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Derek Miller v. Vipin Shah

July 17, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge:


This matter comes before the Court on a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants Shan Collins and Zachary Kurtz (Doc. 97). Plaintiff Derek Miller filed a response to the motion for summary judgment (Doc. 98). The Court has reviewed the papers. For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 97) is GRANTED.


Plaintiff filed the instant action on May 10, 2010, for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The incident giving rise to this lawsuit occurred on December 23, 2009, while Plaintiff was detained at St. Clair County Jail (Docs. 70, 81-1, Ex. A, pgs. 19:22-20-4). On December 23, 2009, Plaintiff was in the day room when he suffered an attack from behind by another detainee. Id. The detainee grabbed Plaintiff from behind and slammed Plaintiff to the floor. Id. The assault left Plaintiff unconscious for a brief period of time. Id. When Plaintiff came to, Plaintiff experienced severe pain in his left shoulder and decreased movement (Doc. 81-1, Ex. A, p. 70:8-19). Later in the day, after the attack, Nurse Barbara Rodriguez examined Plaintiff's shoulder and determined there were no deformities and all vital signs were normal*fn1 (Doc. 81-2, Ex. B). Indeed, Nurse Rodriguez relayed her findings to Dr. Vipin Shah that same day. Id. As a result of Nurse Rodriguez's findings, Dr. Shah ordered x-rays of Plaintiff's shoulder. Id. The x-rays would not be taken, however, until December 28, 2009. Id.

In the evening of December 23, 2009, Plaintiff crafted a sling that helped Plaintiff stabilize his arm and shoulder (Doc. 81-1, Ex. A, pgs. 45:10-46:20). Plaintiff utilized his homemade sling for several days, which also eased Plaintiff's pain. Id. Eventually, a fellow inmate lent Plaintiff an actual sling, which Plaintiff used for the remainder of his detainment at St. Clair County Jail. (Doc. 81-1, Ex. A, pgs. 45:10-46:20).

The next day, December 24, 2009, Plaintiff requested medical treatment from both Collins and Kurtz, but Plaintiff did not receive a response (Doc. 78). Although Plaintiff denies taking Motrin between December 21, 2009 through January 6, 2010, Plaintiff did have a prescription for Motrin because of tooth pain (Docs. 87, 81-5, Ex. E, 81-1, Ex. A, p.16:5-10). In fact, in the days after the assault, nurses continued to come by Plaintiff's cell and give Plaintiff his Motrin. Id. On December 24, 26, and 27, 2009, Plaintiff wrote a sick call. (Docs. 87-2, Ex. A and B, 81-1, Ex. A, pgs. 62:21-63:21; 67:9-68:12).

On December 27, 2009, Dr. Shah examined Plaintiff for his shoulder pain (Doc. 81, Ex. A, pgs 50:2-22). When the x-rays were taken on December 28, 2009, the x-rays revealed a fracture in the distal third of Plaintiff's clavicle with mild displacement (Doc. 81-2, Ex. B). As a result of the x-rays, Plaintiff was moved to the infirmary and an orthopedic consultation was scheduled. Id.;

Doc. 81-1, Ex. A, p. 59:4-7). Dr. Shah treated Plaintiff's shoulder again on January 5, 2010, and January 8, 2010. Id. Ultimately, Plaintiff was treated by an outside orthopedic surgeon on January 27, 2010. Id. The orthopedic surgeon ordered no further treatment due to the fact that Plaintiff's shoulder was healing properly. Id.


On January 23, 2012, the Court entertained oral argument on Defendant Dr. Vipin Shah's motion for summary judgment. The Court granted Dr. Shah's motion for summary judgment, finding Dr. Shah's treatment of Plaintiff did not constitute deliberate indifference (Docs. 94, 95). On March 13, 2012, Defendants Collins and Kurtz filed the instant motion for summary judgment, which adopts by reference the arguments and exhibits set forth in Dr. Shah's motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum of law. See Docs 81, 82, 97. Collins and Kurtz argue Plaintiff's fractured clavicle does not constitute an objectively serious medical condition, and any delay in medical treatment did not result in serious physical harm to Plaintiff. Indeed, Collins and Kurtz maintain Plaintiff was appropriately treated for his shoulder injury, and therefore, Collins and Kurtz were not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical need (Doc. 97).

In response, Plaintiff simply adopts the arguments set forth in his response to Dr. Shah's motion for summary judgment filed on October 25, 2011. See Docs. 98, 86, 87. Plaintiff maintains there is a genuine issue of material fact as to the seriousness of Plaintiff's condition and whether Defendants acted with deliberate indifference. Id.


Summary Judgment Legal Standard

The standard applied to summary judgment motions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 is well-settled and has ...

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