United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MYERSCOUGH, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se and incarcerated at Western Illinois
Correctional Center, brought the present lawsuit pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging Dr. Thomas Baker violated his
Eighth Amendment rights when he was deliberately indifferent
to his serious medical condition. The matter is before the
Court for ruling on the Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 26). For the reasons stated below, the motion
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that summary judgment
“shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Ruiz-Rivera v.
Moyer, 70 F.3d 498, 500-01 (7th Cir. 1995). The moving
party has the burden of providing proper documentary evidence
to show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24
(1986). Once the moving party has met its burden, the
opposing party must come forward with specific evidence, not
mere allegations or denials of the pleadings, which
demonstrates that there is a genuine issue for trial.
Gracia v. Volvo Europa Truck, N.V., 112 F.3d 291,
294 (7th Cir. 1997). “[A] party moving for summary
judgment can prevail just by showing that the other party has
no evidence on an issue on which that party has the burden of
proof.” Brazinski v. Amoco Petroleum Additives
Co., 6 F.3d 1176, 1183 (7th Cir. 1993). “As with
any summary judgment motion, we review cross-motions for
summary judgment construing all facts, and drawing all
reasonable inferences from those facts, in favor of the
nonmoving party.” Laskin v. Siegel, 728 F.3d
7314, 734 (7th Cir. 2013)(internal quotation marks omitted).
the non-movant cannot rest on the pleadings alone, but must
designate specific facts in affidavits, depositions, answers
to interrogatories or admissions that establish that there is
a genuine triable issue; he “‘must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material fact.’” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256-57 (1986) quoting Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
586 (1986); Hot Wax, Inc. v. Turtle Wax, Inc., 191
F.3d 813, 818 (7th Cir. 1999). Finally, a scintilla of
evidence in support of the non-movant’s position is not
sufficient to oppose successfully a summary judgment motion;
“there must be evidence on which the jury could
reasonably find for the [non-movant].”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
Plaintiff is a fifty-three year old male who has been
incarcerated at the Western Illinois Correctional Center
since May 5, 2011.
Thomas Baker was the Medical Director at Western Illinois
Correctional Center from April 4, 2011 to September 8, 2015.
(Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 1). The doctor first examined
Plaintiff on May 19, 2011. Plaintiff reported a prior neck
surgery in 2005, and complained of left-side weakness due to
a prior stroke. (Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 2, Med. Rec. p.
210). Although the medical record indicates Plaintiff
reported a previous stroke which was treated in Quincy,
Illinois, Plaintiff now denies he ever suffered from a
stroke. (Def. Mot, Med. Red. P. 210)
Baker also saw Plaintiff on June 16, 2011, June 29, 2011,
July 27, 2011, and August 26, 2011. On each occasion,
Plaintiff “had normal gait with 5/5 strength in both
upper and lower extremities” but he was slightly weaker
on his left side. (Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 2, Med. Rec. p.
211, 213, 215, 216).
next complaint of back pain or left-sided weakness was on
June 12, 2013 during a sick call visit with a nurse. The
nurse provided ibuprofen, referred Plaintiff to a doctor, and
instructed him to take warm showers, rest as needed, no
lifting for five days, and no participation in sports
activities. (Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 2, Med. Rec. p. 238).
Baker examined the Plaintiff two days later. Plaintiff
complained of lower back pain which radiated down his legs.
He had mild left-sided weakness compared to his right side
and walked with a hunched posture favoring his left side. Dr.
Baker prescribed muscle relaxers for back spasms,
anti-inflammatories, ibuprofen, and ordered a lumbar spine
x-ray. (Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 2, Med. Rec. p. 234-240).
x-ray did not reveal any fractures nor problems with the disc
height or spaces along his spine. However, the x-ray did show
signs of “normal osteoarthritis or degenerative joint
disease.” (Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 2, Med. Rec. p.
saw Plaintiff on February 13, 2014, for his complaints of
chronic left shoulder pain. She ordered an x-ray and another
follow-up appointment. Plaintiff saw Dr. Baker due to an
abnormal finding in the x-ray revealing “an accessory
articulation” from the edge of the left shoulder to the
deltoid. (Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 3). Dr. Baker examined the
Plaintiff and ordered an x-ray of the right shoulder for
comparison. Dr. Baker says he asked Plaintiff several
questions about the history of his shoulder pain, but
Plaintiff was a “poor historian and would not answer
questions” to assist in pinpointing the cause of his
complaints. (Def. Mot., Bak. Aff., p. 3) Plaintiff simply
reported he had always had limited mobility with his left
shoulder. The doctor believed this was consistent with a
rotator cuff injury or bicep tendinitis (Def. Mot., Bak.
Aff., p. 3, Med. Rec. p. 248-251).
additional x-ray revealed no sign of fracture or dislocation,
and the abnormality in the left shoulder was not detected in
the right shoulder. Dr. Baker sent both x-rays to a