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Connolly v. Clark

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

August 11, 2016

CARLOS CONNOLLY, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGIA CLARK, et al. Defendants.

          SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center, brought the present lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging deliberate indifference to a serious medical need for events that allegedly occurred during his incarceration at Logan Correctional Center. The matter comes before this Court for ruling on the Supplemental Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff and Defendants Clark and Lercher (Docs. 58, 59, 69), and the Motion for Extension of Time and Motion to Drop Party filed by Defendant Carter. (Doc. 62).

         PRELIMINARY MATTERS

         Defendant Carter’s Motions

         Defendant Carter’s Motion for Extension of Time (Doc. 56) is retroactively granted. Plaintiff did not oppose the motion, and Defendant Carter filed the relevant document within the time frame requested.

         Defendant Carter filed a motion seeking the Court to drop him as a party pursuant to Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Doc. 62). Defendant Carter was added as a defendant in this lawsuit because, at the time, he was the treating optometrist at Plaintiff’s place of incarceration and the individual who could ensure that any injunctive relief was carried out. See Text Order entered March 14, 2014 (granting Plaintiff’s motion to add Dr. Carter); Gonzalez v. Feinerman, 663 F.3d 311, 315 (7th Cir. 2011) (describing proper defendants where injunctive relief is sought).

         Defendant Carter is no longer Plaintiff’s treating optometrist. In addition, Plaintiff alleges in a subsequent motion that he has since received the eyeglasses he sought through injunctive relief. (Doc. 69 at 2). Accordingly, because any claim for injunctive relief is now moot, Defendant Carter’s motion is granted.

         Defendants’ Motions to Strike

         On March 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 69). Defendants Clark and Lercher filed respective motions to strike Plaintiff’s motion as untimely. (Docs. 70, 71). By any interpretation, Plaintiff’s motion was filed well after any dispositive motion deadline previously set in this case. However, Plaintiff includes relevant information in his motion that did not exist prior to the Court’s deadlines. Defendants’ respective motions to strike are denied. Plaintiff’s motion is discussed below.

         LEGAL STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         Summary judgment should 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). All facts must be construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in his favor. Ogden v. Atterholt, 606 F.3d 355, 358 (7th Cir. 2010). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In order to be a “genuine” issue, there must be more than “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). “Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         FACTS

         At all relevant times, Plaintiff was incarcerated at Logan Correctional Center (“Logan”). Defendant Clark was a nurse at the facility, and Defendant Lercher was the healthcare administrator. Prior to arriving at the facility, Plaintiff had been prescribed photochromic (transitions) lenses to treat his sensitivity to extremely bright lights.

         On October 26, 2011, Defendant Clark confiscated Plaintiff’s wire-framed eyeglasses with photochromic lenses as they violated prison security rules. Prior to taking the eyeglasses, Defendant Clark confirmed that Plaintiff had another pair. Plaintiff later requested and received an appointment with Dr. Davis, an optometrist. Dr. Davis approved photochromic lenses in a plastic frame on November 17, 2011. The decision to provide these lenses was referred to “collegial” review by another physician on December 23, 2011. On February 9, 2012, Dr. Davis opted to provide Plaintiff with a “sun shield, ” a thin piece of tinted plastic that ...


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