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Mark A. Mcclary v. Robert Huston

October 26, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joe Billy McDADE United States District Judge


Monday, 29 October, 2012 09:32:01 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD


Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, was housed at Tazewell County Justice Center at all times relevant to this cause of action. He pursues claims of deliberate indifference to his serious medical conditions and unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Now before this Court are Defendants Alexander's, Bonnette's, and Dr. Shah's Motions for Summary Judgment, which will be granted in part and denied in part for the reasons below.*fn1


"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)(1)(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 filed his Complaint on October 25, 2011. He says that he suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Prior to entering the Tazewell County Justice Center (Justice Center), he says that he was prescribed Enbrel shots for his RA and underwent foot surgery and received a custom-made foot brace. (Am. Compl. at p. 3). He says that after about one month at the Justice Center, Plaintiff stopped receiving his Enbrel shots. (Am. Compl. at p. 4). He also says that he suffered from an abscessed tooth, that no dentist was available at the Justice Center the whole time he was there, and that he made several requests for help while at the Justice Center and did not get help or needed treatment while there. (Compl. at p. 7). The Justice Center medical records relating to Plaintiff reflect that he was treated at the Center from March 31, 2008 to October 15, 2008, and then again from March 9, 2009 to September 14, 2009. (Dfts' MSJ Exh. A; Dfts' Reply Exhs. A1-A7). In the intervening period of time, October 2008 to March 2009, Plaintiff was at the Alton Mental Health Center (Alton Center). (Plf's Response Exh. A; Dfts' Reply Exhs. A1, A4, A5). During his first time at the Justice Center between March and October 2008, Plaintiff complained of arthritis and that his teeth were falling out on April 3, 2008, was seen by a physician on April 25, 2008, and received pain medication. (Dfts' MSJ Exh. A, Dfts' Reply Exh. A1). Plaintiff was again seen by a physician on May 16, 2008, and was given the pain reliever Gabapentin. (Dfts' Reply Exh. A2). On July 18, 2008, Plaintiff again saw a physician for his complaints of pain and RA, and was prescribed the pain reliever Motrin. (Dfts' Reply Exh. A3). While at the Alton Center, Plaintiff received a foot brace and medication. (Plf's Response at p. 3, ¶ 3). When Plaintiff returned to the Justice Center, he possessed a bag of medications with an Alton Center label. (Dfts' Reply Exh. A5). On March 23, 2009, Plaintiff asked medical staff why he was not receiving all of his medication, in response to which he was advised that he was recently seen by a physician who discontinued the medications. (Dfts' Reply Exh. A6). On September 14, 2009, Plaintiff was given a dental screening and the general condition of his teeth and gums were designated "okay." (Dfts' Reply Exh. A7). Plaintiff was released from the Justice Center on November 5, 2009. (Plf's Response at p. 3, ¶ 3; Dfts' Reply at p. 3 n. 1).


Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claims for deliberate indifference to his serious medical condition of RA and deliberate indifference to his serious medical condition of an abscessed tooth are barred by the statute of limitations. Specifically, Defendants argue that given the dates of Plaintiff's medical treatment at the Justice Center, the latest of which was September 14, 2009, his October 25, 2011 Complaint is untimely under the applicable statute of limitations. Plaintiff argues that his Complaint is timely by reason of the continuing violation doctrine, as his injuries occurred in a series over a period of time until he was released from the Justice Center on November 5, 2009. Defendants counter that the continuing violation doctrine does not apply in this case because Plaintiff knew or should have known of the existence of a cause of action prior to his release from the Justice Center.

A lawsuit pursuant to §1983 is subject to the statute of limitations governing personal injury claims in the state where the alleged injury occurred. Wilson v. Giesen, 956 F.2d 738, 740 (7th Cir. 1992) (citing Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 161, 279 (1985)). The applicable statute of limitations in Illinois is two years. See Farrell v. McDonough, 966 F.2d 279, 280-82 (7th Cir. 1992). While state law determines the length of the statute of limitations period, federal law determines when a §1983 claim accrues. Hileman v. Maze, 367 F.3d 694, 696 (7th Cir. 2004) (internal ...

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