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Larrabee v. Public Safety Building

March 27, 2007

NICK L. LARRABEE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING AND PATRICK HARTSHORN, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCuskey United States District Judge

OPINION

Before the court are the defendant, Patrick Hartshorn's summary judgment motion [32] and the plaintiff's response thereto [41].

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) This burden can be satisfied by " 'showing'--that is, pointing out to the district court--that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. If such a showing is made, the burden shifts to the non-movant to "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Outlaw, 259 F.3d at 837. 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). Credibility questions "defeat summary judgment '[w]here an issue as to a material fact cannot be resolved without observation of the demeanor of witnesses in order to evaluate their credibility.' " Outlaw, 259 F.3d at 838, citing Advisory Committee Notes, 1963 Amendment to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(other citations omitted). 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).

Background

The Plaintiff, Nick L. Larrabee brought this lawsuit against the Public Safety Building and Patrick Hartshorn. Because the plaintiff cannot sue a building, The Public Safety Building was terminated on January 4, 2006. Hartshorn is the only remaining defendant. Plaintiff alleges in this lawsuit that he was denied proper medical care at the Vermilion County Jail (hereinafter Jail), in violation of his constitutional rights. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that the medical staff at the Jail did not respond to his needs regarding high blood pressure, neck and shoulder pain and internal bleeding. Plaintiff brings a claim for money damages pursuant to 42 USC Section 1983 against Defendant Patrick Hartshorn, the Vermilion County Sheriff.

The Defendant argues that he is entitled to summary judgment because there is no evidence that Defendant was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs. Plaintiff continuously received prescription medication for high blood pressure while he was detained at the Jail. Plaintiff was also treated by jail nurses and the jail doctor each time he complained of pain in his neck and shoulder. Further, Plaintiff did not address any medical requests to Defendant nor did Plaintiff ever speak with Defendant about his medical issues. Accordingly, Defendant Hartshorn asserts he is entitled to Summary judgment.

Undisputed Material Facts

1. From April 21, 2005 until February 10, 2006, Plaintiff Nick Larrabee was a pretrial detainee at the Vermilion County Jail. He is currently incarcerated at the Centralia Correctional Center. (Larrabee Dep. pp. 4-5, Exhibit A, [34].

2. Defendant Patrick Hartshorn is the Vermilion County Sheriff and was at the relevant times of the Plaintiff's complaint.

3. Before entering Vermilion County Jail, Plaintiff suffered from high blood pressure and was taking Metoprolol, Thiamine and a multivitamin. (Id. at pp. 15-17.)

4. Plaintiff received all three medications while detained at the Jail. (Id. pp. 19-20; Inmate Medication Record, attached as Exhibit B [34]).

5. On August 5, 2005, Plaintiff submitted a medical request to see a nurse or doctor because his left side, arm and neck and been hurting a couple of weeks. (Ex. A, p. 23; Inmate Request Form dated August 5, 2005, Exhibit C [34]).

6. Plaintiff was examined by the jail doctor, Dr. Melvin Ehrhardt on August 6, 2005. Dr. Ehrhardt visually observed Plaintiff and determined that Plaintiff's neck exhibit no abnormalities; it was not swollen or red, and there was no asymmetry. Dr. Ehrhardt performed a range of motion test, which included asking Plaintiff to touch his chin to his chest, and to touch his chin to one shoulder and then the other shoulder. Plaintiff exhibit a full range of motion. (Ehrhardt ...


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