United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
ANTONIO KENDRICK, (# R-51546). Plaintiff,
IMHOTEP CARTER, PARTHASARATHI GHOSH, WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., and LOUIS SHICKER, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RONALD A. GUZMN, District Judge.
Plaintiff Antonio Kendrick, who is in custody at the Stateville Correctional Center, filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, contending that defendants Imhotep Carter and Parthasarathi Ghosh (doctors at Stateville) and Louis Shicker (the Agency Medical Director for the Illinois Department of Corrections) acted with deliberate indifference in connection with the medical care Kendrick received for his high cholesterol, degenerative joint disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Kendrick also contends that Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (an entity that hires medical personnel who provide medical services to Illinois prisoners) has a practice of denying inmates, including himself, necessary medical care.
Dr. Carter, Dr. Ghosh, and Wexford (the "Treating Defendants") filed a joint motion for summary judgment based on Kendrick's alleged failure to exhaust and, alternatively, the merits. Dr. Shicker filed a separate motion for summary judgment. Kendrick's motion to strike portions of the Treating Defendants' amended Local Rule 56.1 statement and supporting materials is also before the Court. For the following reasons, Kendrick's motion to strike and Dr. Shicker's motion for summary judgment are granted. The Treating Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part as described below.
I. Summary Judgment Standard
"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 a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In determining whether factual issues exist, the Court must view all the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Weber v. Univ. Research Assoc., Inc., 621 F.3d 589, 592 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court does not "judge the credibility of the witnesses, evaluate the weight of the evidence, or determine the truth of the matter. The only question is whether there is a genuine issue of fact." Gonzalez v. City of Elgin, 578 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2009). "Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial." Sarver v. Experian Info. Solutions, 390 F.3d 969, 970 (7th Cir. 2004) (citations omitted).
II. Local Rule 56.1
Each motion for summary judgment was accompanied by a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment, " as required by Local Rule 56.2. (Dkt. 97, 101.) The Court also mailed its own notice to Kendrick. (Dkt. 82.) The notices explained in detail the requirements of the Local Rules governing summary judgment. Local Rule 56.1(a) requires the moving party to file, among other things, a memorandum of law, affidavits and evidence supporting his position and a "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue and that entitle the moving party to a judgment as a matter of law." Local Rule 56.1(a)(1), (3) (N.D. Ill.). The statement of material facts must "consist of short numbered paragraphs, including within each paragraph specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon to support the facts set forth in that paragraph. Failure to submit such a statement constitutes grounds for denial of the motion." Local Rule 56.1(a) (N.D. Ill.).
In response, the party opposing a motion for summary judgment must file his own memorandum of law, opposing affidavits and evidence, and a response to the movant's statement of material facts and may file his own statement of additional material facts. Local Rule 56.1(b) (N.D. Ill.). Finally, the movant may file a reply memorandum and, if his opponent filed a statement of additional material facts, the movant may respond to the material facts. Local Rule 56.1(a) (N.D. Ill.).
Here, at the reply stage of briefing, the Treating Defendants filed an amended Local Rule 56.1(a) statement, along with four amended supporting declarations. In an accompanying letter dated March 11, 2014, which the Clerk is directed to place on the docket, counsel indicated that he had altered the declarations to correct a "clerical error" and to address factual assertions and arguments made by Kendrick in response. Counsel's letter also stated that "[f]or simplicity [sic] sake, no additional facts were stated in the Amended Rule 56.1 Statement. The only change made to the 56.1 Statement was to revise the citations to the Amended Declarations. Any reference to the additional facts stated in the Amended Declarations were cited to directly in Defendants' Reply Brief." (Defs.' Mar. 11, 2014 Letter.)
Kendrick filed a motion to strike based on Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Carter's reply submissions, arguing that the amended Rule 56.1(a) statement and the accompanying amended declarations were substantially different from the original Rule 56.1(a) statement and supporting materials and that he would be prejudiced if the Court considered the new portions of the amended statement and amended declarations. The Court advised Kendrick that it would address his motion to strike when it ruled on the summary judgment motions. (Dkt. 124.) It does so now.
The goal of Local Rule 56.1 is to present information to the Court in an orderly manner and allow the movant and opponent to respond to evidence presented by the other side. See Wilson v. Archer Daniels Midland Co., No. 09-CV-4183, 2011 WL 4345710, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 13, 2011). The Court has broad discretion to enforce Local Rule 56.1. See Benuzzi v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chi., 647 F.3d 652, 655 (7th Cir. 2011).
Local Rule 56.1 "does not allow the movant to make successive filings of fact to which the non-movant has no opportunity to respond." Premier Capital Mgmt., LLC v. Cohen, No. 02 C 5368, 2008 WL 4378313, at *2 n.4 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 24, 2008); see also Developers Sur. and Indem. Co. v. Kipling Homes, L.L.C., No. 11 C 4457, 2013 WL 315960, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 28, 2013) (holding that Local Rule 56.1 "does not permit a moving party to argue facts in reply to the opposing party's facts or arguments when those facts are not included in the moving party's Local Rule 56.1(a) Statement").
Instead, the moving party bears "the initial burden of identifying the basis for seeking summary judgment." Costello v. Grundon, 651 F.3d 614, 635 (7th Cir. 2011). That party is limited to the grounds he chooses to raise in his opening memorandum and may not expand those grounds in reply. See id.; see also Sublett v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 463 F.3d 731, 736 (7th Cir. 2006) ("As a general matter, if the moving party does not raise an issue in support of its motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party is not required to present evidence on that point, and the district court should not rely on that ground in its decision"); Schwab v. N. Ill. Med. Ctr., No. 12 C 8398, 2014 WL 2111124, at *10 (N.D. Ill. May 20, 2014) (same, collecting cases).
In this case, Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Carter expanded the record at the reply stage by amending their original Rule 56.1(a) statement to cite to amended versions of four supporting declarations. They then used their reply memorandum as a vehicle to make arguments based on the assertions in the amended declarations. By editing their original Rule 56.1(a) submissions as part of their reply, Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Carter prevented Kendrick from responding to their new evidence and arguments based on that evidence. This is clearly prejudicial to Kendrick and violates both the letter and spirit of Local Rule 56.1. See Developers Sur. and Indem. Co., 2013 WL 315960, at *3 (the prohibition against expanding the record in reply is meant to ensure that the party opposing summary judgment has an opportunity to respond to the movant's facts and arguments and, if he can, controvert them); see also Thomas v. Arrow Fin. Serv., LLC, No. 05 C 5699, 2006 WL 2438346, at *6 n.1 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 17, 2006) ("It is well-settled that raising an issue for the first time in reply is improper, as it deprives the opposing party of a meaningful chance to respond.").
Thus, Kendrick's motion to strike the newly added portions of the amended Local Rule 56.1(a) statement and the supporting amended declarations is granted. The Court will confine its consideration to arguments and evidence presented in the Treating Defendants' motion for summary judgment, the supporting memorandum, and the original Rule 56.1(a) statement of facts, and will disregard the amended statement of facts and the portions of the reply that address newly added evidence.
The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted. Plaintiff Antonio Kendrick is incarcerated at the Stateville Correctional Center. (Defs.' Stmt. Fact, Dkt. 117, ¶1.) Defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford") is a corporation that hired medical personnel to provide medical services to inmates at Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") facilities, including Stateville, from March 1, 2005, until July 5, 2005, and from December 17, 2005, until the present. ( Id. ¶ 2.) From June 18, 2003 until March 31, 2011, Wexford employed defendant Dr. Parthasarathi Ghosh as Stateville's Medical Director. ( Id. ¶ 3.) From July, 2011 through approximately May, 2012, it employed defendant Dr. Imhotep Carter as Stateville's Medical Director. ( Id. ¶ 4.) Defendant Louis Shicker was IDOC's Medical Director at all times relevant to this action. (Shicker's Stmt. Fact, Dkt. 103, ¶ 2.)
Kendrick contends that the individual defendants were deliberately indifferent in connection with the treatment he received for a degenerative joint condition in his left knee, rheumatoid arthritis, and high cholesterol. (Defs.' Stmt. Fact, Dkt. 117, ¶ 7.) He also contends that Wexford has a policy or practice of ...