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Bryant v. Mauer

February 5, 2010

GORDON A. BRYANT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DOCTOR JOSEPH MAUER, ET. AL., DEFENDANTS



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

SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER

This cause is before the court for consideration of the defendants' renewed motion for summary judgment. [d/e 34]

I. BACKGROUND

The pro se plaintiff filed his lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C.§1983 against Defendants Sangamon County Jail Dr. Joseph Maurer, Nurse Kendra Fabish and Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson. On March 30, 2007, the court conducted a merit review of the plaintiff's complaint and concluded that the plaintiff had stated "a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs under the Eighth Amendment (or the 14th Amendment, if he was pretrial detainee at the time)."

March 20, 2007 Text Order

Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that he was not provided the proper treatment for the disease of myasthenia gravis during his time at the Sangamon County Jail.

The defendants first filed their motion for summary judgment on February 29, 2008. However, the defendants also asked for additional discovery concerning the plaintiff's medical records. The motion was granted, and the dispositive motion was denied with leave to renew. See April 9, 2008 Text Order, September 11, 2008 Text Order. The court also granted the defendants motion to renew their summary judgment motion and allowed the plaintiff extra time to file a response.

July 10, 2009 Court Order

The court notes that although the plaintiff was clearly advised that he must provide a response to the renewed motion for summary judgment which provided "specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial," the plaintiff's response contains very little information. see also July 13, 2009 Court Order, see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e), see also [d/e 35]. Instead, the plaintiff has made general claims that the medical records show his lack of treatment. [d/e 66] The plaintiff also claims a U.S. Marshal will support his claims at trial, but has provided no evidence of this in response to the pending dispositive motion. Nonetheless, the court recognizes that the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, and believes the plaintiff may have been confused since this was a "renewed" motion for summary judgment. Therefore, the court has also reviewed the numerous responses and documents the plaintiff has previously filed in the course of this litigation. [d/e 21, 36, 46, 47, 59, 62, 63]

II. FACTS

The plaintiff did not directly respond to the defendants statement of undisputed facts. Therefore, the following facts are taken from the exhibits presented by both parties.

Myasthenia gravis is a "chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body....Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking and swallowing are often, but not always, involved in the disorder." (Def. Memo, Dr. Maurer Aff, Ex A, National Institute of Neurological Disorders, p 3)

The first noticeable symptoms are often weakness of the eye muscles or difficulty in swallowing or slurred speech. The degree can vary widely between patients. (Def. Memo, Dr. Maurer Aff, Ex A, National Institute of Neurological Disorders, p 4). "Unfortunately, a delay in diagnosis of one or two years is not unusual..." (Def. Memo, Dr. Maurer Aff, Ex A, National Institute of Neurological Disorders, p 5).

The plaintiff entered the Sangamon County Jail on June 29, 2004 and was transferred to a new facility on December 22, 2004. The plaintiff was 70 years old at the time he entered the jail. During his six month stay, the plaintiff was seen by medical staff a minimum of 32 times. (Def. Memo, Braurer Aff, Ex. B).

The plaintiff immediately made requests for an eye exam due to "impaired vision." (Def. Memo, Braurer Aff, Ex. B). The plaintiff was seen by a doctor who conducted a complete exam and ordered lab work.

On July 8, 2004, the plaintiff fell in his cell. Medical staff examined the plaintiff who denied being in any pain and was able to move his extremities. Nonetheless, the plaintiff was moved to a booking cell where frequent checks could be made. The plaintiff was monitored and since his vital signs were normal, he was allowed to return to his cell the next day. (Def. Memo, Maurer Aff, Ex. B, med. record).

The plaintiff received a physical, a chest X-ray and a second eye examination in July of 2004. In August, the plaintiff continued to complain of poor vision and said he was having mobility problems with left arm. The plaintiff was examined on five separate occasions in ...


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