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James Hampton v. Dr. Avery Hart

July 18, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve, District Court Judge:



Plaintiff, James Hampton, incarcerated at the Cook County Jail, initiated this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit in October 2009 against Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Chief Medical Director of Cermak Health Services Dr. Avery Hart. Naming them in both their individual and official capacities, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his need for surgery to his Achilles tendon, which he injured in June 2007 and for which he had surgery in June 2010 while this case was pending.

Currently before the Court is a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants. Plaintiff attempted several times to file his own motion for summary judgment but never fulfilled this Court's requirement of submitting a sufficient Statement of Material Facts. See N.D. Ill. Local Rule 56.1. His submissions, however, suffice as a response to Defendants' summary judgment motion. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' summary judgment motion. Plaintiff's claims against Defendants in their individual capacities are dismissed, and the claims against them in their official capacities remain.


This Court "shall grant summary judgment 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); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In determining the existence of a dispute as to any material fact, this Court construes all facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). "The evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Id. at 255.

The party asserting that a fact is not genuinely disputed, "must support the assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials." Rule 56(c)(1)(A). If the moving party meets his burden of showing that no dispute of material fact exists, the non-moving party must "go beyond the pleadings and affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations, that there is a genuine issue of material fact." Borello v. Allison, 446 F.3d 742, 748 (7th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-26. A genuine issue of material fact is not demonstrated by the mere existence of "some alleged factual dispute between the parties," Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, or by "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists only if a reasonable finder of fact could return a decision for the nonmoving party based upon the record. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; Insolia v. Phillip Morris Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 598-99 (7th Cir. 2000).


When addressing a summary judgment motion, the Court derives the background facts from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 Statements, which assist the court by "organizing the evidence, identifying undisputed facts, and demonstrating precisely how each side propose[s] to prove a disputed fact with admissible evidence." Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000). Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, Defendants served him with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" (R. 60,) which explained to Plaintiff how to respond to Defendants' summary judgment motion and Rule 56.1 Statement, as well as the consequences of failing to respond properly. See N.D. Ill. Local Rule 56.2.

This Court may consider a Rule 56.1 factual statement that is supported properly by the record to be true if the non-moving party either does not respond to it, offers only an evasive denial, or does not adequately cite to the record for his response. Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006); Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., L/L.C., 401 F.3d 803, 809-10 (7th Cir. 2005); Brasic v. Heinemann's Inc., 121 F.3d 281, 284 (7th Cir. 1997); see also Rule 56(e).

In the present case, Defendants filed a Rule 56.1 Statement and provided notice to Plaintiff of his need to respond. (R. 59, Defs.' Rule 56.1 Statement and R. 60, Defs.' Rule 56.2 Notice to Pro Se Litigant.) Plaintiff filed an opposing motion for summary judgment and his own Rule 56.1 Statement, (R. 67-69), which the Court construes as his response to Defendants' summary judgment motion and Rule 56.1 Statement. (R. 71.) Plaintiff's Rule 56.1 Statement responds to each factual assertion in Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement, elaborates on the factual statement with additional information, and cites to documents Plaintiff submitted as his own exhibits. (R. 69, Pl.'s Rule 56.1 Statement.) Defendants object to Plaintiff's elaboration on their Rule 56.1 statements, mainly as argumentative and non-responsive, not providing a short statement of fact, and not properly citing the record. (R. 72.)

The Court agrees that Plaintiff should have responded to Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement's factual assertions and then submitted additional statements, see Local Rule 56.1(b)(3); however, Plaintiff's responses address the subject of each of Defendants' statements and provide specific citations to documents he includes, many of which are relevant but not included by Defendants. (See generally R. 69.) The Court thus denies Defendants' requests to strike Plaintiff's responses. (See R. 72, Defs.' Response to Plaintiff's Rule 56.1 Statement.) To the extent that a response by Plaintiff is argumentative or offers only a legal conclusion, the Court will not consider the response. See, e.g., Greer v. Bd. of Educ., 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001) (self-serving legal conclusions are not statements of fact and do not suffice as a proper response to a Rule 56.1 statement).

With the above standards in mind, the Court addresses the facts of this case. The Court notes that Defendants include only one medical report with their summary judgment motion, (see R. 59, Exh. F, 2/4/08 report from Dr. Air Youderian, a physician at Stroger Hospital.) Most of the Court's ...

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