United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JAMES OWENS, Inmate No. K83253, Plaintiff,
STEPHEN DUNCAN, PHILLIPE, JOHN DOE 2, ROXANNE McDONALD, CHAD RAY, DANA HALL, and TOBEY RICE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN CHIEF JUDGE
James Owens, acting pro se, brought the present
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges
violations of his constitutional rights based on the actions
of prison staff and medical personnel at Lawrence
Correctional Center (“Lawrence”) where he is
currently incarcerated. This matter is before the Court on
two Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants (Docs.
72; 78). Plaintiff filed responses to each motion, and the
motions are ripe for disposition (Docs. 77, 85). For the
reasons articulated below, the Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by Defendants Dana Hall and Phillippe (Doc. 72) is GRANTED
in part and DENIED in part, and the Motion filed by
Defendants Stephen Duncan, Roxanne McDonald, Chad Ray, and
Tobey Rice (Doc. 78) is also GRANTED in part and DENIED in
part. The case will be allowed to proceed beyond summary
judgment as to Defendant Phillipe, and as to Defendant Duncan
for injunctive relief.
Summary Judgment Standard
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs summary
judgment motions. The rule states that summary judgment is
appropriate only if the admissible evidence considered as a
whole shows there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Archdiocese of Milwaukee v. Doe, 743 F.3d 1101, 1105
(7th Cir. 2014) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)). The party
seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of
demonstrating - based on the pleadings, affidavits and/or
information obtained via discovery - the lack of any genuine
issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact
remains “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). Accord Bunn v. Khoury Enterpr. Inc., 753
F.3d 676, 681 (7th Cir. 2014).
assessing a summary judgment motion, the district court views
the facts in the light most favorable to, and draws all
reasonable inferences in favor of, the nonmoving party.
Anderson v. Donahoe, 699 F.3d 989, 994 (7th Cir.
2012); Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899 (7th
Cir. 2011). As the Seventh Circuit has explained, as required
by Rule 56(a), “we set forth the facts by examining the
evidence in the light reasonably most favorable to the
non-moving party, giving [him] the benefit of reasonable,
favorable inferences and resolving conflicts in the evidence
in [his] favor.” Spaine v. Cmty Contacts,
Inc., 756 F.3d 542, 544 (7th Cir. 2014).
January 20, 2014, Plaintiff entered the mess hall at Lawrence
for lunch sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (Doc.
73-1, p. 16, 31; Doc. 85, p. 2). While sitting at a table
after eating, Plaintiff suffered an injury to his left leg
relating to his sciatica. (Doc. 73-1, p. 31; Doc. 85, p. 2).
Plaintiff was in pain and could not stand up due to the
injury. (Doc. 73-1, p. 13 - 14). At that time, the other
inmates at Plaintiff's table informed Plaintiff's
wing officer, who then retrieved another correctional
officer. (Id. at 17.). The correctional officer was
informed at roughly 10:50 a.m. (Doc. 85, p. 2). The officer
went over to Plaintiff's table, and told Plaintiff to get
up to go to his wing. (Doc. 73-1, p. 17). When Plaintiff
stated that he could not get up, the correctional officer
threatened to spray him with mace, to which Plaintiff
responded by reiterating his inability to move from the
table. (Id.). At that point, by 11:00 a.m.,
Defendant Ray, a lieutenant, came over to Plaintiff's
table and was informed of Plaintiff's injury.
(Id. at 17, 31). Defendant Ray summoned a second
wing officer, and that wing officer and the correctional
officer lifted Plaintiff up from under his arms and carried
him to an empty table by the door. (Id. at 17, 18).
According to Plaintiff, at roughly the same time, Defendant
Ray radioed the healthcare unit for assistance. (Doc. 85, p. 2).
Plaintiff did not exhibit symptoms such as shortness of
breath or bleeding. (Id. at 2).
30 minutes later,  Defendant Hall arrived from the healthcare
unit with a wheelchair. (Doc. 77, p. 6; Doc. 73-1, p. 32;
Doc. 85, p. 2). Defendant Hall does not recall at what time
the call to healthcare was received, but she does know the
call was not made as an emergency. (Doc. 73-3, p. 1). While
medical records indicate that Defendant Hall took
Plaintiff's vitals at roughly 11:20 a.m., (Doc. 73-2, p.
1), Plaintiff testified that he is certain it was after 11:30
a.m. before Defendant Hall arrived because at least two lines
of inmates ate after his unit, which left at 11:00 a.m., and
it would have taken roughly 10 to 15 minutes for each line to
eat (Doc. 73-1, p. 32).
Defendant Hall arrived, Plaintiff transferred himself from
the table to the wheelchair without standing since no one
offered him assistance. (Id. at 20). Plaintiff
claims that it was extremely difficult and painful, but he
was able to get himself into the wheelchair. (Id. at
21, 34). He testified it was obvious that he was in a lot of
pain. (Id. at 21). Defendant Hall then wheeled
Plaintiff to the healthcare unit waiting room, where, upon
instruction, Plaintiff slid off the wheelchair onto a bench.
(Id. at 20). Sometime later, Defendant Hall returned
to the waiting room and made Plaintiff walk 16 to 18 feet to
the medical lab for a blood draw. (Id.). Plaintiff
claims that he had to wait in the waiting room a long time
before being taken to the lab. He first testified that he had
“no idea” on the exact time she retrieved him
from the waiting room, but that it “seemed like
forever.” (Id. at 20). In his response to
Defendant Hall's motion, relying on a medical record,
Plaintiff now states that he waited in the waiting room for
an hour and a half. (Doc. 77, p. 6). Defendant Hall disputes
this timeline, stating that Plaintiff's vitals were taken
at 11:20 a.m. and medication for him was ordered by 11:50
a.m. (Doc. 79-3, p. 2).
believes that walking from the waiting room to the lab
exacerbated his injury, but he has no evidence to support
this belief, such as the advice or opinion of a medical
professional. (Id. at 34). In the lab, Defendant
Hall took Plaintiff's vitals and wheeled him into the
infirmary. After that brief interaction, Plaintiff did not
Defendant Hall again. Plaintiff was placed in a bed, given a
muscle relaxer and a Vicodin, and was seen by a doctor the
next morning. (Id. at 21).
days later, on January 23, 2014, when Plaintiff was returning
to his cell from a meal, he informed Defendant McDonald that
he was suffering from pain in his leg. (Doc. 73-1, p. 21;
Doc. 85, p. 2 - 3). Defendant McDonald was in the housing
wing control room known as the “bubble”. (Doc.
73-1, p. 22). Plaintiff informed her that he needed emergency
care and asked her to contact the cell house lieutenant since
he was the person who could get Plaintiff to the healthcare
unit on an emergency basis. Doc. 85, p. 2 - 3). Defendant
McDonald, however, merely shrugged her shoulders and refused
to call for the lieutenant. (Doc. 73-1, p. 22; Doc. 85, p.
3). Plaintiff was on a pain medication at this time already;
however, the pain medication was not working. (Doc. 73-1, p.
24). When he was later seen by a doctor for his pain,
Plaintiff was not given new pain medication. (Id.).
Additionally, he had been told by Doctor Coe on January 22,
2014, that the doctor was ordering a cane for him; however,
Plaintiff had not received it when he saw Defendant McDonald.
(Id.). A medical permit provided by Plaintiff
indicates that Dr. Coe ordered a cane on March 10, 2014.
(Doc. 85-1, p. 36). Plaintiff did not receive the cane until
May or June of the same year. (Doc. 73-1, p. 24). He believes
that if Defendant McDonald contacted the lieutenant he would
have received his cane sooner and would have been given pain
addition, Plaintiff claims that on the January 22, 2014 visit
with Dr. Coe, the doctor informed him that he would order
Plaintiff a second foam mattress to help with his sciatic
pain. (Id. at 28, 30). By the time of his next visit
with Dr. Coe, however, Plaintiff had not received the
mattress, and Dr. Coe informed him that Plaintiff would have
to request a mattress from the clothing room or security
staff because the doctor could not order it. (Id. at
28.). Plaintiff admits, however, that he has not seen any
indication in his medical records of Dr. Coe's intent to
order a second mattress. (Id.).
spoke with a housing unit lieutenant regarding requesting a
second mattress and was instructed that he should contact the
clothing room supervisor. (Id.). Plaintiff sent
multiple written requests to the supervisor over a couple of
weeks. (Id. at 28 - 29). The requests indicated that
Dr. Coe had informed Plaintiff he was ordering Plaintiff a
mattress, but that Plaintiff had to go through the supervisor
to receive it. (Id. at 28). Plaintiff also submitted
multiple grievances regarding obtaining a second mattress,
both on an emergency basis and in the regular manner.
(Id. at 29). Though Plaintiff submitted his request
in the typical manner, and had received responses to prior
requests, Plaintiff received no response from the clothing
room supervisor, Defendant Rice, regarding the foam mattress.
(Id.). In October 2014, Counselor Tony Kittle
responded to one of Plaintiff's grievances about a second
foam mattress. (Doc. 85-1, p. 10 - 11, 14). Kittle's
response included a response from Dr. Coe that merely
instructed Plaintiff to participate in nurse sick call if he
had a problem. (Id. at 14, 15). Plaintiff has yet to
receive a second foam mattress. (Id. at 30).
6, 2014, Plaintiff was seen by a nurse in sick call for a
possible fungal infection. (Doc. 73-1, p. 5; Doc. 73-2, p.
5). At the visit, Plaintiff told the nurse that the cream he
had been given was not working. (Doc. 73-1, p. 5; Doc. 73-2,
p. 5). The following day, May 7th, Plaintiff was in the law
library when he pulled a muscle in his back, causing him
pain. (Doc. 73-1, p. 5). On the same day, Plaintiff received
a call pass for another sick call visit for the next day, May
8th. (Id. at 6). Plaintiff did not know the purpose
of this sick call visit until he arrived. (Id.).
saw Defendant Phillippe during the May 8, 2014 sick call.
(Id. at 7). Plaintiff claims that, during the visit,
he informed Defendant Phillippe of his back pain, and noted
that it was “extreme pain.” (Id.).
According to Plaintiff, Defendant Phillipe refused to treat
him for his back pain, stating that he had been brought to
sick call for treatment for his fungal infection.
part, Defendant Phillippe states that she does not recall
Plaintiff informing her on this visit that he injured his
back. (Doc. 73-4, p. 2). According to her, if Plaintiff had
told her he injured his back the previous day, she would have
performed an assessment. (Id. at 2 - 3). In an
instance where an inmate brings up medical issues that are in
addition to the issue or issues for which she is scheduled to
evaluate him, Defendant Phillippe will evaluate the inmate,
and will address the additional issue only if it is an urgent
or emergent need. (Id. at 2). Otherwise, she
instructs the inmate that the proper procedure is to make a
new request to first be seen in nurse sick call.
(Id.). Defendant Phillippe claims that Plaintiff did
not exhibit signs or symptoms indicating an urgent or
emergent problem with his back during the May 8, 2014 visit.
(Id. at 3).
sought follow-up care for his back injury, and medical
records reflect that he was seen on May 13, 2014 to address
the injury (Doc. 77, p. 23). At that time he was prescribed
medication for the injury (Id.). Further, Plaintiff
was seen on three or more ...