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Hoyt F. Ray v. Wexford Medical Group and Dr. Shah

March 7, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED Wednesday, 07 March, 2012 10:16:27 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD


Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, pursues claims against Dr. Shah and his employer arising from alleged deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's shoulder injury. Now before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. As explained below, no rational juror could find that Dr. Shah was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's shoulder condition.

Accordingly, the motion will be granted.


"The 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). A movant may demonstrate the absence of a material dispute through specific cites to admissible evidence, or by showing that the non-movant "cannot produce admissible evidence to support the [material] fact." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(B). If the movant clears this hurdle, the non-movant may not simply rest on his or her allegations in the complaint, but instead must point to admissible evidence in the record to show that a genuine dispute exists. Id.; Harvey v. Town of Merrillville, 649 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2011). "In a § 1983 case, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof on the constitutional deprivation that underlies the claim, and thus must come forward with sufficient evidence to create genuine issues of material fact to avoid summary judgment." McAllister v. Price, 615 F.3d 877, 881 (7th Cir. 2010).

At the summary judgment stage, evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant, with material factual disputes resolved in the non-movant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A genuine dispute of material fact exists when a reasonable juror could find for the non-movant. Id.


Plaintiff is 56 years old and currently incarcerated in Pinckneyville Correctional Center.

In July 2006, Plaintiff injured his right shoulder while doing bench presses at Graham Correctional Center. His shoulder "made a popping sound," and then he could no longer lift the weights. (Plaintiff's Dep. p. 8). He went to healthcare that day and was given ice and Motrin. According to Plaintiff, an x-ray was taken at the end of July which showed no injury. (d/e 44, p.2). He asserts that this x-ray and other relevant medical records from July to September 2006 were all missing from Defendants' production of medical records, but that issue is immaterial. The Court accepts Plaintiff's version even without corroborating medical records.

Dr. Kayira saw Plaintiff in September 2006. Dr. Kayira's records from that date note a slightly limited range of motion in all planes. The diagnosis was "chronic right shoulder pain and probable osteoarthritis." (Dr. Shah Aff. ¶ 5). X-rays were taken near the end of September 2006, which showed no abnormalities. (Exhibit 2 to Dr. Shah's affidavit). Plaintiff saw Dr. Kayira in October 2006, for continued pain in his shoulder. Dr. Kayira diagnosed "chronic right shoulder pain and stiffness probably secondary to bursitis. Dr. Kayira prescribed medication and directed the Plaintiff to continue the present plan of care and exercises and return as needed." (Dr. Shah Aff. ¶ 8). The next month Dr. Kayira noted in the medical records that Plaintiff had a "strained right shoulder scapular muscle." (Dr. Shah. Aff. ¶ 9). Plaintiff's pain continued and more x-rays were taken in March 2007, again showing "no fractures or acute boney abnormalities." (Exhibit 9 to Dr. Shah's Aff.). In April 2007, Dr. Kayira apparently prescribed a muscle relaxant, which did not help. On June 26, 2007, Dr. Kayira diagnosed the problem as fibromyalgia and prescribed prednisone. The prednisone did help somewhat with the pain. In January 2008, Dr. Kayira again saw Plaintiff for his shoulder, this time diagnosing osteoarthritis. (Dr. Shah Aff. ¶ 29).

Plaintiff was transferred to Western Illinois Correctional Center at some point, where he saw Dr. Brown in May 2008. Plaintiff was suffering from kidney stones at that time, but he also complained to Dr. Brown about his shoulder. In July 2008, Dr. Brown diagnosed Plaintiff with osteoarthritis, prescribed pain medicine, ordered another x-ray, and scheduled a "collegial review" to be held after the x-ray results were received. (Dr. Shah's Aff. ¶¶ 33-34). This x-ray report showed "no fracture or acute boney abnormality" but did show "hypertrophic changes of the AC joint." (Dr. Shah's Aff. ¶ 36). According to Defendant Dr. Shah, who began seeing Plaintiff in October 2008, "[h]ypertrophic changes means that the x-rays reveal that the joint was exhibiting enlarged areas consistent with arthritis." Id. at ¶ 28. In August 2008, Dr. Lochard gave Plaintiff two steroid injections and prescribed prednisone, which improved Plaintiff's symptoms.

Defendant Dr. Shah first saw Plaintiff on October 23, 2008, at Western Illinois Correctional Center. Dr. Shah diagnosed Plaintiff with right shoulder pain and prescribed him the pain medicine Ultram and a low bunk permit. (Dr. Shah Aff. ΒΆ 30). Plaintiff testified that Dr. Shah told Plaintiff "he didn't care how much pain I was in or how bad my shoulder was injured, that he ...

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