United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN, Chief District Judge.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Pro se Plaintiff Omar Ramirez brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for purported violations of his constitutional rights at Illinois' Menard Correctional Center. (Doc. 1). Specifically, Plaintiff has alleged that Dr. Magid Fahim ("Fahim, " a physician at Menard) and Wexford Health Services (the health care contractor at Menard) acted with deliberate indifference to his knee pain, thereby violating the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 1). Upon threshold review, the undersigned rejected Plaintiff's attempt to state a medical negligence claim due to his failure to submit an affidavit (pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-622(a)). (Doc. 6). No affidavit was ever filed, so the case proceeded only under a theory of deliberate indifference against two Defendants.
The case comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 49), which ripened upon Plaintiff's Response in Opposition (Doc. 53). For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS the Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 49).
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Summary judgment-which is governed by Federal Rule of Procedure 56-is proper only if the admissible evidence considered as a whole shows there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Dynegy Mkktg. & Trade v. Multiut Corp., 648 F.3d 506, 517 (7th Cir. 2011) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of demonstrating-based on the pleadings, affidavits and/or information obtained via discovery-the lack of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
After a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). See also Serednyj v. Beverly Healthcare, LLC, 656 F.3d 540, 547 (7th Cir. 2011) ("When a summary judgment motion is submitted and supported by evidence... the nonmoving party may not rest on mere allegations or denials in its pleadings"). A mere scintilla of evidence supporting the non-movant's position is insufficient to overcome summary judgment; a non-movant will prevail only when it presents definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion. Estate of Escobedo v. Martin, 702 F.3d 388, 403 (7th Cir. 2012); Parent v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 694 F.3d 919, 922 (7th Cir. 2012). Summary judgment is only appropriate if, on the evidence provided, no reasonable juror could return a verdict in favor of the non-movant. Carlisle v. Deere & Co., 576 F.3d 649, 653 (7th Cir. 2009).
The Court's role on summary judgment is not to evaluate the weight of the evidence, to judge witness credibility, or to determine the truth of the matter, but rather to determine whether a genuine issue of triable fact exists. Nat'l Athletic Sportswear, Inc. v. Westfield Ins. Co., 528 F.3d 508, 512 (7th Cir. 2008). The Court considers the facts in a light most favorable to the non-movant-here, Plaintiff. Srail v. Vill. of Lisle, 588 F.3d 940, 948 (7th Cir. 2009).
Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 3). At the time of his deposition, he had been housed at that institution for approximately nine years. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 3). At some point during 2004, Plaintiff was incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 3). One day, while playing basketball, Plaintiff injured his left knee. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 3). Plaintiff was preparing to take a jump shot, when something in his left knee "went inside" and prevented him from stretching the joint. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 4). Plaintiff was taken to the health care unit and received conservative treatment, including ice and ibuprofen. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 4). Plaintiff was seen a couple more times for his knee while at Stateville; ultimately he spent about a month on crutches. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 4).
After eight months at Stateville, the IDOC transferred Plaintiff to Pontiac Correctional Center. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 5). There, his knee began buckling and making clicking noises. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 5). Plaintiff sought treatment for his knee at Pontiac, and estimates that he received treatment four to five times. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 5). Plaintiff believes someone at Pontiac told him that he had a meniscus tear. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 7).
Upon transferring to Menard on or around March 17, 2005, Plaintiff informed the medical staff that his knee buckled at times. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 5). Plaintiff deponed that at the time he arrived at Menard, he could jog and play basketball "a little bit." (Pl.'s Dep. p. 6). Starting in 2005, Plaintiff saw Dr. Feinerman several times for his knee pain; Dr. Feinerman performed certain tests and treated Plaintiff's knee conservatively. (Pl.'s Dep. pp. 6-7). A nurse practitioner gave Plaintiff knee exercises. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 7).
Plaintiff sought treatment for his knee again on November 29, 2009. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 8). He saw Nurse Pollion on December 1, 2009, and she referred Plaintiff to the physician. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 8). Dr. Platt evaluated Plaintiff on January 27, 2010. (Doc. 50-2, p. 1). He noted Plaintiff's history of a knee injury while playing basketball at Stateville. (Doc. 50-2, p. 1). Platt conducted a bilateral knee exam. He noted a click on extension in the left knee. (Doc. 50-2, p. 1). He also found that the ligament was stable. (Doc. 50-2, p. 1). ...