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Juan Rodriguez v. Roger E. Walker

February 14, 2011

JUAN RODRIGUEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER E. WALKER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

E-FILED Monday, 14 February, 2011

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In this suit under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. §1983, the plaintiff claims that the defendants, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and, in addition, that the corrections defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety and failed to protect him.

The defendants, Alva Rumler, Jill Duhs and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., (medical defendants) have moved [84] for summary judgment; and the defendants, Ed Huggins, Richard Booth, Paul Chapin, Dale Massey, David Newell, and Kevin Gilson (IDOC defendants) also have moved [85] for summary judgment. Those motions together with the plaintiff's responses are before the court for ruling. The following statement of uncontested facts are gleaned from the parties' filings.*fn1

Facts

The plaintiff, Juan Rodriguez, is an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections, (IDOC), held at the Illinois River Correctional Facility near Canton, Illinois. On July 5, 2008, at or about 7:30 p.m. Rodriguez was attacked and injured by his cell mate, one Tony Abernathy. Rodriguez received a severe head injury in the altercation and was knocked unconscious to the cell floor. Jennings, an inmate who was seated outside the cell at a nearby table, had his attention called to Rodriguez's cell by another inmate.

Jennings went to look and saw Rodriguez lying on the cell floor. Jennings then notified the desk sergeant who summoned the shift lieutenant, the defendant, Massey.

Serious Medical Need

When Massey arrived at the cell he found that Rodriguez had a significant bleeding cut on his head. At or about the same time the defendants, Rumler and Duhs, two nurses at Illinois River Correctional Center, arrived at the cell. Massey, Rumler and Duhs attended to Rodriguez's head wound and applied direct pressure to the wound to try and staunch the bleeding. Apparently, Massey applied the direct pressure to the wound and whether he used a T shirt at first and then a bandage provided by the nurses is not really significant. The point is the named defendants responded promptly and endeavored to assist Rodriguez.

In the interim, an ambulance had been summoned. Inmate Jennings says that the ambulance arrived within five or ten minutes after the staff was alerted to Rodriguez's condition. The emergency medical technicians from the ambulance took charge of Rodriguez. He was placed on a transport board, put in a neck brace, and transported to Graham Hospital, Canton, Illinois. All these things took place within a period of about forty minutes. At Graham Hospital, Rodriguez was examined by an emergency room medical doctor, Dr. Quinones, who ordered Rodriguez transferred to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria , Illinois.

The records of the Fulton County Emergency Medical Association show that a call for an ambulance was received at 7:37 p.m. The ambulance arrived at Illinois River at 7:42 p.m. and the EMT's were in contact with Rodriguez at 7:45 p.m. and worked on him for seven minutes. At the end of that time Rodriguez was transported to Graham Hospital, where he arrived at 8:08 p.m.

Failure to Protect

With regard to Rodriguez's claim that the IDOC defendants failed to protect him and were deliberately indifferent to his safety, the following facts are uncontested or else the plaintiff has failed to come forward with evidence to make a prima facie showing of his claims.

While Rodriguez claims he filed two grievances concerning his fear of Abernathy, he cannot produce copies of those grievances and any institutional records of such grievances are non-existent, both at the correctional facility level and at the IDOC administrative offices in Springfield. The only ...


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