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Jones v. Mesrobian

March 10, 2006

CHARLES JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. MESROBIAN, DONNA DREW, DR. TULYASATHIEN, DOUG HOYLE, JERRY STERNES, TERRI ANDERSON, DR. WILLARD ELYEA, DR. ANDRIAN FEINERMAN, DEAN BLADES, MELODY FORD, HEALTH PROFESSIONALS LTD. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harold A. Baker United States District Judge

Order

Before the court are motions for summary judgment by the remaining defendants (d/e's 87, 98) and by the plaintiff (d/e 101). For the reasons below, the court grants summary judgment to the defendants and closes this case.

Defendants Dr. Mesrobian, Dr. Feinerman, and Health Professionals, Ltd., settled with the plaintiff and were dismissed pursuant to stipulation on January 23, 2006 (d/e 127). Their pending motion for summary judgment was therefore denied as moot and is not considered herein. The defendants remaining are: Drew, Hoyle, Sternes, Anderson, Elyea, Blades, Ford, and Dr. Tulyasathien.

Standard

A party moving for summary judgment must show, from the "pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, . . ." that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the "moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Outlaw v. Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837 (7th Cir. 2001), citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986);Fed. R. Civ. P.56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Herman v. National Broadcasting Co., Inc., 744 F.2d 604, 607 (7th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 470 U.S. 1028 (1985). A nonmoving party cannot rest on its pleadings, but must demonstrate that there is admissible evidence that will support its position. Tolle v. Carroll Touch, Inc., 23 F.3d 174, 178 (7th Cir. 1994). In determining whether factual issues exist, the court must view all the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Beraha v. Baxter Health Corp., 956 F.2d 1436, 1440 (7th Cir. 1992).

Undisputed Facts*fn1

1. Plaintiff at all relevant times was an inmate incarcerated within the Illinois Department Corrections at Dixon Correctional Center ("Dixon") and Pinckneyville Correctional Center Pinckneyville").

2. Defendant Donna Drew was the Health Care Administrator at Dixon at all relevant times. Her duties were administrative duties in supervising the Health Care Unit and staff. She is a registered nurse, not a physician. Final clinical decisions and medical orders rest with the designated physician or the medical director. The plaintiff does not dispute this, but he asserts that Drew's duties included monitoring the performance of those physicians.

3. Defendant Doug Hoyle was the Grievance Officer at Dixon at all relevant times. Hoyle has no training or background in the medical field. The plaintiff does not dispute this, but he says it is immaterial.

4. Defendant Jerry Sternes was the Chief Administrative Officer or Warden of Dixon commencing on January 1, 2002 until July 16, 2004.

5. Defendant Terri Anderson was a member of the Administrative Review Board at all relevant times, and is the Manager of the Office of Inmate Issues for the Illinois Department of Corrections. Anderson does not have any knowledge in medical treatment or medical training for bunions. The plaintiff does not dispute this, but he says it is immaterial.

6. Defendant Dr. Willard Elyea was the Medical Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections at all relevant times. His is also a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the State of Illinois. His duties include supervising the office of health services, monitoring the provisions of health services in adult and juvenile facilities which includes over 40,000 inmates, and reviewing and monitoring health care budget requests.

7. Defendant Melody Ford was a member of the Administrative Review Board at all relevant times. She is the Chairperson for the Office of Inmate Issues for the Illinois Department of Corrections. Ford does not have any knowledge in medical treatment or medical training for bunions. The plaintiff does not dispute this, but he says it is immaterial.

8. Defendant Dean Blades was the Grievance Officer at Pinckneyville at all relevant times. Blades has no training or background in the medical field. The plaintiff does not dispute this, but he says it is immaterial.

9. Defendant Dr. Tulyasathien (sometimes referred to as "Dr. Tuly") was an independent contractor, providing orthopedic services to IDOC inmates pursuant to a contract with Health Professionals, Ltd., at all relevant times.

10. Since at least 1996, Plaintiff has suffered from "Hallux Abductor Valgus" (bunions). He first sought treatment in 1996, and he maintains that his condition progressively worsened until he finally received surgery in January, 2005. It is the defendants' alleged failure to treat that condition that is at issue here.

11. Plaintiff was incarcerated at Graham Correctional Center ("Graham") from November 24, 1998 through March 6, 2002. While at Graham, Plaintiff played basketball a couple of times a month and worked out, lifting weights. In addition, while at Graham, Plaintiff worked in the commissary every day, five days a week from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm, standing behind a counter and retrieving items for inmates who requested them from the commissary. Plaintiff worked in the commissary from June 26, 2001 through March 6, 2002. Plaintiff also participated in college courses at Graham from August 21, 2000 through March 7, 2001, and was an education aide from July 28, 2000 through May 10, 2001.

12. In 1998, the plaintiff was referred to Dr. Sinha, who recommended surgery on Plaintiff's left big toe. Dr. Sinha's consultation report stated: "Patient has moderate to severe hallux valgus, more symptomatic on the left side. Recommendations/Plans: Chevron osteotomy of the left big toe which can be done as an out-patient under arm block." (d/e 88, p. 22).

13. Dr. Dhupelia, the medical director at Pontiac Correctional Center in 1998, denied surgery, noting "chronic condition." (d/e 88, p. 22). The plaintiff sued Dr. Dhupelia. In November, 2001, Dr. Dhupelia settled out of court before the trial and was dismissed pursuant to stipulation. (d/e 117, p. 4, ΒΆ 6); Jones v. Gilmore, 99-3002 (C.D. Ill., Baker, J.). Counsel was appointed for the plaintiff in that case, and a jury verdict was rendered for the remaining defendants in November, 2001. While this case regards the same medical condition and some of the same evidence (namely ...


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