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Winston v. Brandy CMT

March 20, 2006

ANDRE WINSTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRANDY CMT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



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

ORDER

Before the court are the defendant, Dr. Arthur Funk's summary judgment motion, d/e 87, and the plaintiff's response.

Standard

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); Herman v. National Broadcasting Co., Inc., 744 F.2d 604, 607 (7th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 470 U.S. 1028 (1985). 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).

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." Mechnig v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 864 F.2d 1359 (7th Cir. 1988). A "metaphysical doubt" will not suffice. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Disputed facts are material only if they might affect the outcome of the suit. First Ind. Bank v. Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 507-08 (7th Cir. 1992). The mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, *247-248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986).

Background

In his amended complaint, the plaintiff seeks money damages for deliberate indifference against Defendant, Dr. Arthur D. Funk. The Plaintiff claims that: 1) Dr. Funk was indifferent to his medical need since he transferred to Pontiac Correctional Center on October 16, 2002, by not immediately placing Mr. Winston on the chronic illness list; 2) Dr. Funk purposefully overlooked his arthritic condition by not placing him on the chronic illness list, thus depriving Plaintiff of free medical treatment; 3) Plaintiff was denied medical treatment for twelve (12) days; and 4) Dr. Funk did not authorize a low gallery permit. (Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, Paragraphs 12, 17, 21, 22). The Plaintiff claims that as a result of Dr. Funk's alleged deliberate indifference, the plaintiff became psychologically disturbed, his brain wave activity was altered, and he suffered mental damage. Defendant Funk denies that Plaintiff was treated with deliberate indifference and that he was treated inappropriately in any way. Defendant Funk further denies that Plaintiff was injured or received any physical injuries as a result of the allegations made against Dr. Funk.

Material Facts Claimed to be Undisputed

1. Andre Winston is currently incarcerated at the Pontiac Correctional Center. (Deposition of Andre Winston, Page 6, Lines 10-13, Exhibit 1, d/e 87.

2. Prior to arriving at Pontiac Correctional Center, Mr. Winston had received Motrin for his arthritic condition. (Deposition of Andre Winston, Page 9, Lines 11-15). This medication was discontinued on October 13, 2002. See Exhibit 2, d/e 87.

3. When Mr. Winston arrived at Pontiac Correctional Center on October 16 or 17, 2002, his medical records show that his prescription for Motrin was discontinued on October 13, 2002. Further, rheumatoid arthritis was not listed as significant medical history by the transferring facility. See d/e 87, Exhibit 2, Dr. Arthur D. Funk's Affidavit, Paragraphs 24- 25, Exhibit 3, d/e 87.

4. Mr. Winston's complaints against Dr. Funk relate solely to arthritis and his belief that he should have received free medical treatment (medical placement for the chronic illness clinic) and medication relevant to his arthritis. See Andre Winston's Deposition, Page 40, Lines 16-19, Page 69, Lines 16-18, Page 72, Lines 20-21.

5. When Inmate Winston first arrived at Pontiac Correctional Center, he did not know anything about the chronic illness list, but he learned about the clinic illness list, after his arrival in October 2002. See Andre Winston's Deposition, Page 34, Lines 1-3 and Page 32, Line 9.

6. In order to receive medical treatment, Inmate Winston understood that he had to follow proper protocol and that sending a letter directly to the Medical Director is not proper protocol. See Andre Winston's Deposition, d/e 87, Exhibit 1, Page 35, Lines 15-22, Page 64, Lines 6-15, Page 65, Lines 15-20.

7. Inmate Winston sent at least eight (8) letters directly to Dr. Funk, without following proper procedure. Dr. Funk responded to each one. See Dr. Funk Affidavit, Paragraphs, 29-32, 35, 36, 40.

8. Dr. Funk never personally examined Inmate Winston for his rheumatoid arthritis. See Dr. Arthur D. Funk's Affidavit, Paragraph 7.

9. Dr. Funk did not refuse to provide Mr. Winston with medical treatment. Dr. Funk indicated that Inmate Winston's condition was not a serious medical condition. See Andre Winston's Deposition, Page 36, Lines 13-18; Page 37, Lines 20-24, Page 39, Line 24, Page 40, Lines 1-10, and Dr. Funk's Affidavit, Paragraph 20.

10. On April 23, 2003, Dr. Funk reviewed Inmate Winston's grievance dated April 16, 2003. According to Inmate Winston's grievance, he stated that he has osteoarthritis and therefore requested "free" medical care. Dr. Funk advised the Grievance Committee that the medical co-payment applied for the plaintiff's requested medical service and osteoarthritis is not exempted from the medical co-payment. See Dr. Funk's Affidavit, Paragraph 33.

11. According to Inmate Winston's medical record dated April 24, 2003, Dr. Funk received a letter from Inmate Winston whereby he was complaining of bilateral knee pain. Dr. Funk then reviewed Plaintiff's previous labs and determined that Inmate Winston's labs were consistent with rheumatoid arthritis. At that time, Dr. Funk placed Mr. Winston on the General Medicine Clinic for autoimmune arthritis. See Dr. Funk's Affidavit, Paragraph 34 and Exhibit K, d/e 87-4.

12. Mr. Winston was treated in the General Medicine Clinic for his arthritic condition on May 20, 2003, was prescribed Motrin 600 mg for twenty-one (21) days, and was instructed to return every four (4) months. See Offender Outpatient Progress Note attached as Exhibit 4, d/e 87, and Prescription Order attached as Exhibit 5, d/e 87.

13. Following Mr. Winston's May 20, 2003 General Medicine Clinic visit, he knew that he was provided enough medication to last him twenty-one (21) days and that he did not have a refill. See Andre Winston's Deposition, Page 125, Lines 20-24; Page 126, Lines 1-7.

14. From April 24, 2003 through July 15, 2003, Dr. Funk had no contact with Inmate Winston, nor was he made aware of Inmate Winston's request for stronger pain medication during that time frame. See Andre Winston's Deposition, ...


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