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Worthem v. Carasquillo

April 16, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber


Plaintiff, James M. Worthem (hereinafter, "Plaintiff"), currently an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center, brings this pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges that Defendants, Lydia Carasquillo, Dr. Andrew King, Marva Douglas, Thomas Dart, Earnest Wright, and Salvador Godinez, were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs while he was detained at the Cook County Department of Corrections (the "CCDOC"). The Defendants have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. In response, Plaintiff has filed a Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and denies Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.

Subsequent to filing his response/cross-motion in opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend his complaint. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that leave to amend a pleading shall be freely given when justice so requires. However, the terms of the Rule do not mandate that leave to amend should be granted in every case. See Park v. City of Chicago, 297 F.3d 606, 612 (7th Cir., 2002). Leave to amend should be denied if there is undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, or undue hardship to the opposing party. See Park, 297 F.3d at 612. The decision to allow an amended pleading is within the Court's sound discretion. See Brunt v. Service Employees Intern. Union, 284 F.3d 715, 720 (7th Cir., 2002).

Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint does not include Dr. Ting as a Defendant but adds eight new Defendants. The new Defendants and claims appear to be unrelated to the claims in the present complaint. For example, the proposed amended complaint attempts to add Aramark Food Services as a Defendant for a new claim related to the manner in which food is handled at CCDOC, and attempts to add a new claim against Defendant Wright for failing to place Plaintiff in protective custody. See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir., 2007) ("unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits... "). Furthermore, Plaintiff does not indicate that the new claims or Defendants just became known and, based on the Defendants and time frame of the claims (late 2007), it appears Plaintiff would not be able do so.

Plaintiff's untimely motion for leave to file an amended complaint is denied. As discussed above, the proposed new parties and claims are unrelated to the complaint on file. Furthermore, discovery closed on October 20, 2008, and (as addressed below) a dispositive motion is fully briefed as to all claims and Defendants as to the complaint presently on file.


Summary judgment is proper when 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." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c); see also, Lewis v. Holsum of Fort Wayne, Inc., 278 F.3d 706, 709 (7th Cir., 2002) ("If the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law because 'a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the [non-movant's] case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.'" (quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). All of the evidence and the reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the evidence are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Miller v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 203 F.3d 997, 1003 (7th Cir., 2000). Summary judgment may be granted when no "reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). However, a party cannot defeat summary judgment by relying on unsubstantiated facts or by merely resting on its pleadings. See Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.Com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir., 2007); Greer v. Board of Educ. of the City of Chicago, Ill., 267 F.3d 723, 729 (7th Cir., 2001). Instead, the party that bears the burden of proof on an issue must affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations, that a genuine issue of material fact exists that requires a trial. See Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490.

Because both parties have moved for summary judgment, the Court evaluates each party's motion on its own merits, taking care in each instance to draw all reasonable inferences against the party whose motion is under consideration. Mingus Constructors, Inc. v. U.S., 812 F.2d 1387, 1391 (Fed.Cir., 1987); Berrum v. Freyberger, No. 01 C 802, 2004 WL 557394, *2 (N.D.Ill., 2004).

When Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment, they included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" as required by Timms v. Frank, 953 F.2d 281, 285 (7th Cir., 1992); Lewis v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100, 102 (7th Cir., 1982). This notice clearly sets out the requirements of this Court's Local Rule 56.1. In particular, the notice explains that Plaintiff's response must comply with Federal Rule of Civil procedure 56(e) and Local Rule 56.1.

Local Rule 56.1(b) requires a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to file:

(3) a concise response to the movant's statement that shall contain:

(A) a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon, and

(B) a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon.

L.R. 56.1(b). The district court may require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Services, Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir., 2004); Bordelon v. Chicago School Reform Bd. of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir., 2000) (strict compliance with the local rules governing summary judgment is upheld given the importance of local rules that structure the summary judgment process); U.S. v. ...

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