Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sanders v. Wexford Health Sources

September 25, 2009

PAUL SANDERS, B27632, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., AND SYLVIA MAHONE, MD. DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Before the court are the defendants', Wexford Health Sources, Inc. and Dr. Mahone, motion for summary judgment [33], the plaintiff's response [37], and the defendants' response [38] respectively. The plaintiff Paul Sanders, pro se, has submitted a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants, Wexford Health Sources, Inc. and Dr. Sylvia Mahone. The plaintiff alleges defendants' deliberate indifference to the plaintiff's serious medical needs. The plaintiff alleges defendants violated his rights under the Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution by deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.

The defendants, Wexford Health Sources, Inc. and Dr. Mahone, by their attorney Theresa Powell, have moved the court for an order granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants because the plaintiff has allegedly failed to refute the undisputed statements of fact contained in defendants' motion for summary judgment.

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper if the pleadings, answers to interrogatories, depositions, and admissions, along with affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). An issue of material fact exists only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In determining whether there are any genuine issues of material fact, the court must draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Bartman v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 312 (7th Cir.1986). Yet not every conceivable inference must be drawn, only reasonable inferences. Bartman v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 312-13 (7th Cir.1986).

The party moving for summary judgment carries the initial burden of production to identify "those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The moving party may discharge this burden by "showing... an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id., 477 U.S. at 325. When the moving party has met the burden, the nonmoving party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250. In determining whether the non- movant has identified a "material" issue of fact for trial, "[o]nly dispute[s] that could affect the outcome of the suit under governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." McGinn v. Burlington Northern R.R. Co., 102 F.3d 295, 298 (7th Cir. 1996). A court must enter summary judgment against the plaintiff when the plaintiff fails to come forward with evidence that would reasonably permit a finder of fact to find in the plaintiff's favor on a material question. Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 920 (7th Cir. 1994).

ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff, Paul Sanders, an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center has chronic right shoulder instability which limits the plaintiff's right arm to having only 20- 25 degrees of mobility. As a result of this instability, plaintiff suffers from chronic shoulder dislocations in his right shoulder. Medical images of the right shoulder reveal that plaintiff's right shoulder contains a broken screw, from a previous surgery, as well as spurs in the articular surface of the humeral head of the plaintiff's shoulder area, due to degenerative arthritis. Plaintiff Sanders argues that he visited the Pontiac Correctional Center HCU between March 2005 and August of 2008 and was denied medical treatment for his conditions. The plaintiff alleges a violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution by the defendants' deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.

FACTS*fn1

The following facts are undisputed material facts:

1. The plaintiff Paul Sanders has been incarcerated at the Pontiac Correctional Center since 2005 and was therefore incarcerated at the time he filed this lawsuit. (Pl.'s deposition, p.3, 13-18.)

2. After reviewing Sander's medical records, Dr. Sylvia Mahone determined that the plaintiff came to the Pontiac Correctional Center in March 2005. (Def. Exh. A and A-1.)

3. On that date, Sander's had a documented history of a dislocated shoulder with multiple treatments, including attempted surgical procedures. (Def. Exh. A and A-1.)

4. Dr. Sylvia Mahone has been employed by Wexford Health Sources, Inc. as the Medical Director at the Pontiac Correctional Center since July 24, 2006. (Def. Exh. A, l. 2.)

5. Before Dr. Mahone became the Medical Director at the Pontiac Correctional Center, other physicians treated Sanders for his shoulder dislocation on numerous occasions. (Pl.'s Ehx. A)

6. Before Dr. Mahone arrived at the Pontiac Correctional Center, it appears that Sanders had been seen by Dr. Goldberg on May 8, 2006 at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the radiology department. A CT was taken of the right upper extremity. (Def.'s Exh. A and Group Exh. A-16 and Pl.'s Exh. B.)

7. Shortly after Dr. Mahone's arrival at the Pontiac Correctional Center, she reviewed the medical records of Mr. Sanders concerning his complaints of shoulder dislocation problems. (Def.'s Exh. A and A-2.)

8. Dr. Mahone discussed the case with Dr. Funk, one of the physicians who had previously seen Mr. Sanders at the Pontiac Correctional Center. Dr. Funk is now serving as the Regional Medical Director for Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (Def.'s Exh. A and A-2.)

9. At that time, Dr. Funk approved a follow-up visit at the University of Illinois at Chicago for Sanders to be seen by an orthopedic specialist. (Def.'s Exh. A and A-2.)

10. Dr. Mahone saw Sanders on July 28, 2006. (Def.'s Exh. A and A-2.)

11. Dr. Mahone had only been serving as the Medical Director at the Pontiac Correctional Center for three days when she was made aware of Sanders' complaints of shoulder problems. He was immediately scheduled for a follow-up visit at the University of Illinois at Chicago to be seen by their orthopedic staff to evaluate his shoulder instability, which was well documented in his medical records. (Def.'s Exh. A and A-2.)

12. In reviewing the records in the file, Dr. Mahone was aware that Sanders had made numerous complaints of shoulder dislocation and had been treated by physicians, both inside the correctional facility as well as outside the correctional facility, without much success in preventing future dislocations. (Def.'s Exh. A.)

13. Mr. Sanders received surgery on March 22, 2005 at St. Mary's Hospital in Streator, Illinois. Specifically, under anesthesia his dislocated shoulder was reduced. (Def.'s Exh. A and Def.'s Grp. Exh. A-3.)

14. A visit to the orthopedic group at the University of Illinois at Chicago was scheduled for August 2008. (Def.'s Exh. A)

15. On August 28, 2006, Mr. Sanders was taken to the University of Illinois at Chicago medical center for consultation. He was returned on the same date. The medical note from that date written by the nurse states "Dr feels unable to correct with surgery." (Def.'s Exh. A-4)

16. Mr. Sanders was seen on August 28, 2006 by attending physician Benjamin A. Goldberg and most likely one of his residents, Dr. Finlayson. (Def.'s Exh. A and Def.'s Grp. Exh. A-5.)*fn2

17. Dr. Mahone reviewed this medical record from Dr. Goldberg, which indicates that Dr. Goldberg confirmed the patient had right shoulder instability. His plan indicates that Mr. Sanders' symptoms appeared to him to be voluntary in origin. Dr. Goldberg's record reflects, as well, that in his opinion further stabilization procedures would be unlikely to help Mr. Sanders due to the voluntary component of his symptomatology. Dr. Goldberg advised Mr. Sanders of his opinions and documented in his record that fusion was unlikely to help the patient as it would not relieve that patient's pain. Dr. Goldberg's note also confirms in writing to Dr. Mahone that no further follow-up was indicated for Mr. Sanders with the orthopedic surgeons. The patient was thereafter referred back to the Pontiac Correctional facility for management. (Def.'s Exh. A and Def.'s Grp. Exh. A-5.)

18. Based upon Dr. Goldberg's assessment, Mr. Sanders was followed up for treatment of his symptoms as no surgical intervention was deemed necessary. (Def.'s Exh. A.)

19. Mr. Sanders continued to make complaints of shoulder dislocation and shoulder pain. He was treated by other physicians and nursing staff at the Pontiac Correctional facility. (Def.'s Exh. A and Def.'s Grp. Exh. A-6.)

20. Dr. Mahone next saw Mr. Sanders on December 20, 2006. Her note from that date reads as follows:

S (subjective): 1) complains of pain right shoulder. Cannot get shoulder back in even though he has tried; 2) also complains of upper left testicle.

O (objective): Vital signs as above. Patient appears comfortable NAD (no acute distress)/cooperative. Right shoulder displaced. Posterior-tight spasm. Attempted to reduce dislocation right shoulder 3 times without success.

A (assessment): Dislocated right shoulder/spasm apparent.

P (plan): 1) Motrin 800 mg by mouth twice per day for 3 months; 2) Robaxin 750 mg orally twice per day for 3 months; 3) Zantac 300 mg orally every day for 3 months; 4) case discussed with Dr. Larson; 5) ultrasound of testicle, attention to left. (Def.'s Exh. A and Def.'s Exh. A-7.)

21. Dr. Mahone saw Mr. Sanders again on December 21, 2006. (Def.'s Exh. A and Def.'s Exh. A-8.) Dr. Mahone's note from that date reads as follows:

S (subjective): Patient here with complaints of right shoulder being out. Long discussion with patient, who finally consents to stay in infirmary overnight after injection. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.