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Shatner v. Hardy

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

January 28, 2015



JOHN W. DARRAH, District Judge.

Plaintiff Darrin W. Shatner ("Plaintiff" or "Shatner") filed a Complaint against Defendants Warden Marcus Hardy, L.P. Nurse Danielle Erickson, Dr. Parthasarathi Ghosh, and Dr. Ronald Schaefer, asserting various claims regarding the medical treatment Plaintiff received for seizures while in prison. On May 23, 2014, Hardy filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on all counts against him. The remaining Defendants filed for summary judgment on June 20, 2014. For the reasons set forth more fully below, Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment are granted.


Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the party contends there is no genuine issue for trial." Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Servs., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires the nonmoving party to admit or deny every factual statement proffered by the moving party and to concisely designate any material facts that establish a genuine dispute for trial. See Schrott v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 403 F.3d 940, 944 (7th Cir. 2005). Pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C), the nonmovant may submit additional statements of material facts that "require the denial of summary judgment. Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) further permits the nonmovant to submit a statement "of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment...." To the extent that a response to a statement of material fact provides only extraneous or argumentative information, this response will not constitute a proper denial of the fact, and the fact is admitted. See Graziano v. Vill. of Oak Park, 401 F.Supp.2d 918, 936 (N.D. Ill. 2005). Similarly, to the extent that a statement of fact contains a legal conclusion or otherwise unsupported statement, including a fact that relies upon inadmissible hearsay, such a fact is disregarded. Eisenstadt v. Centel Corp., 113 F.3d 738, 742 (7th Cir. 1997).

If a responding party does not comply with Rule 56.1, "additional facts may be ignored, and the properly supported facts asserted in the moving party's submissions are deemed admitted." Gbur v. City of Harvey, Illinois, 585 F.Supp.2d 600, 606-07 (N.D. Ill. 2011). Substantial compliance is not enough; parties must strictly comply with the rule. See Ammons, 368 F.3d at 817.


The following facts are taken from the parties' statements of undisputed material facts submitted in accordance with Local Rule 56.1.

Shatner has been an inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections since May 19, 1993. (Dkt. 99, ¶ 1.) Shatner has had seizures since he was a child and has taken Dilantin, phenobarbital, and Klonopin to treat them. (Dkt. 102, ¶ 1.) Shatner took phenobarbital for his seizures but went off of the medication in 1997 or 1998. (Dkt. 99, ¶ 43.) Shatner was first placed on Klonopin when he arrived in Stateville Correctional Center in 2003 or 2004. ( Id. at ¶ 42.) The current Complaint concerns events which occurred at Stateville between August, 2010 and October 2010. (Dkt. 87, ¶¶ 1, 5).

Hardy was Warden at Stateville from December 2009 to December 2012. ( Id. at ¶ 1.) In August 2010, Dr. Schaefer was a staff physician at Stateville. (Dkt. 99, ¶ 3.) Dr. Schaefer's primary duties consisted of seeing inmates in the prison's clinics, including clinics for chronical medical conditions such as seizures, diabetes, hypertension, tuberculosis, asthma, and also general medicine. ( Id. ) Dr. Ghosh was the medical director at Stateville from 2003 until March 2011. ( Id. at ¶ 4.) Nurse Erickson was employed as a licensed practical nurse at Stateville from June 2010 to March 2012. ( Id. at ¶ 5.)

Dr. Schaefer saw the Plaintiff in the seizure clinic at Stateville on August 31, 2010. ( Id. at ¶ 8.) This was the only encounter Dr. Schaefer and the Plaintiff had. ( Id. ) At that visit, Dr. Schaefer decided to not renew Plaintiff's prescription for Klonopin because, in his medical opinion, it was not a good medication for someone with seizures to be on and other medications were available. ( Id. ) Klonopin is not a common treatment for seizures; other more common medications are Dilantin, Tegretol, and Depakote. ( Id. at ¶¶ 10-11.) Plaintiff did not want to take other seizure medication, so Dr. Schaefer decided to continue the Klonopin prescription for two months, not renew the prescription, and permit a follow-up. ( Id. at ¶¶ 12-13, 18.) Abrupt withdrawal from Klonopin can cause a seizure, and medical literature suggests that patients should be weaned off Klonopin. (Dkt. 102, ¶ 19.) Dr. Schaefer does not recall whether he asked Plaintiff if he had tried other medications and what the results were. ( Id. at ¶ 13.) Shatner accused Schaeffer of trying to kill him. (Dkt. 99, ¶ 14.)

Schaeffer makes his decision for seizure clinic patients based on what he believes is the healthiest way to manage seizures. ( Id. at ¶ 22.) Schaeffer made the decision not to renew Plaintiff's Klonopin based on his medical judgment and evaluation of Shatner and his clinical evaluation of Shatner. ( Id. ) Shatner did not ask Dr. Schaefer to put him on another medication after the Dr. Schaefer decided not to renew the Klonopin prescription. ( Id. at ¶ 51.) Plaintiff never put in for a formal sick call request, a request to be seen by medical staff at any time for an illness, following his appointment with Dr. Schaefer. ( Id. at ¶ 28, 50.)

Dr. Ghosh did not work in the Stateville seizure clinic on a regular basis and had no involvement with Shatner's visit with Dr. Schaefer on August 31, 2010. ( Id. at ¶ 26.) Dr. Ghosh was not required to review and approve Dr. Schaefer's orders for inmates, and he would not routinely review Dr. Schaefer's charts. ( Id. at ¶ 23.) Dr. Ghosh has very rarely prescribed Klonopin for seizures as it is not a preferred drug by practitioners. ( Id. at ¶ 27.) Plaintiff believes Dr. Ghosh was retaliating against him for a lawsuit that Plaintiff filed against Dr. Ghosh, but has no evidence or basis for this belief. ( Id. at ¶ 58.) Plaintiff simultaneously believes that Dr. Ghosh conspired to have him taken off Klonopin but also that Dr. Ghosh kept Plaintiff on Klonopin to avoid a lawsuit. ( Id. at ¶ 60.)

Plaintiff was transferred from Stateville to Menard on October 20, 2010. ( Id. at ¶ 52.) Nurse Erickson completed the transfer sheet for Plaintiff's transfer to Menard. ( Id. at ¶ 30.) At the time she completed the transfer sheet, Nurse Erickson did not have access to Plaintiff's medical records. ( Id. ) Nurse Erickson only had access to Plaintiff's then-current orders for medication. ( Id. ) Medical records for inmates are boxed up at least one week in advance of an inmate's transfer. ( Id. at ¶ 31.) Nurse Erickson understood that Klonopin was used for anxiety and used for seizures only on a short-term, emergency basis. ( Id. at ¶ 32.) Nurse Erickson had never heard of Klonopin being prescribed for seizures and had no knowledge that Plaintiff had been prescribed Klonopin for seizures. ( Id. ) Nurse Erickson noted "anxiety" on the Plaintiff's transfer sheet so that Plaintiff could have a follow-up with the psych department at Menard. ( Id. at ¶ 33.)

Shatner went through a medical intake screening when he arrived at Menard, and told the intake nurse he was supposed to receive seizure medications such as Klonopin and Benadryl. ( Id. at ¶ 54.) The nurse informed Shatner they were not going to give him Klonopin and he filed a grievance. ( Id. ) Plaintiff claims to have suffered eight seizures while at Menard. ( Id. ) Shatner was scheduled to see a doctor two to three weeks after he arrived at Menard, but the ...

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