United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Virginia M. Kendall, Judge
Christopher Donyell Lewis ("Lewis") is a prisoner
housed in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He filed a
civil rights suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford") and
Presently Unknown Physicians and Other Medical Personnel,
John Does, of Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("John
Does") for failing to provide adequate medical care for
his sleep apnea in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Lewis
is currently incarcerated at the Shawnee Correctional Center
and was an Illinois prisoner at Stateville Correctional
Center at the time of the events in question. Lewis seeks
monetary damages to compensate him for his injuries. Wexford
moved for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56. For the following reasons, Wexford's Motion
for Summary Judgment is granted. [44, 45]
following facts are undisputed based upon the Court's
review of the Rule 56 statements unless otherwise noted. In
July 2014, while in custody at the Cook County Jail as an
inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections
("IDOC"), Lewis participated in a one-night sleep
study at the University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital
("UIC"). (See Dkt. No. 48, at 1-3, ¶
1, 9; Dkt. No. 53, at 1, ¶ 1.) He was diagnosed with
sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP deviceto be used when he
slept. (Id.) Before this, he had never woken up from
not breathing or experienced shortness of breath while
sleeping. (See Dkt. No. 48, at 3, ¶10.) Lewis
used the machine from approximately July 21, 2014, to August
5, 2014 - or about two weeks - prior to his transfer to the
Illinois Department of Corrections. (See Dkt. No.
46-2, at 11.) On August 5, 2014, Lewis was transferred from
the Cook County Jail to Stateville Correctional Center
("Stateville"). (Dkt. No. 48, at 3, ¶ 11.) The
State of Illinois contracted with Defendant Wexford, a
private corporation, to provide medical services to inmates
housed at IDOC facilities, including Stateville.
(Id., at 1, ¶ 2.) When Lewis arrived at
Stateville, none of his medical records contained his sleep
apnea diagnosis, nor a prescription for a CPAP device.
(See id, at 3, ¶12.)
to Lewis, he alerted two individuals, Dr. Diane and Nurse
Chris, to his medical condition and the prescription for the
CPAP device upon arriving at Stateville. (See
Dkt. No. 53, at 1-2, ¶ 2.) He told them that he had been
using a CPAP machine while he was at Cook County Jail.
(Id.) Lewis made a request for a CPAP device to Dr.
Diane. (See Dkt. No. 48, at 4, ¶¶ 13-14.)
Dr. Diane told Lewis that she would need a copy of his
medical records from UIC in order to give him a CPAP device.
(Id.) She asked Lewis to sign a release so that she
could obtain them. (Id.) On August 5, 2014, the same
day that Lewis arrived at Stateville, an authorization for
release of information form was processed to investigate
Lewis's self-reported sleep apnea diagnosis and to
evaluate whether he needed a CPAP device. (Id.
¶ 15.) Lewis believes that he communicated his medical
condition to Dr. Diane and Nurse Chris on one or more
occasions. (Dkt. No. 53, at 2, ¶ 5.)
September 19, 2014, after Lewis did not receive a CPAP
machine for more than a month, he filed an Official
Grievance. (See Dkt. No. 49, Exhibit A.) On the
Grievance, Lewis indicated an emergency due to substantial
risk of serious or irreparable injury. (See Dkt. No.
49, Exhibit A.) On October 28, 2014, Lewis was discharged
from Stateville. (See Dkt. No. 48, at 3-5,
¶¶ 11, 20.) Before his discharge, Lewis never
received the CPAP machine. (See Id. at 4-5,
¶¶ 16-18.) During that time, Lewis's medical
records did not arrive at Stateville. (See id.) Lewis
says he "has no knowledge as to whether Wexford Health
Services knew or did not know, at the time period stated,
that [Lewis] needed a CPAP device . . . ." (See
Id. ¶ 17.) During the 74 days that he was housed at
Stateville, he never suffered a breathing attack nor was he
hospitalized for any breathing issues.
was subsequently incarcerated at the Vandalia Correctional
Center. (See Id. at 5, ¶ 20.) While he was
there, Vandalia received the results of Lewis's sleep
study. (Id.) Based on the sleep study results, a
medical official named Dr. Afuwape made a referral for
Lewis's CPAP device, and Wexford approved. (See
filed an Amended Complaint alleging that Wexford and John
Does were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs by
failing to obtain a CPAP device for him. (See Dkt.
No. 17.) Lewis seeks monetary damages for the pain and
suffering resulting from these events. (See id.) The
parties do not dispute that "Wexford does not have a
policy denying inmates access to a CPAP device where such a
device is indicated for an inmate's care."
(See Dkt. No. 48, at 5, ¶ 21.) Lewis has not
further amended his First Amended Complaint to identify and
name specific individuals who were personally involved with
the conduct addressed in the FAC. [44, 45] (See Dkt.
No. 17; Dkt. No. 48, at 6, ¶ 22.)
judgment is proper where "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). In evaluating a
motion for summary judgment, the Court's primary function
is not to "evaluate the weight of the evidence or to
determine the truth of the matter, " but to determine
whether there is a general issue for trial. Outlaw v.
Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837 (7th Cir. 2001). "A
factual dispute is 'genuine' only if a reasonable
jury could find for either party." Nichols v. Mich.
City Plant Planning Dep't, 755 F.3d 594, 599 (7th
Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
The party moving for summary judgment bears the initial
burden of production to show that no genuine issue of
material fact exists. Outlaw, 259 F.3d at 837
(citing Logan v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 96 F.3d
971, 978 (7th Cir. 1996)). The burden may be discharged by
showing "an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving
party's case." Id. (quoting Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). Upon such a
showing, the nonmoving party must set forth specific facts
showing a genuine issue for trial. Id. (citing to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). The facts must demonstrate that the
genuine issue is material and not simply a factual
disagreement between the parties. Id. 259 F.3d at
837 (quoting Logan, 96 F.3d at 978). The
"nonmovant fails to demonstrate a genuine issue for
trial 'where the record taken as a whole could not lead a
rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving
party.'" Id. (citations omitted).
move for summary judgment on the ground that Lewis
"cannot establish deliberate indifference." [44,
45] Defendants argue that Lewis has neither alleged that
Wexford's policies have violated his Eighth Amendment
rights, nor that any specific individual acted with
deliberate indifference. Lewis argues that the facts
presented suffice to support his allegations that he
communicated his diagnosis multiple times to Dr. Diane and
Nurse Chris, and that these individuals did not take adequate
action to secure a CPAP device for Lewis. There is no dispute
that Lewis never received the CPAP machine during the time
that he was housed in Stateville nor is there any dispute
that he was never treated for any injury as a result of not
having the CPAP machine. (See Dkt. No. 46-2, at 11,
19-21; Dkt. No. 48, at 4-5, ¶¶ 16-18.) The
Plaintiff further has admitted that he cannot establish that
there is a pattern or practice of denying inmates CPAP
devices when they are needed, including stating that he knew
that other people had CPAP machines. (See Dkt. No.
46, at 18-19; Dkt. No. 48, at 4-5, ¶¶ 16-18.)
of deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition has
an objective and subjective component. To meet the objective
component, a plaintiff must demonstrate that his medical
condition is "objectively, sufficiently serious."
Farmer v. Brennan, 593 F.3d 610, 834 (1994). To
satisfy the subjective component, a prisoner must demonstrate
a sufficiently culpable state of mind, "something akin
to criminal recklessness." Norfleet v. Webster,
439 F.3d 392, 396-97 (7th Cir. 2006). Negligence does not
meet this standard. Id.
Count I - ...