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Keller v. Feinerman

April 1, 2010

HILTON LLOYD KELLER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ADRIAN FEINERMAN AND DR. ELYEA, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard MILLS,*fn1 U.S. District Judge

OPINION

Hilton Keller is one of approximately 45,000 inmates in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

As the medical director for the Illinois Department of Corrections, Dr. Willard Elyea was responsible for the overall administration of medical services delivered to inmates incarcerated throughout the state.

Keller alleges that Dr. Elyea violated his constitutional rights when he failed to properly treat Keller's serious medical condition.

Because Dr. Elyea is entitled to qualified immunity, the Court will Allow his motion for summary judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

This is a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, wherein Plaintiff Hilton Keller alleges that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated. The Plaintiff claims that Dr. Willard Elyea, one of the Defendants, was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, an assertion that Dr. Elyea disputes. Dr. Elyea also claims that he lacks the requisite personal involvement in the alleged constitutional deprivation.

The Plaintiff was an inmate incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center for all dates referred to in his Complaint. Dr. Elyea never personally treated the Plaintiff for any of his medical problems, though the Plaintiff claims that Dr. Elyea was on notice of the Plaintiff's treatment. The Plaintiff claims to have sent three letters to Dr. Elyea regarding his medical treatment. The Defendant alleges that Dr. Elyea has no recollection of ever receiving any of the Plaintiff's letters.

As agency medical director, Dr. Elyea was responsible for the overall administration of medical services delivered to approximately 45,000 adult and juvenile inmates in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections at various institutions located throughout the state. His duties included supervising the office of health services, monitoring the provisions of health services in adult and juvenile facilities, and reviewing and monitoring health care budget requests.

The Defendant alleges that Dr. Elyea did not review or investigate the Plaintiff's medical treatment. The Plaintiff disputes that assertion. Dr. Elyea denies having any personal involvement in the Plaintiff's treatment, which the Plaintiff also disputes. The Defendants further assert that Plaintiff admitted that he only named Willard Elyea as a Defendant in this action because he was the head medical director of the State of Illinois and refused to afford him different medical treatment from that which was being provided by the medical staff at Menard Correctional Center. The Plaintiff denies these allegations.

The Plaintiff contends that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Dr. Elyea moves for summary judgment, claiming that he was not deliberately indifferent to the Plaintiff's serious medical needs. He also contends that he lacked sufficient personal involvement to support a finding of liability for any alleged constitutional deprivations.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Summary Judgment Standard

The entry of summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with any affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). "Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. ...


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