United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court on the motions for summary judgment filed by defendants Dr. Venerio M. Santos and Stephanie Ingram (Doc. 66) and by defendant Lisa Krebs (Doc. 71). Plaintiff Aaron Adams has responded to the motions with a single response (Doc. 86).
I. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment must be granted "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); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels Int'l-Ind., Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir. 2000). The reviewing court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Chelios v. Heavener, 520 F.3d 678, 685 (7th Cir. 2008); Spath, 211 F.3d at 396.
The initial summary judgment burden of production is on the moving party to show the Court that there is no reason to have a trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323; Modrowski v. Pigatto, 712 F.3d 1166, 1168 (7th Cir. 2013). Where the non-moving party carries the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may satisfy its burden of production in one of two ways. It may present evidence that affirmatively negates an essential element of the non-moving party's case, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A), or it may point to an absence of evidence to support an essential element of the non-moving party's case without actually submitting any evidence, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-25; Modrowski, 712 F.3d at 1169. Where the moving party fails to meet its strict burden, a court cannot enter summary judgment for the moving party even if the opposing party fails to present relevant evidence in response to the motion. Cooper v. Lane, 969 F.2d 368, 371 (7th Cir. 1992).
In responding to a summary judgment motion, the nonmoving party may not simply rest upon the allegations contained in the pleadings but must present specific facts to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-26; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57; Modrowski, 712 F.3d at 1168. A genuine issue of material fact is not demonstrated by the mere existence of "some alleged factual dispute between the parties, " Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, or by "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, " Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists only if "a fair-minded jury could return a verdict for the [nonmoving party] on the evidence presented." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
Viewed in the light most favorable to Adams, the evidence establishes the following relevant facts.
At all relevant times, Adams was an inmate at Centralia Correctional Center ("Centralia"). On March 2, 2010, Adams injured his left ankle area while playing basketball at the prison. He made an emergency visit to the health care unit ("HCU") where he was seen by Ingram, a registered nurse. Adams complained of pain to his heel and lower calf when he walked. Ingram examined Adams' ankle area and noted moderate swelling to his lower calf and heel and pain when she touched those areas. She formed the impression that Adams had twisted and sprained his ankle. In reality, he had injured his Achilles tendon. Ingram provided treatment appropriate for a sprained ankle - instructions to elevate the ankle, an ice pack, an Ace bandage and ibuprofen - and wrote in Adams' medical records that he was to return to the HCU in 72 hours for a follow-up visit. She did not refer him to a doctor as he requested. Two days later, Dr. Santos reviewed Ingram's injury report and concluded that he needed to see Adams only as needed.
Adams returned to the HCU on March 5, 2010. Ingram examined him, although the notes in his medical record were recorded by Nurse Jones. Adams complained of pain in the back of his lower calf area. Ingram observed mild swelling to the inner ankle, purple discoloration, but good range of motion. Ingram still believed Adams was suffering from a sprained ankle. She continued Adams' treatment of ibuprofen, an Ace bandage and elevation and noted in his medical records that he should to return to the HCU in 72 hours for a follow-up visit. Adams insisted his injury was more severe than a sprained ankle and asked to see a doctor, but Ingram again refused to refer him to a doctor, telling him his ankle sprain was a minor injury that did not require a doctor's attention.
When Adams returned to the HCU on March 8, 2010, he again saw Ingram. Adams complained that his ankle and lower calf area still hurt a little although the pain was not as excruciating as it had been. Ingram examined Adams and observed there was no swelling of the ankle and that Adams was not wearing the Ace bandage, although he complained of pain with movement and of trouble walking. Ingram still believed Adams was suffering from a sprained ankle. Again, she ordered him to continue with ibuprofen and the Ace bandage and wrote in his medical records that he should return to the HCU as needed. Adams again asked to see a doctor, but Ingram refused to refer him.
On April 9, 2010, Adams was taken to the HCU to return the Ace bandage he had been given. There, he saw Nurse Schukar who examined his ankle, observed swelling, and referred him for a doctor visit in light of the fact that his ankle was still swollen so long after the initial injury. She also told him to continue using the Ace bandage.
On April 12, 2010, Dr. Santos saw Adams, examined him and diagnosed him correctly with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He referred him to an orthopedic specialist, Dr. Ramon, for the first available appointment. Dr. Ramon saw Adams on April 22, 2010, and surgically repaired his Achilles injury the following day. Because the ruptured Achilles tendon was not treated and/or repaired immediately after it occurred, the surgery was more complicated than it otherwise might have been, and Adams has suffered some permanent damage.
Following his surgery, Adams filed several grievances over his treatment prior to the surgery and his inability to get his medical records. Krebs, the HCU administrator, conveyed to Adams' counselor information about how Adams should go about obtaining his ...