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Daniel v. Cook County

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

May 15, 2015

ALEX DANIEL, Plaintiff,
v.
COOK COUNTY, OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF OF COOK COUNTY, THOMAS DART, in his individual and official capacities, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JORGE L. ALONSO, District Judge.

Plaintiff sues defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for their alleged violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. The case is before the Court on defendants' Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion.

Facts

At all times relevant to this suit, the Office of the Sheriff of Cook County has been responsible for the administration and management of Cook County Jail ("Jail"). (Defs.' Resp. Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. ¶ 1.) At all times relevant to this suit, Cook County has owned and operated Cermak Hospital, which is on the premises of the Jail and provides medical care to the inmates and detainees held there. (Id. ¶ 2.)

Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the Jail. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) Stmt. ¶ 1.) On April 24, 2010, he broke his wrist while playing basketball. (Id. ¶ 3; Defs.' Resp. Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. ¶ 45.) The doctor on duty that day, Dr. Gawo, stabilized plaintiff's wrist in an Ace bandage and a sling and filled out a "Consultation Request Form" asking for plaintiff to be referred to an orthopedic specialist "ASAP." (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) Stmt. ¶¶ 9-10; Defs.' Ex. 4, Gawo Dep. at 46-47; Defs.' Resp. Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. ¶ 51.)

On April 30, 2010, plaintiff filed a grievance asking to see an orthopedist. (Defs.' Resp. Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. ¶¶ 57-58.) On May 4, 2010, the grievance was referred to Cermak. (Id. ¶ 60.)

On May 10, 2010, sixteen days after plaintiff was injured, he saw an orthopedist, Dr. Mejia, who put plaintiff in a long arm cast, i.e., one that went from his wrist to above his elbow. (Defs.' Ex. 2, Mejia Dep. at 30-32.) Dr. Mejia testified that the long arm cast was the standard of treatment for a wrist fracture and that sixteen days was not, given plaintiff's injury, too long to have waited to apply it. (Id. at 31-36.) Dr. Mejia indicated that he wanted to see plaintiff again in two to three weeks to put him in a short arm cast. (Id. at 45.)

Three weeks later, on June 1, 2010, plaintiff was put in a short arm cast, and told to follow up in three weeks. (Defs.' Resp. Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. ¶¶ 68-69.)

On June 11, 2010, the Jail responded to plaintiff's April 30, 2010 grievance, stating "[s]een 5/11/10 in primary care clinic. Continuing to research ortho clinic schedule." (Pl.'s Ex. F, Grievance Resp.) On June 14, 2010, plaintiff appealed the response, saying: "I have swelling in my fingers and I can barely move them." ( Id., Req. Appeal.) The Jail accepted the appeal: "CHS Admin., Please ensure this issue has or is being adequately addressed." (Id. )

On June 22, 2010, plaintiff saw an unidentified practitioner whose notes say, "awaiting ortho." (Defs.' Resp. Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. ¶¶ 71-72.)

On July 26, 2010, plaintiff filed another grievance, which states: "It's been 3 months [since I broke my wrist] and I have very limited movement in fingers and I have not been seen by ortho in approx. 2 months. I am not receiving proper medical care or treatment regarding this matter." (Pl.'s Ex. I, Grievance.)

On August 3, 2010, plaintiff saw Dr. Baker, a family practitioner, whose notes state "Still in cast.... Spoke to Laura in scheduling. Patient will be added for tomorrow to ortho." (Defs.' Ex. 6, Baker Dep. at 8, 58-60.)

On August 5, 2010, the Jail responded to plaintiff's July 26, 2010 grievance, saying: "Seen 8/3/10 in [Primary Care Clinic] - next appointment 8/10/10." (Pl.'s Ex. I, Grievance Resp.)

On August 10, 2010, plaintiff again saw Dr. Baker whose notes state: "[Plaintiff] was scheduled for ortho last night, but apparently not taken by security" and "cast needs to come off!" (Defs.' Ex. 6, Baker Dep. ...


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