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Haley v. Olin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 20, 2016

KENJI L. HALEY, Plaintiff,
v.
RAVYN OLIN, ALAN MONTGOMERY, and DENNIS LARSON, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Kenji L. Haley, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Big Muddy River Correctional Center (“Big Muddy”). In his amended complaint, Haley alleges that he was provided medication for treatment of an eye condition to which he had a known allergy, causing him to suffer an allergic reaction. Following a screening of his amended complaint, Haley was allowed to proceed on a claim of deliberate indifference against Defendant Ravyn Olin, the nurse who allegedly dispensed the medication to which Haley was allergic, Dr. Alan Montgomery, the ophthalmologist who prescribed the medication, and Dr. Dennis Larson, the medical director at Big Muddy, for approving disbursement of the medication.

         Following the screening of Haley's amended complaint, Defendants Larson and Montgomery filed motions for summary judgment arguing Haley failed to exhaust the claims against them prior to filing his lawsuit as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act 42 U.S.C. § 1997e, et seq. (see Docs. 67 and 70). Defendants' motions are now before the Court.

         Factual Background

         The only relevant grievance before the Court is dated January 13, 2014 (see Doc. 68-1, pp. 3-4). In this grievance, Haley complains about his November 18, 2013 appointment with Defendant Olin. Specifically, Haley's grievance reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

On November 18, 2013, I (Haley) was being seen by nurse/sick call because I had a stye [sic] in my right eyelid. At 1 p.m. that day, Nurse Olin identified it as a stye [sic] and said that she was going to treat me with either an eye drop or an antibiotic. I told her that I was allergic to “sulfur something but I am not sure of the chemical name.” Then she stated that she needed to see the eye doctor (Dr. Larry Montgomery) to see what he recommended as treatment. At 2 p.m. that day, the nurse came back to 2 house, called for me and gave me the medication (Bactrim). She gave it and I did as I was told and took the medicine. 24-hours later, I was having an allergic reaction to the medication, I had deep red rashes on my feet, arms, neck, stomach and back … As it turned out the doctor who prescribed the medicine and the nurse who sent it to me, gave me the same medication that I was allergic to.

(Doc. 68-1, p. 3-4).

         Although there was no written response from Haley's counselor, the grievance officer considered this grievance on the merits on March 2, 2014 and recommended that it be affirmed, finding that the “inmate did receive medication he was allergic to” (see Doc. 68-1, p. 2). The warden concurred with the grievance officer's response on March 18, 2014. Soon thereafter, Haley appealed the grievance to the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”). The ARB received the grievance on March 25, 2014, and provided its response on the merits on August 23, 2014, with the IDOC Director's concurrence on October 1, 2014. Thereafter, on April 28, 2015, Haley filed this lawsuit.

         Legal Standards

         Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is proper only if the moving party can demonstrate “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(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). See also Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005); Black Agents & Brokers Agency, Inc. v. Near North Ins. Brokerage, Inc., 409 F.3d 833, 836 (7th Cir. 2005). The moving party bears the burden of establishing that no material facts are in genuine dispute; any doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue must be resolved against the moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 160 (1970). See also Lawrence v. Kenosha County, 391 F.3d 837, 841 (7th Cir. 2004). A moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law where the non-moving party “has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. “[A] complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.” Id. The Seventh Circuit has stated summary judgment “is the put up or shut up moment in a lawsuit, when a party must show what evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of the events.” Steen v. Myers, 486 F.3d 1017, 1022 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Hammel v. Eau Galle Cheese Factory, 407 F.3d 852, 859 (7th Cir. 2005) (other citations omitted)).

         Exhaustion Requirements under the PLRA

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act provides:

No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under Section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such ...

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