United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Z. Lee United States District Judge
David Gevas (“Gevas”), an inmate at Stateville
Correctional Center, sued Wexford Health Sources, Inc., and
various Wexford employees (“Wexford Defendants”),
as well as various state employees, under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Gevas alleges deliberate indifference to his medical
needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. On March 29,
2016, this Court granted in part and denied in part the
Wexford Defendants' motion for summary judgment .
The Wexford Defendants now move the Court to reconsider those
portions of its motion for summary judgment that the Court
denied . For the reasons that follow, the Wexford
Defendants' motion for reconsideration is denied.
complaint raises three counts against some or all of the
Wexford Defendants. In Count I, Gevas alleges that Dr.
Patterson and Tiffany Utke, a Wexford nurse, were
deliberately indifferent to his medical needs by failing to
provide suitable contact lenses in a timely manner. Compl.
¶¶ 22-52, ECF No. 63. Dr. Patterson has been
dismissed from the case pursuant to a settlement. Minute
Order 6/9/14, ECF No. 290. The Wexford Defendants moved for
summary judgment on Gevas's claims as against Nurse Utke,
arguing in part that Gevas failed to show Utke was personally
liable for failing to provide for his ocular needs.
Defs.' Mem. Supp. Summ. J. 11, ECF No. 333. The Court
agreed, finding no evidence from which a jury could conclude
that Utke was responsible for depriving Utke of appropriate
treatment. Mem. Op. & Order 6, ECF No. 398. The Court
therefore granted the Wexford Defendants' motion as to
Count II, Gevas claims that Wexford and various Wexford
employees-Dr. Imhotep Carter, Dr. Parthasarathi Ghosh, Dr.
Ronald Schaefer, Dr. Arthur Funk, and physician's
assistant LaTanya Williams-along with various state
employees, were responsible for gaps occurring in his
prescription for Tramadol, a pain medication. Compl.
¶¶ 53-75. The Wexford Defendants moved for summary
judgment as to this count, arguing in part that there was no
evidence from which a jury could infer personal involvement
on the part of the named Wexford employees. Defs.' Mem.
Supp. Summ. J. 13-14. The Court denied the Wexford
Defendants' motion as to Count II, citing a missed
appointment with Dr. Ghosh as one example of evidence from
which a jury could conclude that the Wexford Defendants were
responsible for gaps in Gevas's Tramadol prescription,
and thus deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. Mem.
Op. & Order 7.
in Count III, Gevas asserts that Wexford and three of its
employees-Drs. Carter and Ghosh and Nurse Heidi Moss-along
with various state employees, failed to keep a sufficient
supply of other medications in stock, resulting in Gevas
missing dosages of certain prescriptions. Compl. ¶¶
76-97. Again, the Wexford Defendants moved for summary
judgment on the basis that the named Wexford employees could
not be found personally responsible. Defs.' Mem. Supp.
Summ. J. 16-17. The Court disagreed, explaining that Drs.
Ghosh and Carter, as medical directors at Stateville, and
Nurse Moss, as supervising nurse, were in positions of
responsibility such that a reasonable jury could find each
knew of Gevas's unmet medication needs and could have
taken corrective action. Mem. Op. & Order 9-10.
Wexford Defendants also moved for summary judgment on the
claims against Wexford itself, arguing that Gevas had failed
to provide evidence from which a reasonably jury could find a
policy, custom, or practice necessary to impose liability
under Monell v. Department of Social Services of New
York, 436 U.S. 658, (1978). Defs.' Mem. Supp. Summ.
J. 18-19. The Court denied the motion as to Wexford, noting
that the Wexford Defendants had admitted that Gevas did not
receive the medications he was prescribed at certain times,
and finding that “a reasonable jury could find an
unconstitutional custom from the various times he did not
receive his medication because it was out of stock.”
Mem. Op. & Order 13.
Federal Rule of Procedure 54(b), “any order . . . that
adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and
liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the
action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised
at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all
the claims and all the parties' rights and
liabilities.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). But while motions to
reconsider under Rule 54(b) are permitted, “they are
disfavored.” Patrick v. City of Chi., 103
F.Supp.3d 907, 911 (N.D. Ill. 2015). They serve a very
limited purpose: correcting manifest errors of law or fact
and presenting newly discovered evidence. Id.
(citations omitted). This is a heavy burden for the moving
party and makes a motion for reconsideration an inappropriate
medium to “rehash” past arguments, id.
(citations omitted), or revisit improvident strategic
decisions made earlier. Birdo v. Dave Gomez, 2016 WL
6070173, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 17, 2016) (citation omitted).
Motions for reconsideration will be granted only where
“the Court has patently misunderstood a party, or has
made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to
the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of
reasoning but of apprehension.” Bank of Waunakee v.
Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th
Cir. 1990). Given these exacting standards, “issues
appropriate for reconsideration ‘rarely arise and the
motion to reconsider should be equally rare.'”
Burrell v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., No. 14 C 5127,
2016 WL 4720024, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 8, 2016) (quoting
Bank of Waunakee, 906 F.2d at 1191).
Wexford Defendants have moved the Court to reconsider its
previous ruling on two grounds. First, they contend that the
Court failed to adequately address their argument that, as to
Counts II and III, Gevas failed to produce evidence from
which a reasonable jury could infer that the individual
Wexford Defendants were personally responsible for deliberate
indifference to his medical needs. Second, regarding Wexford
itself, they assert that the Court did not sufficiently
explain why a reasonable jury could find a policy, custom, or
practice necessary for liability under § 1983. The Court
will address each of these arguments in turn.
Individual Wexford Defendants' Personal
Wexford Defendants present two bases on which they seek
reconsideration of the Court's denial of their summary
judgment motion as to the individual defendants' personal
involvement. First, they state that the Court's opinion
“does not appear to address the personal involvement
standard” with regard to Count II, Defs.' Mot.
Recons. Summ. J. 6, ECF No. 402, and make a similar argument
as to Count III. Id. at 10.
this argument misconstrues the Court's opinion. In
discussing Count II, the Court offered, as an “example,
” a description of one of the gaps in treatment that
are the basis of Gevas's claim in Count II. Mem. Op.
& Order 7. The Court stated that Gevas was scheduled to
see Dr. Ghosh, but his appointment was cancelled, resulting
in a gap in his prescription. Id. This is an