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Clardie v. Morisette

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

November 24, 2014

Michael D. Clardie, Plaintiff,
Julie Morisette, a/k/a Julie Warkins, in her individual and official capacities et al., Defendant.


PHILIP G. REINHARD, District Judge.

For the reasons stated below, defendant Julie Morisette's [35] motion for summary judgment is granted. The cause is dismissed in its entirety.


On October 23, 2013, plaintiff, Michael D. Clardie, a detainee at Whiteside County Jail, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that defendant Julie Morisette (a/k/a Julie Warkins), a nurse at Whiteside County Jail, was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.[1] Specifically, plaintiff complained that Morisette refused to provide him prescription medication for a knee injury he sustained in prison. He alleges that defendant's failure to provide him the prescription medication caused substantial pain and suffering and amounted to deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Plaintiff brings his claim against Morisette under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. See [1] ¶ 10.

Defendant Morisette has answered the complaint and the parties have completed discovery. See [14]. Currently before the court is Morisette's motion for summary judgment. See [35].

On summary judgment, the court construes all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Schepers v. Commissioner, Indiana Dept. of Corrections, 691 F.3d 909, 913 (7th Cir. 2012). The court does not weigh evidence or determine the credibility of witness testimony. O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc., 657 F.3d 625, 630 (7th Cir. 2011). Instead, the court only grants 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). However, Rule 56 "mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

Prior to addressing the merits of defendant's motion, the court finds it beneficial to set forth the relevant facts from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 Statements of Material Fact. In doing so, the court is cognizant of its obligation to construe all inferences in plaintiff's (the non-movant's) favor and does so accordingly. See Schepers, 691 F.3d at 913.

On or about October 23, 2011, plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at Whiteside County Jail when he fell in his cell and injured his right knee. [35] ¶¶ 2, 12. The next morning, he complained to a nurse at Whiteside County Jail who examined the knee and noted that it appeared swollen. [35] ¶ 12.

On October 25, 2011, defendant Morisette was the nurse on duty at Whiteside County Jail. At sick call that day, she examined plaintiff's knee and noted that it was slightly swollen and had a small red line on it. [35] ¶ 13. Because of this, Morisette contacted the Whiteside County Jail's site physician, Dr. Wesley Harmston. [35] ¶ 13. After Dr. Harmston learned of plaintiff's condition, he ordered a portable x-ray of plaintiff's knee and prescribed Naproxen and Tylenol for pain. [35] ¶ 13. When nurse Morisette received Dr. Harmston's orders, she arranged for the x-ray to be taken the same day. Id. The x-ray indicated some "joint effusion and mild soft tissue swelling[, ]" but did not show any traumatic injuries. [35] ¶ 15.

Shortly after he received the x-ray results, Dr. Harmston examined plaintiff's knee. Harmston noted that the knee had a "positive anterior drawer sign" and this "indicat[ed] possible ligament damage." [35] ¶ 16. Because of this, Dr. Harmston ordered an MRI.

A few weeks later, on November 23, 2011, plaintiff was granted a medical furlough day and was permitted to see his primary care physician for his knee injury. [35] ¶ 23. Upon examining plaintiff's knee, plaintiff's primary care physician wrote him a prescription for Vicodin to help with his pain. Plaintiff filled this prescription before he returned to jail and apparently submitted the prescription to the personnel at Whiteside County Jail when he re-entered the jail.

On November 29, 2011, Morisette saw plaintiff again because plaintiff was complaining of pain in his knee. [35] ¶ 26. Morisette informed Dr. Harmston of plaintiff's concerns and Harmston ordered a prescription for Naproxen and Tylenol. Id. At this time, plaintiff claims he repeatedly asked Morisette why he was not being administered Vicodin. Plaintiff contends that Morisette did not provide an adequate response and instead simply refused to give him the drug and only administered Naproxen and Tylenol for the pain[2] [37] at 4; [35] ¶ 26.

Over the next month, plaintiff continued to complain of pain in his right knee. He had a handful of medical furlough days and saw various physicians on these days. Eventually, on December 14, 2011, he visited an orthopedic surgeon who recommended arthrosporic surgery. [35] ¶ 31.

Plaintiff had surgery on December 30, 2011. [35] ¶ 34. After the surgery, plaintiff's surgeon contacted Dr. Harmston to inform him that he had prescribed plaintiff Vicodin. [35] ¶ 35. Dr. Harmston approved the dispensation of Vicodin at that time and plaintiff was given Vicodin until January ...

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