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James Dolis v. Joseph L. Loftus

March 17, 2011

JAMES DOLIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOSEPH L. LOFTUS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



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

E-FILED

Thursday, 17 March, 2011 10:03:12 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court are Dr. Bashir Ameji and Wexford Health Sources, Inc.'s summary judgment motion [78] and the Plaintiff's response [107]

Standard

Summary judgment should be granted "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). 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). 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). "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). "If a party . . . fails to properly address another party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the court may . . . grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials -- including the facts considered undisputed -- show that the movant is entitled to it." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). 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(c). 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(c)(4) (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, James Dolis, is an inmate presently incarcerated within the Illinois Department of Corrections. Plaintiff brings a several complaints regarding the medical care he received while incarcerated at the Danville Correctional Center. Other Defendants were granted summary judgment in a separate order. The Defendants' motion addresses Plaintiff's complaints regarding Dr. Ameji and Wexford Health Sources, Inc. Plaintiff set out five distinct claims that are labeled A-E in the Complaint.

A. Plaintiff complains that Co-Defendant Mary Miller did not provide medication prescribed to him by Dr. Ameji. Plaintiff also complains that he is not given enough time to exercise and wanted to be transferred. As the plaintiff did not allege any involvement by Dr. Ameji or Wexford for this claim, the court finds this claim is not a claim against Dr. Ameji or Wexford.

B. Plaintiff complains of the treatment provided to him for what he alleges was a stricture in his urethra.

C. Plaintiff complains of lower gastro-intestinal problems.

D. Plaintiff complains of issues with his dental care. Plaintiff admitted in his deposition that Dr. Ameji is not involved in Plaintiff's allegations regarding his dental care.

E. Plaintiff complains of hearing loss.

F. Plaintiff complains of soy in his diet.

G. Plaintiff alleges he suffered violation of his equal protection rights by not being transferred from the Danville Correctional Center.

Plaintiff complains that while incarcerated at the Danville Correctional Center the Defendants, Dr. Ameji and Wexford violated his federal constitutional rights. The Defendants advise the court that Plaintiff admits that he does not have any evidence that policy or procedure of Wexford Health Sources affected his treatment in any way. Further, Defendants assert that the evidence contained in the undisputed medical records clearly indicates the Plaintiff received appropriate treatment for all medical complaints he brought to the attention of Dr. Ameji. Last, Defendants assert that neither Dr. Ameji nor Wexford have the authority to change Plaintiff's diet or transfer him to another facility within IDOC. Defendants assert that there is no material fact in dispute in this matter and summary judgment is proper.

Undisputed Material Facts*fn1

1. Plaintiff is an inmate incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. (Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.)

2. Plaintiff's complaint references only persons employed at the Danville Correctional Center.

3. Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Danville Correctional Center from February 15, 2006 to August 5, 2008. (Exhibit 1, p. 91.)

4. Plaintiff was treated by Dr. Ameji only while at the Danville Correctional Center. (Exhibit 1, p. 91.)

5. Plaintiff has never been diagnosed by Dr. Ameji during the relevant time frame with a heart problem. (Exhibit 1, p. 95.)

6. The entire time Plaintiff was at Danville Correctional Center under the care of Dr. Ameji he was provided cholesterol medication. (Exhibit 1, p. 96.)

7. Dr. Ameji is not involved in Part A of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. (Exhibit 1, p. 97.)

8. Wexford is not mentioned at all in Part A of Plaintiff's Complaint. (Complaint, Paragraph A.)

9. Plaintiff does not have any evidence that Wexford's policies or procedures affected his medical treatment while he was incarcerated at the Danville Correctional Center. (Exhibit 1, p.99-100.)

10. No doctor has ever related Plaintiff's alleged cysts or boils to his urethra stricture. (Exhibit 1, p. 101-102.)

11. Plaintiff has no evidence that Wexford maintains a policy or procedure to deny him medical treatment. (Exhibit 1, p. 104.)

12. Plaintiff has never been told by a doctor that he needs his upper gastrointestinal tract examined. (Exhibit 1, p. 109.)

13. Plaintiff received a colonoscopy while at the Illinois River Correctional Center. (Exhibit 1, p. 107.)

14. Plaintiff's colonoscopy revealed no problems with his intestines. (Exhibit 1, p. 107.)

15. Plaintiff has received two lower gastrointestinal exams. (Exhibit 1, p. 107).

16. Dr. Ameji is not involved in Plaintiff's allegations regarding his dental care. (Exhibit 1, p. 112.)

17. Plaintiff was seen by a dentist at the Danville Correctional Center. (Exhibit 1, p. 112.)

18. Plaintiff does not suffer any pain from the alleged cavities in his teeth. (Exhibit 1, p. 113.)

19. Plaintiff is currently on the list to have his cavities filled. (Exhibit 1, p. 113.)

20. Plaintiff admits that he bears responsibility for the fact that he has not seen a dentist at Illinois River Correctional Center due to his numerous court writs. (Exhibit 1, p. 114.)

21. Plaintiff has no physical injury from his alleged dental complaints. (Exhibit 1, p. 115.)

22. Plaintiff has no evidence that Wexford has a policy or practice to deny him dental care. (Exhibit 1, p. 115.)

23. No doctor at IDOC has diagnosed the plaintiff with hearing problems. (Exhibit 1, p. 116.)

24. Plaintiff is capable of having conversations. (Exhibit 1, p. 117.)

25. Plaintiff only has difficult with background noise. (Exhibit 1, p. 117.)

26. Plaintiff has no evidence that Wexford has a policy to deny him a hearing aid. (Exhibit 1, p. 118.)

27. Plaintiff has no evidence that Wexford has authority to keep soy out of the diet provided to him by IDOC. (Exhibit 1, p. 119.)

28. Plaintiff has not been diagnosed with a soy allergy. (Exhibit 1, p. 120.)

29. No doctor has ever told Plaintiff that soy is making him sick. (Exhibit 1, p. 120.)

30. Plaintiff has no medical evidence that soy in his diet is causing his alleged rectal bleeding. (Exhibit 1, p. 125.)

31. Plaintiff has no medical evidence that soy is causing his alleged throat problems. (Exhibit 1, p. 126.)

32. Plaintiff has no medical evidence that soy is causing his cholesterol problems. (Exhibit 1, p. 126.)

33. Plaintiff has no evidence that any Wexford policy prevented him from being transferred from the Danville ...


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