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Lee v. Wexford Health Sources Inc.

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

August 22, 2016

Danny Lee, Plaintiff,
v.
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          John Robert Blakey United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Danny Lee, a former inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”), initiated this lawsuit against Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”), Dr. Anton Dubrick (“Dr. Dubrick”), Dr. Imhotep Carter (“Dr. Carter”) (collectively, the “Wexford Defendants”) and former Warden Marcus Hardy (“Hardy”). Lee alleges one cause of action pursuant to 42. U.S.C. § 1983: deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition. First Am. Compl. [18] ¶¶ 8-44. Hardy and the Wexford Defendants have separately moved for summary judgment. As explained below, the Wexford Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment [86] is denied, while Hardy’s Motion for Summary Judgment [89] is granted.

         I. Background[1]

         Lee was an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections from 1976 until August 1, 2013. WSOF ¶ 1. From 2005 until his release on August 1, 2013, he was incarcerated at Stateville. PSOAF ¶ 1. Hardy was the warden at Stateville in 2011 and 2012. HSOF ¶ 5. Wexford has a contract with the State of Illinois to provide health care to inmates at Stateville. Id. ¶ 7. Dr. Carter was the Medical Director at Stateville from July 2011 to May 2012. WSOF ¶ 2. Dr. Dubrick served as a staff physician at Stateville from the fall of 2011 until the spring of the following year. Id. ¶ 3.

         A. Lee’s Treatment

         The timeline of Lee’s care is both disputed and critical to resolving the present motions. To wit:

• By November of 2011, Dr. Dubrick knew that: (1) Lee had diabetes and (2) Lee’s diabetes placed him at a higher risk of infection. PSOAF ¶ 23.[2]
• On November 9, 2011, Lee complained to a Stateville Certified Medical Technician (“CMT”) of hand pain and hand locking, and he was put on the nurses’ sick call. Id. ¶ 4.
• On November 17, 2011, Lee complained that his hands were cramping up again, and a nurse referred him to the doctors’ sick call. Id.
• On November 26, 2011, Lee complained to a CMT of shoulder pain. Lee explained that he was unable to sleep and had difficulty eating due to pain. The CMT told Lee she was the only one on duty and walked away without proving any medical treatment. Id. ¶ 5.
• On or around the morning of November 27, 2011, Lee complained to a correctional officer of right shoulder pain. The officer told Lee he would call a CMT. That afternoon, a CMT consulted with Lee. Though Lee complained of right shoulder pain, the CMT left without providing any medical treatment. Id. ¶ 6.
• The next day (November 28, 2011), Lee was seen by a CMT. Medical records from this day indicate that Lee was in distress and dehydrated. He was not able to raise his right hand. Id. at ¶ 7. Lee was then sent to the health care unit, based on complaints regarding his right shoulder, where he was examined by a nurse. Id. ¶ 8.
• The parties dispute whether Dr. Dubrick first examined Lee on November 28, November 29 or November 30, 2011. Compare WSOF ¶¶ 11-12 with PSOAF ¶ 9. The parties agree that during this first examination, whenever it took place, Dr. Dubrick prescribed Plaintiff Toradol (an anti-inflammatory drug) and Vicodin (a pain medication and anti-inflammatory). PSOAF ¶ 9. Dr. Dubrick also ordered Lee a sling. Id. The parties do not dispute that Dr. Dubrick’s “impression was that Lee was suffering from tendinitis.” Id.
• On November 30, 2011, a CMT noted that Lee had complaints of bilateral shoulder pain and neck stiffness. Lee was lying on his bunk crying and yelling, and he rated his pain at 10 out of 10. Lee was then brought back to the health care unit with an elevated temperature of 102.8 degrees and given another injection of Toradol. Id. ¶ 10.
• On December 1, 2011, Lee’s records indicate he was very agitated and complained of severe shoulder pain. More pain medication was prescribed and additional blood testing was ordered. Id. ¶ 12.
• On December 3, 2011, Lee complained of severe pain in both shoulders and requested pain medication. Lee stated that he was unable to cleanse himself because he was in so much pain. Lee was eventually ...

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