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Sharif v. Carter

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 26, 2014

JAMAL SHARIF (A-88447), Plaintiff,
v.
IMHOTEP CARTER, M.D., RONALD SCHAEFER, M.D., ANTHONY DUBRICK, M.D., ROYCE BROWN-REED, LATONYA R. WILLIAMS, KEVIN HALLORAN, MARCUS HARDY, DARRYL EDWARDS, and WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., a corporation, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

SARA L. ELLIS, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jamal Sharif, an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), fractured his right ankle while playing basketball on October 6, 2011. Sharif filed this 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 suit against Defendants Dr. Imhotep Carter, Dr. Ronald Schaefer, Dr. Anthony Dubrick, Ms. Latonya Williams, Mr. Kevin Halloran, and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., ("Wexford") (collectively, "Defendants")[1] alleging that Defendants exhibited deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss [59] the Second Amended Complaint ("Complaint"), which is granted in part and denied in part.

Sharif does not contest the dismissal of all claims against Williams and Dubrick. The Court dismisses all claims against Schaefer because Sharif fails to adequately state a claim against him. The claims against Carter and Halloran in their individual capacities and against Wexford are sufficient to proceed through discovery. However, because the official capacity claims against Carter and Halloran are redundant to the claim against Wexford, the Court dismisses those claims against Carter and Halloran.

Background[2]

On October 6, 2011, Sharif injured his right ankle playing basketball. His ankle, foot, and toes were visibly swollen and discolored. Prison personnel instructed Sharif to return to and remain in his cell unit until medical help arrived. Later that day, a prison official noticed Sharif's condition and escorted him to the Health Care Unit (the "HCU") emergency room. The nurses in the HCU provided Sharif with a crutch, bag of ice, and pass to return to the HCU on October 10, 2011 for examination. Sharif was not permitted to return to the HCU until October 11, 2011.

On October 11, Sharif sat in the HCU holding cage for 5-6 hours awaiting examination. At the end of the day, still awaiting examination, Sharif observed Defendants Williams and Carter, Stateville's nurse practitioner and Medical Director, exiting the facility. Before they left, Sharif explained to Williams and Carter that he was in pain and was waiting to see them about his injury. Williams and Carter told Sharif they were going home and would send another pass for the HC U.Sharif's ankle was x-rayed on October 12, 2011.

Sharif was first examined by a doctor on October 14, 2011-8 days after the injury. At that time, Dr. Schaefer diagnosed Sharif with an undisplaced lateral malleolus fracture-i.e. a broken right ankle. Rather than sending Sharif to an outside hospital, Schaefer misapplied an ortho-glass splint. Schaefer also ordered the use of crutches for seven weeks and follow up x-rays to be taken every two weeks. The follow up x-rays were never performed. Sharif was given 800 mg of ibuprofen for the pain. On October 21, 2011, Sharif filed a grievance against the HCU because his persistent pain caused him to lose sleep and because HCU personnel denied his request to visit an orthopedic specialist.

On October 24, 2011, Carter examined Sharif for the first time and discovered Schaefer had misapplied the splint. Carter reapplied the splint. HCU staff did not change Sharif's splint bandages and allowed the bandages to degrade while refusing requests for new bandages. Carter ordered follow up x-rays; however, those x-rays did not occur until January 12, 2012. Although Carter scheduled a December 2, 2011 splint removal, Carter removed the splint January 10, 2012.

When Carter removed the splint, he declared Sharif's ankle healed and ordered follow up x-rays. Ten days later, Williams examined Sharif and discovered that the fracture remained. Williams told Sharif that surgery was required to repair the fracture. On January 25, 2012, Carter confirmed Williams' diagnosis that Sharif's ankle never healed. Carter scheduled an orthopedic specialist appointment to make arrangements for surgery. When Carter re-examined Sharif on February 1, 2012, he was surprised to find Sharif had not seen the specialist. During that exam, Carter told Sharif he would schedule another specialist appointment.

On February 27, 2012, Carter informed Sharif that he had recently spoken to the specialist and Sharif had been rescheduled. Sharif did not see a specialist until April 2, 2012. The orthopedic specialist decided that Sharif did indeed require surgery. When Sharif visited the orthopedic specialist again on June 5, 2012, the specialist told Sharif, "They cancelled the surgery! They rescheduled the surgery two days ago." The surgery occurred on July 13, 2012- nearly ten months after the injury. Sharif's right ankle became deformed as a result of the surgical delays.

Sharif filed several grievances against HCU personnel, claiming their errors caused him constant pain and led to delays in surgery. Sharif also wrote complaint letters to Halloran, the CEO of Wexford, and Dr. Dubrick, a doctor employed by Wexford. All of Sharif's complaints went unanswered.

Legal Standard

A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint, not its merits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in the plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor. AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th Cir. 2011). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of a claim's basis but must also be facially plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); see also Bell Atl. Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). "A claim ...


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