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Davis v. Ghosh

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

May 26, 2015

WILLIE DAVIS (#A-015810) Plaintiff,
v.
PARTHASARATHI GHOSH, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ROBERT M. DOW, Jr., District Judge.

Plaintiff Willie Davis, an Illinois state prisoner, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that Defendant Parthasarathi Ghosh, a physician at the Stateville Correctional Center, violated his constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Ghosh denied him needed care and treatment for severe headaches and high blood pressure despite MRI results that should have alerted Dr. Ghosh as to the likely cause of Plaintiff's symptoms.

Before the Court is Defendant Dr. Ghosh's motion for summary judgment [41] pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

I. Background

Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"). [43, ¶ 1.] He has been incarcerated at the Stateville Correctional Center at all times relevant to this action. [43, ¶ 1.] Defendant Dr. Parthasarathi Ghosh was Stateville's medical director from 2006 through March 31, 2011, when he retired. [43, ¶ 6.]

Beginning in September 2010, Plaintiff began suffering from headaches and blurred vision, and he experienced difficulty balancing while walking. [43, ¶ 8.] He also noticed some kind of "distortion" in his face. [43, ¶ 8.] On September 23, 2010, Plaintiff sought medical attention in Stateville's Health Care Unit. [43, ¶ 7.] A nurse took Plaintiff's vital signs, which reflected that he had an elevated blood pressure of 192/118. [43, & 9.] The health care staff notified Dr. Ghosh, who admitted Plaintiff into the infirmary for 23-hour observation. [43, & 9.] The progress notes from that day indicate that nurses administered Clonidine (a blood pressure medication[1]) to Plaintiff and checked his blood pressure every three hours. [43, & 10.]

The next day, Plaintiff rested in bed, and a nurse recorded his vital signs. [43, & 11.] After the nurse finished with Plaintiff, Dr. Ghosh examined him, conducting a "hands-on" physical examination. [43, ¶¶ 12-14.] Dr. Ghosh said to Plaintiff, in Plaintiff's words, "You're not having a stroke. You done had a stroke." [43-3, at 9.] Dr. Ghosh explained to Plaintiff that his headaches were a symptom of the stroke. [43-3, at 10.] Plaintiff was not "in distress" at the time of his physical examination; Plaintiff had coherent speech and was ambulatory. [43, ¶¶ 17-18.]

After completing the examination, Dr. Ghosh directed the nurse to provide Plaintiff with blood pressure medication. [43, ¶¶ 13-14.] Dr. Ghosh prescribed Plaintiff Atenolol (a medication used to combat hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases), enteric-coated aspirin (a blood thinner), Vasotec (an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor also used in the treatment of high blood pressure), and HCTZ (an acronym for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic medication used to treat high blood pressure as well as swelling due to fluid buildup). [43, & 15.] Dr. Ghosh also prescribed Plaintiff Motrin to relieve his headaches, and ordered an MRI of Plaintiff's brain. [43, ¶¶ 7, 16.] Dr. Ghosh kept Plaintiff in the infirmary for several more days to monitor his progress.

Dr. Ghosh checked on Plaintiff every day while he was in the infirmary, as did the nurses. [43, & 22.] On September 25, 2010, Plaintiff reported that he was still suffering from double vision, but he had no other complaints. [43, & 19.] On September 26, Plaintiff was in "no distress" when his vitals were again taken. [43, & 20.] On September 27, Dr. Ghosh wrote in Plaintiff's progress notes that the patient was feeling better, no longer felt dizzy, and that his double vision was improving. [43, & 21.] Dr. Ghosh's progress notes reflected that Plaintiff was coherent and that he felt much better. [43, & 24.] Dr. Ghosh discharged Plaintiff from the infirmary later that day. [43, & 24.] In the ensuing days, Plaintiff's headaches diminished, his equilibrium improved, and his vision recovered somewhat. [43, & 23.]

On October 6, 2010, Plaintiff went to Provena Hospital for an MRI of his brain. [43, & 26.] Dr. Ghosh met with Plaintiff later that day and informed him that it would take two days to get the results of the MRI, and he advised Plaintiff that he would notify him if any issues arose. [43, & 28.] The MRI report, drafted by Provena physician John S. Groch, M.D., read as follows:

No discrete soft tissue intensity intracranial mass lesion, shift of midline structures or suspicious areas of enhancement are identified on the study. There is a mild to moderate amount of increased T2-FLAIR weighted signal noted in the white matter bilaterally extending from the periventricular subcortical regions. This most likely represents white matter ischemic change. No acute infarcts are noted on diffusion imaging. Minimal cerebral atrophy is present. At most minimal amount of mucosal thickening is noted in a few scattered paranasal sinuses.
Impression:
Mild to moderate amount of white matter ischemic change is noted bilaterally. No acute infarcts are noted on diffusion ...

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