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Bouchez v. Walker

February 16, 2010


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


This cause is before the court for consideration of the defendants motions for summary judgment. [d/e 43, 46]


The plaintiff filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 against five defendants including Illinois Department of Corrections Director Roger Walker, Warden Eddie Jones, Assistant Warden Mathy, Assistant Warden Hardy and Medical Director Sylvia Mahone. The plaintiff has the following surviving claims:

1) The defendants violated the plaintiff's Eighth amendment rights when they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition; and,

2) Defendants Walker, Jones, Mathy and Hardy were negligent in violation of Illinois state law. See March 20, 2008 Merit Review Order; July 8, 2008 Case Management Order.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that on February 17 and 18 of 2007, he had complained that he was experiencing chest pain, but his complaints were ignored. The plaintiff says he was not allowed to go to the Health Care Unit until February 19, 1007, but Defendant Dr. Mahone made him wait an additional two and half hours before he was taken to an outside hospital. The plaintiff says he suffered a stroke and the long delay resulted in some paralysis. In addition, the plaintiff says when he returned to Pontiac Correctional Center, the defendants interfered with his treatment by delaying medications, failing to provide therapy and refusing to assign him to a lower bunk.

Dr. Mahone and the Illinois Department of Corrections Defendants (herein IDOC) have each filed motions for summary judgment.


The plaintiff did not directly respond to the plaintiff's statements of undisputed facts. Therefore the following facts are taken from the defendants' motions and attached exhibits.

The medical records show that the plaintiff reported to the Health Care Unit at about 9:45 a.m. on February 19, 2007 and was seen by a nurse. The plaintiff stated that he had suffered from headaches for the past two days. The nurse noted that the plaintiff also said he felt some numbness on his right side and he had decreased grip strength. The plaintiff was able to count and his speech was not slurred. The nurse also took the plaintiff's pulse and blood pressure which appeared to be fine. (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 1-2)(Def. Memo, Plain, Depo, p. 29) Nonetheless, an ambulance was called at 10:05 a.m.

At 10:20 that morning, the plaintiff reported no change in his condition and the ambulance arrived to transport the plaintiff to the hospital. Dr. Mahone noted in the record that the plaintiff left by 10:22 a.m. and she administered aspirin to the plaintiff. (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 1-2). The plaintiff states he arrived at the hospital sometime after 10:00 in the morning. (Def. Memo, Plain. Dep, p. 29) The plaintiff also says this February 19, 2007, incident was his first encounter with Dr. Mahone. (Def. Memo, Plain. Aff, p. 29)

Defendant Mahone states that on February 19, 2007, she suspected that the plaintiff "was suffering from a case of Bell's palsy. However, in order to rule out that he was not suffering a stroke, I ordered the Plaintiff transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital." (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 2).

At the hospital, the plaintiff was diagnosed with Bell's palsy by Dr. William Raino and returned to Pontiac Correctional Center on February 21, 2007. The nurse noted on the plaintiff's return that the plaintiff's speech was clear, but he did have a facial droop on his right side. (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 3). Dr. Mahone states that "Bell's palsy is not a stroke." (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 7)

The medical records demonstrate that Dr. Mahone ordered the continuation of the medication prescribed by the hospital neurologist. Dr. Mahone also prescribed an anti-viral medication and ointment for the plaintiff's eye. (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 3)

Dr. Mahone saw the plaintiff again on March 2, 2007. The medical records indicate the plaintiff stated he was feeling okay, but had muscle spasms at the back of his head. The plaintiff also asked for more eye ointment. The doctor observed that the plaintiff did not appear to be in distress and was able to talk well. The doctor noted the plaintiff was suffering some residual effects of his Bell's palsy episode. The facial droop on the plaintiff's right side had lessened. Dr. Mahone ordered that the plaintiff return for a visit in a month and ordered various medications for the plaintiff. (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 3-4).

On March 8, 2007, the plaintiff was seen in the general medicine clinic. The plaintiff had numbness to the left side of his face and his left eye did not close when he blinked. Dr. Mahone says on this date, the medical records show the plaintiff was provided with education as to his Bell's palsy and the time needed to resolve his problems. The plaintiff was prescribed Tylenol for his complaints of pain. (Def. Memo, Mahone Aff, p. 4-5).

On March 12, 2007, the plaintiff was seen for an urgent care visit. The plaintiff complained that he had a sharp pain in the back of his neck going to his skull. The plaintiff said he had the pain for a week, but it had gotten worse. The plaintiff said he felt dizzy and felt numbness in his ...

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