p. 69.) At his deposition, the plaintiff stated
that he believed that his headaches were triggered by fatigue.
(Plaintiff's Deposition, p. 70.) In response to the defendants' motion
for summary judgment, the plaintiff asserts that the headaches were
caused by having to strain to read in the dark. According to Elyea, the
plaintiff's allegation that he suffered headaches as a result of not
having an updated prescription for eyeglasses is "unfounded," as "there
is no medical relation between these complaints." (Elyea Affidavit, ¶
13.) Although it is possible that the plaintiff's uncorrected astigmatism
caused headaches at the time (Plaintiff's Exhibit 7, (unnamed) Medical
Treatise, p.2), Elyea further states that "there is no medical reason
that would support plaintiff's
claims that he is suffering any type of permanent injury" as the
result of the delay in receiving new eyeglasses. (Elyea Affidavit, ¶
The plaintiff did not see an optometrist or ophthalmologist during the
three weeks he was confined at Stateville. (Plaintiff's Affidavit, ¶
13.) Inmates who are temporarily transferred from one facility to another
are supposed to be given the same medical treatment as all other inmates.
(Elyea Affidavit, ¶ 11.) Inmates seeking medical care must follow
proper procedures. (Id.) Medical technicians and nurses perform
daily rounds in all of the living units and are available to tend to
inmates' health complaints and concerns. (Id.) If an inmate were
to request medical treatment, the medical staff is required to keep a
record of that request. (Id.) There is no record in the
plaintiff's files that he suffered from headaches or had any other
medical problems while housed at Stateville. (Id, ¶ 12.)
(The plaintiff nevertheless insists that he was denied medical treatment
when he complained of headaches and vision problems because his master
file had not been transferred with him to Stateville. (Plaintiff's Local
Rule 56.1 Statement, ¶ 32.))
The parties dispute whether the plaintiff's cell had hot water. The
plaintiff contends that only cold water came from the hot water tap.
(Plaintiff's Affidavit, ¶ 4.) The defendants maintain that because
all of the hot water in Unit F is heated at a central location, then
distributed to the cells, if one cell had no hot water, none of the cells
would have had hot water. (Griffin Affidavit, ¶ 16.) Regardless, it
is undisputed that the plaintiff was able to shower at least once a week.
(Plaintiff's deposition, p. 63.) The shower had hot water. (Id.)
Each cell in the "F* Unit has individual light fixtures inside.
(Plaintiff's Rule 56.1 Filing, ¶ 15.) Fluorescent light fixtures
around the guard tower illuminate the entire Unit F cellhouse. (Artl
Affidavit, ¶ 8; Plaintiff's Deposition, p. 21.) The ambient lighting
in the common areas of Unit F
is "akin to daylight twenty-four hours a day." (Artl Affidavit,
¶ 9.) The plaintiff's cell door had a security glass front.
(Plaintiff's Deposition, p. 13.)
The plaintiff's cell and the cellblock itself had windows to the
outside. (Artl Affidavit, ¶ 10.) During the daytime, the windows
allowed additional, natural light into cells. (Artl Affidavit, ¶
9(B); plaintiff's deposition at p. 13.) Sunlight provided "ample" light
to the individual cells. (Artl Affidavit, ¶ 9; plaintiff's deposition
at p. 21.) At least in the morning, the plaintiff had adequate sunlight
to read, although at other ...