United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPINION
MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Forrest City
Low FCI, brought the present lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging deliberate indifference to a serious
medical need for events arising out of his incarceration at
Sangamon County Jail. The matter comes before this Court for
ruling on the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
(Doc. 28). The motion is granted.
judgment should be granted “if the movant shows that
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). All facts must be construed in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party, and all reasonable
inferences must be drawn in his favor. Ogden v.
Atterholt, 606 F.3d 355, 358 (7th Cir. 2010).
The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a
genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In order to be a
“genuine” issue, there must be more than
“some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). “Only disputes
over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under
the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
times relevant, Plaintiff was incarcerated at Sangamon County
Jail (“jail”). Defendant Williamson is the
Sheriff in Sangamon County and the sole defendant in this
matter. Plaintiff originally named “Sangamon County
Medical Unit” as a defendant. Pursuant to the
Court's Merit Review Opinion, Defendant Williamson was
added as a defendant for purposes of identifying those
responsible for Plaintiff's medical care. (Doc. 4).
Plaintiff was advised that he would need to name as
defendants those individuals responsible for his medical
care. Id. The Court's Scheduling Order also
advised Plaintiff he must file a motion to substitute
defendants within 60 days. (Doc. 11 at 5, ¶ 19).
Plaintiff received the information in Defendant's Rule 26
disclosures dated August 21, 2015. (Doc. 28-2). No motion to
substitute or add defendants has been filed.
suffered from arthritis in his shoulders. Prior to arriving
at the Sangamon County Jail, Plaintiff received treatment for
arthritis, and other conditions, at the Veteran's
Administration (“VA”) hospital. According to
Plaintiff, he received three cortisone shots in his shoulders
in 2009 and 2010. Pl.'s Dep. 21:12-19. His shoulders
remained pain-free until January 2013. Plaintiff testified he
was then given a non-steroid shot at that time, but medical
records show that Plaintiff received a corticosteroid
injection. Id. 23:5-7 (“Q. They gave you a
shot in 2013? A. Yes, ma'am, but they didn't give me
the steroid shot.”); (Doc. 28-14 at 12) (medical
staff at the jail obtained Plaintiff's VA records, but
Plaintiff did not receive the shots while he was incarcerated
at the jail. Instead, Plaintiff was prescribed
over-the-counter pain killers. Jail officials also authorized
Plaintiff's receipt of his VA prescription for Meloxicam,
a drug prescribed to treat arthritis, which was provided by
the VA according to a handwritten notation on Plaintiff's
records. (Doc. 28-13 at 13); Mayo Clinic, Meloxicam (Oral
Route), available at:
(last accessed Feb. 6, 2017) (“Meloxicam is a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve
the symptoms of arthritis….”).
shoulder pain gradually improved once Plaintiff started an
exercise regimen that consisted primarily of standing wall
pushups. Pl's Dep. 25:18-26:18. Eventually,
Plaintiff's pain subsided to the point where he felt at
least as good as he did when he received the cortisone shots.
Id. 48:14-17 (“Q. …And do you feel
better now than you did after you had gotten your shots at
the VA or about the same? A. About the same.”).
are entitled to adequate medical care under the Eighth
Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05
(1976). Because Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee, however,
his rights are derived from the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment rather than the Eighth Amendment's
proscription against cruel and unusual punishment. Burton
v. Downey, 805 F.3d 776, 784 (7thCir. 2015)
(citing Pittman v. Cnty. of Madison, 746 F.3d 766,
775 (7th Cir. 2014)). The standards under the
respective amendments are essentially the same. Id.
(citing Smego v. Mitchell, 723 F.3d 752, 756
(7th Cir. 2013)).
prevail, a plaintiff must show that the prison official acted
with deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 105. Claims of negligence,
medical malpractice, or disagreement with a prescribed course
of treatment are not sufficient. McDonald v. Hardy,
821 F.3d 882, 888 (7th Cir. 2016) (citing
Pyles v. Fahim, 771 F.3d 403, 408 (7th
Cir. 2014), and Duckworth v. Ahmad, 532 F.3d 675,
679 (7th Cir. 2008)). Rather, liability attaches
when “the official knows of and disregards an excessive
risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be
aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also
draw the inference.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 837 (1994).
jail officials, like Defendant Williamson, may be held
constitutionally liable for “intentionally denying or
delaying access to medical care, or intentionally interfering
with medical treatment once prescribed.”
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104; Rodriguez v. Plymouth
Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 829 (7th Cir.
2009). Defendant Williamson did not provide medical treatment
to Plaintiff, and the record does not suggest that
Plaintiff's access to medical treatment was obstructed in
any way. Furthermore, the grievances in the record indicate
that each time Plaintiff complained of pain, he was scheduled
to see medical staff. Defendant Williamson was added solely
to identify Plaintiff's treatment providers. To the
extent that Plaintiff may seek to impose liability on this
Defendant, the Court finds that no reasonable juror could
conclude that Defendant Williamson was deliberately
response to the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment,
Plaintiff argues that Dr. Abraham and Tracy Shea, a nurse,
should be held liable because they did not administer the
cortisone shots upon his request. An inmate has no
constitutional right to demand specific treatment. Snipes
v. DeTella, 95 F.3d 586, 592 (7th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff's disagreement with these individuals'