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Hammond v. Rector

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 19, 2015

SHAD HAMMOND, K53658, Plaintiff,
ANGEL RECTOR, et al., Defendants

Page 1077

          Shad Hammond, Plaintiff, Pro se, Mount Sterling, IL.

         For Angel Rector, Dr Wahl, Dr. Shute, Dr Shah, Nurse Lane, Defendants: Timothy P. Dugan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tyler C. Thompson, Sandberg, Phoenix et al. - St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.

         For Christy Brown, K Deen, Defendants: Eric J. Bulman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Illinois Attorney General's Office - Springfield, Springfield, IL.

Page 1078



         Before the Court are the Defendants' motions for summary judgment (Docs. 110 and 121). Plaintiff, an inmate with the Illinois Department of Corrections (" IDOC" ), alleges that various IDOC and Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (" Wexford" ) employees violated his constitutional rights. United States District Judge Gilbert conducted a Merits Review of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and held that Plaintiff stated a colorable claim of Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs against Defendants Nurse Angel Rector, Christy Brown, Dr. Shute, Dr. Shah, Nurse Lane, Dr. Wahl, and Kimberly Deen. Defendants now seek summary judgment. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS summary judgment as to Defendants Christy Brown, Dr. Wahl and Kimberly Deen, and DENIES summary judgment as to Defendants Angel Rector, Dr. Shute, Dr. Shah and Nurse Lane.

         Factual Background

         In 2003, Plaintiff was shot three times with a twelve gauge shotgun and, as a result, was paralyzed on the right side of his body for approximately one month (Doc. 122-1, p. 4). He eventually regained movement but continues to suffer from nerve damage, atrophy and arthritis. . . particularly on his right side. The incidents that give rise to this litigation occurred from 2010 through 2012 while Plaintiff was housed at Pinckneyville Correctional

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Center (Docs. 14-15). Because Plaintiff asserts Eighth Amendment violations for a period exceeding two years, the medical records in this case are voluminous and, in some parts, difficult to read. With this information in mind, we turn to the facts of this case.

         Plaintiff's IDOC medical records from Pinckneyville state that in June of 2009 Plaintiff received a low bunk / low gallery medical permission slip along with a physically challenged medical permission slip. Each medical permission slip was scheduled to last one year in duration. In late September of 2009 Plaintiff received a medical permission slip to have a splint for his right wrist, which was to last indefinitely (Doc 111-3, p. 2). On November 25, 2009, Plaintiff was examined by Defendant Nurse Practitioner Angel Rector. Prior to the examination, Plaintiff had been taking Neurontin[1], Baclofen[2] and Motrin[3] for his medical conditions. Nurse Rector then took Plaintiff off of the Baclofen and prescribed him 300 mg of Neurontin twice per day, 50 mg of Ultram[4] twice per day along with sixty 400 mg Motrin pills per month to take as needed. Plaintiff also received a 30 day Metamucil prescription (Doc 111-3, p. 2).

         Medical records indicate that, from January until the end of March, 2010, Plaintiff was seen and/or treated ten times by nurses and doctors for pain, constipation, mental health evaluations and other tests. On April 27, one day after Plaintiff received a one year renewal for his wrist wrap permit, Plaintiff told Nurse Rector that he was experiencing new pain in his knee and hip (Doc. 122-1, p. 12). Nurse Rector then increased Plaintiff's morning Ultram dosage from 50 mg to 100 mg but discontinued his evening Ultram pill and Motrin prescription. Nurse Rector additionally issued one roll of paper tape for his wrist wrap. Her notes state:

I/M has multiple wants [and] needs while here for clinic. Difficult to focus on clinic due to I/M constantly talking about all his need. C/O knees [and] hips hurting -- wanting Metamucil, needing tape, having headaches etc.

On May 4, 2010 Plaintiff gave a note to the Health Care Unit (" HCU" ) stating that he was not receiving his medication, that he requested a wrist wrap and that he would like to discuss his urinalysis results. On May 8, 2010 Plaintiff was seen by LPN Boyd. Boyd wrote that he ambulated without difficulty, that his Motrin was not renewed and that he was to be placed on the MD line.

         Plaintiff stated in his deposition that around this time, some degree of animosity

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began to develop between him and Nurse Rector. On May 20, 2010 Nurse Rector wrote a note in Plaintiff's medical records stating:

NP NOTE: I/M last seen by [physical therapist] for eval 8/2009. Is due for re-eval of his permits, requests tape for ace wrap [and] motrin renewal in addition to his Ultram [and] Neurontin. I/M ambulates w/o difficulty. No obvious handicaps noted. Functions well enough to previously have jobs/assignmins in IDOC, working in maintenance areas, etc. -- needs to be reevaluted -- as he has normal level of functioning [and] does not appear to be " physically challenged" . . . I/M ambulates well up on exam table [without] problem. Off table [without] problem. Full ROM of all extremities. Good strength. Wrist wrap [right] wrist -- appears to be of little benefit. . . [Assessment]: " Neuropathy." [Plan]: Physical therapist to eval (re-eval) for level of functioning -- i.e., should he be considered " physically challenged?" Does he need wrist wrap? Does he need new sleeve? I/M to P/U [with] MD [after] PT eval. . .

Nurse Rector's note appears to be a general summary of Plaintiff's condition because Plaintiff denied at his deposition that he was seen on that date.

         On May 25, 2010 there is a note from Nurse Rector stating that Plaintiff requested to have his Ultram changed from the 100mg once a day back to the 50mg twice a day. Nurse Rector approved the request. On May 26, 2010 Plaintiff was seen by an LPN and he stated that his Motrin prescription had expired. Plaintiff was also seen by an LPN on May 29, 2010 and he again requested Motrin. He was given some Tylenol and referred to see a NP.

         On June 13, 2010 Plaintiff was examined by an LPN in response to a request to have a low bunk permit. Records indicate that Plaintiff was to be referred to an MD or PA for the low bunk permit evaluation. Around this time, Plaintiff had filed a grievance regarding the discontinuation of his Motrin. On June 15, 2010 Nurse Rector responded by stating that she did not feel the Motrin was necessary in light of his Neurontin and Ultram and the fact that long term use of Motrin can lead to stomach problems. Nurse Rector also wrote a note on June 17, 2010 stating that Plaintiff would not be granted physically challenged status pending an examination by a physical therapist.

         On July 8, 2010 Plaintiff was examined by physical therapist Dan Varel, who noted:

[Assessment]: [Right] UE [and] LE weakness with mild synergistic tone. Impaired [right] hand coordination -- mild/moderate fine motor deficit. Functionally, I think I/M would have difficulty carrying objects in each hand [with] skill -- such as a tray and cup or manipulating a bar of soap in his [left] hand.
P: Light constant compression from his wrist wraps would provide some tone management for wrist/hand skills. Although he is a higher functioning I/M with impairments I think " physically challenged" is still the most appropriate classification

(Doc. 125, Exhibits Part 1, p. 7). Despite the physical therapist's report, Plaintiff was not categorized as physically challenged, nor would he be for the ...

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