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Haskins v. Sumulong

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 30, 2017

Johnny Haskins, Plaintiff,
Daniel Sumulong, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff Johnny Haskins, a former prisoner, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that four nurses were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs after another inmate attacked him on January 24, 2012, while he was detained at Kane County Jail. Defendants move for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.

         I. Northern District Of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

         Local Rule 56.1 sets out a procedure for presenting facts pertinent to a party's request for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Specifically, Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to submit “a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue and that entitle the moving party to judgment as a matter of law.” Petty v. City of Chicago, 754 F.3d 416, 420 (7th Cir. 2014). Each paragraph of the movant's statement of facts must include “specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon to support the facts set forth in that paragraph.” LR 56.1(a). The opposing party must file a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, “including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon.” LR 56.1(b)(3)(B). “All material facts set forth in the statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party.” LR 56.1(b)(3)(C). The nonmoving party may also present a separate statement of additional facts “consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon.” LR 56.1(b)(3)(C).

         Because Haskins is proceeding pro se, defendants served him with a “Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment” as required by Local Rule 56.2. (Dkt. 62.) The notice explained how to respond to defendants' summary judgment motion and Rule 56.1 Statement and cautioned Haskins that the Court would deem defendants' factual contentions admitted if he failed to follow the procedures of the local rule. (Id. at 1-3.)

         Haskins, by the deadline ordered for a response to defendants' motion, submitted a “motion for summary judgment, ” which the Court construes as his response to defendants' motion. (Dkt. 92.) Haskins argues that he has sufficiently shown that defendants discriminated against him and failed to properly treat his medical needs. (Dkt. 92.) Haskins's response does not, however, detail the underlying facts, and he did not include a statement of uncontested facts or any supporting evidence. He also did not respond to defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement or submit a statement of additional uncontested facts. Defendants did not submit a reply.

         “[A] district court is entitled to decide [a summary judgment] motion based on the factual record outlined in the [Local Rule 56.1] statements.” Koszola v. Bd. of Educ. of Chi., 385 F.3d 1104, 1109 (7th Cir. 2004) (third alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Olivet Baptist Church v. Church Mut. Ins. Co., - Fed.Appx. -, 2017 WL 129943 (7th Cir. Jan. 13, 2017) (“The district court treated most of the [defendant's] factual submissions as unopposed, because the [plaintiff] failed to contest them in the form required by Local Rule 56.1(b). We have held that the district court is entitled to enforce that rule in precisely the way it enforced the rule in this litigation.”) (citations omitted). Haskins's status as a pro se litigant does not excuse him from complying with Local Rule 56.1. See Coleman v. Goodwill Indus. of Se. Wis., Inc., 423 Fed.Appx. 642, 643 (7th Cir. 2011) (“Though courts are solicitous of pro se litigants, they may nonetheless require strict compliance with local rules.”); Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006) (“[E]ven pro se litigants must follow rules of civil procedure.”).

         Accordingly, the Court will accept as true the facts set forth in defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement, except insofar as the statement does not accurately reflect the cited material, viewing the facts and drawing inferences in the light most favorable to Haskins. See N.D. Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C); Parra v. Neal, 614 F.3d 635, 636 (7th Cir. 2010); Rao v. BP Prods. N. Am., Inc., 589 F.3d 389, 393 (7th Cir. 2009); Cady, 467 F.3d at 1061; Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006). Haskins's “failure to comply with Local Rule 56.1 . . . does not . . . automatically result in judgment for the movant. The ultimate burden of persuasion remains with [the movant] to show that [the movant] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Raymond, 442 F.3d at 608 (citations omitted).

         II. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate “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). The Court's role is “to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial, ” Tolan v. Cotton, 134 S.Ct. 1861, 1866 (2014) (citations and quotations marks omitted), without “weigh[ing] evidence, mak[ing] credibility determinations, resolv[ing] factual disputes and swearing contests, or decid[ing] which inferences to draw from the facts.” Miller v. Gonzalez, 761 F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014).

         After a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the party opposing summary judgment “must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). Although a court considers facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, Zuppardi v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 770 F.3d 644, 649 (7th Cir. 2014), the non-movant must show more than disputed facts to defeat summary judgment-disputed facts must be both genuine and material. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). Moreover, evidence submitted in opposition to summary judgment must be admissible at trial under the Federal Rules of Evidence, although testimony found in depositions or affidavits may be considered. Scott v. Edinburg, 346 F.3d 752, 759-60 & n.7 (7th Cir. 2003); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).

         III. Facts

         The four defendants were employed at the Kane County Jail as nurses: Kathleen Sanchez was a Certified Nursing Assistant; Louise Peach was a Registered Nurse; Daniel Sumulong was a Registered Nurse; and Laurel Makula was a Registered Nurse who generally performed administrative and non-clinical duties, providing only occasional as-needed medical care to inmates. (DSOF ¶¶ 2-5.) Haskins was detained at the jail facing criminal charges. (DSOF ¶ 9.)

         On January 24, 2012, as Haskins was eating in his cell, his cellmate sucker-punched him on the right rear side of his head, knocking Haskins to the floor on his right side. (DSOF ¶ 9, Ex. A, at 42:20-24.) Haskins remained conscious as correctional officers arrived; the officers removed the cellmate, seated Haskins, and called for medical attention. (DSOF ¶ 9.) The jail physician, Dr. Kul Sood, was not on-site, but was available by phone. (DSOF ¶ 17.) The only on-site medical personnel were nurses, who arrived shortly after the incident. (DSOF ¶¶ 10, 16, Ex. G.)

         Nurse Sanchez recalls responding to treat Haskins, along with Nurses Peach and Sumulong. (DSOF ¶ 11.) Haskins did not appear disoriented or unbalanced upon her arrival. (DSOF ¶ 11.) Nurse Sanchez in her written notes documented bleeding from a one-inch long, curved, one millimeter deep laceration on the right side of Haskins's head. (DSOF ¶ 13.) Nurse Sumulong cleaned the area, applied triple antibiotic ointment, and covered it with “4x4's” (a type of medical gauze used to stop bleeding), and Nurse Sanchez administered a tetanus shot to prevent a potential infection. (DSOF ¶¶ 13, 15.) Nurse Sanchez does not recall whether Nurse Peach or Nurse Makula participated in treating Haskins, and neither remembers the incident, although it would not have been Nurse Makula's “custom and practice as an administrative assistant . . . to respond[] to or provide[] medical treatment.” (DSOF Ex. C ¶ 3; Ex. D ¶ 3; Ex. E ¶ 3.) Haskins testified that all four were present. (DSOF Ex. A, at 157:17-158:6.) At 1:30 p.m., about an hour after Haskins was treated, Nurse Sanchez spoke to Dr. Sood, who ordered an antibiotic for Haskins, “Doxycycline 100 mg PO BID x 7 days.” (DSOF ¶¶ 14-15.) Nurse Sanchez also “[p]ut [Haskins] on the MD list.” (DSOF Ex. H, at 12.)

         Haskins, through his deposition testimony, generally agrees with Nurse Sanchez's written summary of his medical treatment immediately following his injury, with a few exceptions. He was not sure of the depth of the cut but estimated that it was about “one inch or one inch and a half” long. (DSOF ¶ 15, Ex. A. at 72:10-15.) Haskins recalls being “in a daze.” (DSOF Ex. A, at 42:1.) He also remembers one female nurse saying “you need stitches, ” to which another female nurse responded, “I don't really feel like shaving too much hair.” (DSOF Ex. A at 41:16-42:7; 42:16-24; 78:11-13.) While being treated, Haskins told the attendants that he was “in a lot of pain, ” and “hurting in [his] chest”; he testified that the pain was “in his rib cage at the top, ” due to falling on that side after being punched. (Id. at 42:17-18.) He insists that, although the nurses “did certain things, ” they did only “what they wanted to do, ” rather than “what was best to do.” (DSOF ¶ 16; DSOF Ex. A., Dkt. 61-1, at 146:3-16.) Haskins thought that what would be best would be to stich his head, get an x-ray, and check for internal bleeding. (DSOF ¶ 16, Ex. A, at ...

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