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Bell v. Osafo

August 18, 2010

RICKY BELL, N20653, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SETH OSAFO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

Memorandum Opinion and Order

Before the court are the defendants, Dr. Seth Osafo's summary judgment motion [73] and the plaintiff's response [76].

Standard

Summary judgment "should be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Any discrepancies in the factual record should be evaluated in the non-movant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

"Summary judgment is the 'put up or shut up' moment in a lawsuit, when a party must show what evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of events. Johnson v. Cambridge Indus., Inc., 325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2000). A party opposing summary judgment bears the burden to respond, not simply by resting on its own pleading but by "set[ting] out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). In order to be a "genuine" issue, there must be more than "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "If [the non-movant] does not [meet his burden], summary judgment should, if appropriate, be entered against [the non-movant]." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Further, "[t]he plaintiff cannot merely allege the existence of a factual dispute to defeat summary judgment .. Instead, he must supply evidence sufficient to allow a jury to render a verdict in his favor." Basith v. Cook County, 241 F.3d 919, 926 (7th Cir. 2001). Specifically, the non-moving party "must present sufficient evidence to show the existence of each element of its case on which it will bear the burden at trial." Filipovic v. K&R Express Systems, Inc., 176 F.3d 390, 390 (7th Cir. 1999). Failure by the non-movant to meet all of the above requirements subjects him to summary judgment on his claims.

Affidavits must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant and "set out facts that would be admissible in evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) (emphasis added). Personal knowledge may include inferences and opinions drawn from those facts. Visser v. Packer Eng. Assoc., Inc., 924 F.2d 655, 659 (7th Cir. 1991). "But the inferences and opinions must be grounded in observation or other first-hand personal experience. They must not be based on flights of fancy, speculations, hunches, intuitions or rumors remote from that experience." Visser, 924 F.2d at 659. It is also well settled that "conclusory allegations and self-serving affidavits, if not supported by the record, will not preclude summary judgment. Keri v. Barod of Trustees of Purdue University, 458 F.3d 620, 628 (7th Cir.2006)(citing Haywood v. N. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 121 F.3d 1066, 1071 (7th Cir.1997)).

Background

Plaintiff applied for a job in the bakery at the Illinois River Correctional Center. Plaintiff was told by Illinois Department of Correction (hereinafter IDOC) officials that he was not qualified to handle food and therefore could not work in the bakery. Plaintiff then concluded that he was suffering from some unknown illness which has been diagnosed by Dr. Osafo. Defendant, Dr. Osafo states that Plaintiff has absolutely no evidence of this illness and no evidence that Dr. Osafo has diagnosed or is withholding a diagnosis from him. Defendant further states that it is undisputed that the entire time the Plaintiff was under the care of Dr. Osafo that he was food handler approved. Further, Defendant states that Plaintiff is not suffering from any illness of which he is not already aware. Further, Defendant states that it appears that IDOC officials made a mistake in telling the Plaintiff that he was not food handler qualified. Further, Defendant states that Plaintiff has no evidence that Dr. Osafo discriminated against him. Defendant asserts that Plaintiff admits that Dr. Osafo did not play any role in determining which inmates worked in the baker other than determining their qualification as a food handler. Defendant maintains that summary judgment is proper in this case.

Undisputed Material Facts*fn1

1. At all relevant times Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Illinois River Correctional Center.

2. Plaintiff has no evidence that he had a communicable disease while he was incarcerated at the Illinois River Correctional Center*fn2 . (Exhibit 1, p. 28.)

3. No doctor has ever diagnosed the Plaintiff with a communicable since his transfer from the Illinois River Correctional Center. (Exhibit 1, p. 30-32.)

4. Plaintiff alleges Dr. Osafo has diagnosed and is monitoring an unknown disease because he provided thorough physical examinations to the Plaintiff. (Exhibit 1, p27.)

5. Plaintiff has no evidence to suggest that Dr. Osafo was hiding an illness from him*fn3.

(Exhibit 1, p 29.)

6. According to the medical records, the Plaintiff was transferred to the Illinois River Correctional Center on January 22, 2004. (Exhibits 2 and 3.)

7. According to the medical records, on January 22, 2004, the Plaintiff underwent an orientation interview with a Registered Nurse. (Exhibits 2, 4 and 5.)

8. Included in the orientation interview was a food handler interview. The medical records indicate the Plaintiff participated in the food handler interview. (Exhibits 2 and 5.)

9. On January 22, 2004, it is noted in the Plaintiff's medical records that he was food handler approved. (Exhibits 2 and 6.)

10. On February 1, 2004, Plaintiff was seen by a Licensed Practical Nurse in regards to issues of properly taking his hypertension medicine. (Exhibits 2 and 6.)

11. The next time Plaintiff was seen in the Health Care Unit was February 19, 2004. Plaintiff was seen in the Health Care Unit by Seth Osafo, M.D. during the hypertension clinic. During the visit, Dr. Osafo reviewed Plaintiff's medications, cardiac needs, and noted that the Plaintiff has no subjective complaints. He also performed a neurological, cardiovascular, and respiratory exam. All exams were within normal limits. Dr. Osafo educated the patient on risk reduction for his hypertension, diet, medication compliance, exercise, and smoking. Finally, he ordered the Plaintiff follow-up on March 30, 2004. (Exhibits 2, 7 and 8.)

12. At no time during this visit did Dr. Osafo diagnose the Plaintiff with any sort of communicable disease that would prevent him from ...


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