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Hardy v. Ghosh

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

November 25, 2013

NEDRICK J. HARDY, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
PARTHA GHOSH, Defendant.

Craig Leavell, Sylvia Nichole Winston, Ferlillia V. Roberson, Justin Ryan Bernbrock, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, Chicago, Illinois, Attorneys for Plaintiff Nedrick J. Hardy, Sr.

PLAINTIFF'S RENEWED MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF LAW [1]

THOMKAS M. DURKIN, Judge.

NOW COMES, Plaintiff Nedrick J. Hardy, Sr. ("Mr. Hardy"), by his counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, hereby renews his motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(b), which he initially raised at trial. (Tr. at 1219:11-24).[2] Based on the evidence presented at trial, Defendant Dr. Partha Ghosh violated Mr. Hardy's constitutional rights by showing deliberate indifference to Mr. Hardy's serious medical needs. Therefore, Mr. Hardy is entitled to judgment as a matter of law because substantial evidence does not support the jury's verdict. In support of this Motion, Mr. Hardy states as follows:

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

A. Mr. Hardy's Requests for Medical Care

Mr. Hardy is an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), a maximum security prison in Crest Hill, Illinois. (Tr. 414:22-23). Mr. Hardy has been there since 2000 and will not be released until 2053. (Tr. 415:1-2, 21-25). While at Stateville, Mr. Hardy complained of an injury to his right small finger, his right wrist and elbow, and a cavity and gum infection.

In order to request medical care at Stateville, Mr. Hardy has to follow a specific process. He may request medical care by submitting a sick call request, asking a medical technician for medical attention, writing letters and/or filing grievances. (Tr. 411:14-412:2, 456:8-11). In order to obtain adequate treatment for his injuries, Mr. Hardy followed this process. He wrote sick call requests, letters and grievances, and asked the medical technicians, nurses and physicians for medical care. (Tr. 520:12-15 ("I did everything that I possibly could that was in my power to do within the institution to try to get medical care, and none of it worked.")). After receiving medical care that was too little, too late, if at all, Mr. Hardy sued Dr. Ghosh, among other defendants, to receive adequate medical care for his right small finger injury, his right wrist and elbow, and a cavity and gum infection.

B. Dr. Ghosh's Responsibilities for Medical Care at Stateville

Dr. Ghosh was the Medical Director at Stateville from 2004 until March 31, 2011. (Tr. 666:24-667:2). He worked for Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford"), a private company, that contracted with the State of Illinois to provide medical care to inmates at Stateville and other correctional centers in Illinois. (Tr. 741:11-14; 757:18-21). Dr. Ghosh, as the Medical Director, was ultimately responsible for all medical care provided by Wexford at Stateville. (Tr. 671:9-15; Ex. 61 ("The medical director shall provide the overall supervision for clinical services at the correctional center.")).[3] Dr. Ghosh was also responsible for reviewing and approving all referrals to outside hospitals or specialists. (Tr. 674:3-6, 676:11-677:4). As well, Dr. Ghosh had the authority and the ability to refer inmates to a dentist and ensure that an inmate received emergency dental care. (Tr. 755:10-25). In addition, Dr. Ghosh was responsible for issuing medical permits. (Tr. 491:12-16).

C. Mr. Hardy's Right Small Finger Injury

On August 26, 2010, Mr. Hardy's right small finger was jammed by a basketball. That same day, Mr. Hardy was seen by the Wexford physician assistant, Ms. Latanya Williams. (Ex. 46-510). She recommended an x-ray, splinting, pain medication, icing, elevation and a re-evaluation with Dr. Ghosh in two weeks. ( Id. ) Mr. Hardy received an x-ray (Ex. 46-654), but he did not see Dr. Ghosh until much later (Ex. 46-511). And although Mr. Hardy received a splint the same day as his injury, it was immediately taken away as contraband because Dr. Ghosh did not provide a medical permit. Mr. Hardy filed grievances seeking another splint and an MRI. ( See, e.g., Exs. 170-243, 170-245). When Mr. Hardy saw Dr. Ghosh 18 days later, on September 13, 2010, Dr. Ghosh described Mr. Hardy's injury as a "swan neck deformity" and Dr. Ghosh applied another splint (which got wet later that night). (Ex. 46-511; Tr. 513:20-23). Mr. Hardy sent more grievances asking to see Dr. Ghosh for his right small finger injury and informing him that the splint had gotten wet. ( E.g., Exs. 170-247, 170-249, 171-255, 179-268). Mr. Hardy testified that he was in pain, and his finger was throbbing. (Tr. 515:3-4, 518:16-19). Despite repeated requests for medical care, Mr. Hardy was not seen by Dr. Ghosh again for his right small finger until November 22, 2010-some 3 months after his injury, when Dr. Ghosh finally recommended an MRI. (Ex. 46-515). Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.

Mr. Hardy finally received a MRI on January 21, 2011-nearly five months later. (Tr. 515:5-7). The MRI showed that Mr. Hardy's finger was indeed injured; he had a torn ligament. When Dr. Ghosh finally sent Mr. Hardy to see an orthopedic specialist, Mr. Hardy's finger was deformed and had a 30 degree bend. ( See Tr. 519:16-19). The UIC orthopedic specialist placed Mr. Hardy's right small finger in a "smiley cast" and ordered Mr. Hardy to return to UIC every two weeks to replace the "smiley cast." (Tr. 643:4-25). However, even after the treatment by the orthopedic specialist, Mr. Hardy's right small finger is permanently deformed at a 20 degree bend because of the delay in receiving proper medical care. (Tr. 519:16-21).

D. Mr. Hardy's Right Wrist and Elbow Injury

On June 4, 2009, Mr. Hardy's right wrist and arm were slammed into a six foot, steel door, weighing several hundred pounds. (Tr. 652:5-12). Mr. Hardy's wrist was swollen and throbbing with pain. Immediately, he requested medical attention; he sent a letter to Dr. Liping Zhang, a former Wexford physician at Stateville. (DTX 13-29 ("Dr. Zhang could you please see me? I got my wrist & elbow slammed in a steel door & it now has my fingers numb & my elbow hurting really bad.")). On June 13, 2009, Mr. Hardy went to the infirmary and saw Dr. Zhang. (Ex. 44-1094). Dr. Zhang diagnosed Mr. Hardy as having a "right arm crush injury." ( Id. ) She indicated that there was swelling and a decreased range of motion and recommended an x-ray, Tylenol and icy-hot to decrease the inflammation and pain. ( Id. ) On June 22, 2009, Mr. Hardy saw Ms. Williams. (Ex. 44-1095). Although Mr. Hardy was in "excruciating pain" and his wrist was "swollen, " Ms. Williams simply prescribed him Motrin, patient education with reassurance and heat. ( Id. ) On July 20, 2009, more than a month later, Mr. Hardy finally saw Dr. Ghosh, who ordered Mr. Hardy a wrist brace. (Ex. 46-483). It took more than three months for Mr. Hardy to receive the wrist brace, and after he did receive it, the wrist brace was taken away as contraband. ( See Ex. 37-337 (indicating Mr. Hardy received the wrist brace on October 28, 2009, but it was taken away because it was considered contraband)).

While waiting to receive the wrist brace, Mr. Hardy wrote letters to Dr. Zhang and Dr. Ghosh, requesting an MRI and describing that his "fingers are still numb & [his] elbow is throbbing & hurting" him and his "wrist & elbow are killing [him]." (DTX 13-30, DTX 13-31, DTX 13-32). Mr. Hardy also wrote a grievance asking for the wrist brace. (Ex. 158-227 ("But to this date I've yet to receive my wrist brace. I've written several notes 8/3/09, 8/21/09, 8/24/09 & talked to med-tech Sheay & Danny & even to the medical supply ofc. Hanley who's in charge of order the wrist brace....")).

On November 23, 2009, when Mr. Hardy was seen by Ms. Williams for a left shoulder injury, Mr. Hardy informed her that his elbow was "killing [him]" and he could not bend it like he used to. (Ex. 46-497). After discussion with Dr. Ghosh, Ms. Williams referred Mr. Hardy to Dr. Ghosh for a follow up. ( Id. ) Ms. Williams did nothing more for Mr. Hardy's injury to his right wrist and elbow. Although Mr. Hardy saw Dr. Ghosh on December 3, 2009, Dr. Ghosh only ordered pain medication and no weightlifting. (Ex. 46-500). After Mr. Hardy's visit with Dr. Ghosh, Mr. Hardy wrote ...


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