United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Tharp, Jr. United States District Judge.
DeShawn Collins, who is proceeding pro se, contends
that Stateville Correctional Center psychiatrist Jonathan
Kelly's decision to discontinue a psychiatric
prescription medication for approximately one month violated
his Eighth Amendment right to receive constitutionally
adequate medical care. Dr. Kelly's motion for summary
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 is
before the Court. The record reflects that Dr. Kelly provided
attentive and professionally reasonable care for Collins at
all times, so the Court grants Dr. Kelly's motion in its
Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
Rule 56.1 sets out a procedure for presenting facts that are
germane 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.” L.R.
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.” L.R. 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.”
L.R. 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.” L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C). “[I]f
additional material facts are submitted by the opposing party
. . ., the moving party may submit a concise reply in the
form prescribed in that section for a response.” L.R.
Collins is proceeding pro se, Dr. Kelly served him
with a “Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for
Summary Judgment” as required by Northern District of
Illinois Local Rule 56.2. The notice explained how to respond
to Dr. Kelly's summary judgment motion and Local Rule
56.1 statement of facts and cautioned Collins that the Court
would deem Dr. Kelly's factual contentions admitted if
Collins failed to follow the procedures in Local Rule 56.1.
courts construe pro se pleadings liberally, see
Thomas v. Williams, 822 F.3d 378, 385 (7th Cir. 2016), a
plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him
from complying with federal and local procedural rules.
See McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113
(1993) (holding that “we have never suggested that
procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be
interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed
without counsel”); Collins v. Illinois, 554
F.3d 693, 697 (7th Cir. 2009) (“even pro se
litigants must follow procedural rules”). Collins did
not submit any filings in opposition to Dr. Kelly's
motion for summary judgment and the time to do so has passed.
Because Collins has neither responded to Dr. Kelly's
statement of facts nor opposed the summary judgment motion,
the Court will accept Dr. Kelly's “uncontroverted
version of the facts to the extent that it is supported by
evidence in the record.” Keeton v. Morningstar,
Inc., 667 F.3d 877, 880 (7th Cir. 2012); L.R.
is currently incarcerated at the Hill Correctional Center,
but was housed at the Stateville Correctional Center in 2013,
when he received the medical care at issue in this lawsuit.
(Def. SOF at ¶ 1.) Dr. Kelly is a psychiatrist who has
treated psychiatric disorders at Stateville since January 6,
2011. (Id. at ¶¶ 2, 6.) Dr. Kelly is
trained in the pharmacologic management of mental disorders
through the use of psychotropic medications. (Id. at
¶ 6.) In determining which psychotropic medicine to
prescribe for a mental health disorder, Dr. Kelly utilizes
his professional judgment to prescribe the most efficacious
medication at the lowest possible dose to obtain the desired
therapeutic outcome, while minimizing the risk of adverse
side effects. (Id. at ¶ 9.) His practice is to
inform patients of the benefits of specific medications, as
well as any potential side effects. (Id. at ¶
Kelly first treated Collins at Stateville on May 14, 2013.
(Id. at ¶ 8.) At that time, he diagnosed
Collins with an unspecified mood disorder. (Id.; Pl.
Dep. at 11:20-12-5.) Based on this diagnosis, Dr. Kelly
decided to prescribe Depakote (Valproic Acid) at a dosage of
500 mg twice daily. (Def. SOF at ¶ 12.) Possible side
effects of Depakote include infection, a decrease in blood
platelets and the ability to clot, a decrease in white blood
cells, acute liver failure, and other complications.
(Id. at ¶ 14.) Because Collins had a history of
leukopenia (abnormally low white blood cells) dating back to
2001, and leukopenia can affect the body's ability to
fight infection, Dr. Kelly ordered blood tests during the May
14, 2013 appointment so he could monitor whether Depakote
therapy caused any adverse effects. (Id. at
¶¶ 15, 18.)
29, 2013, Collins' blood was drawn. (Id. at
¶ 16.) Test results obtained the following day showed
that his white blood cells, percent neutrophils (the
percentage of a type of white blood cell), and platelets were
low, and his valproic acid level and percent lymphocytes (the
percentage of another type of white blood cell) were high.
(Id. at ¶ 17.) On June 4, 2013, Dr. Kelly
reviewed the test results with Stateville Medical Director
Saleh Obaisi, MD, because he was concerned about Collins'
valproic acid level, neutrophils, and platelet count.
(Id. at ¶ 19.) Dr. Kelly compared Collins'
prior test results, which showed that he had leukopenia in
2001 and 2011, with the May 2013 test results, and concluded
that Depakote therapy could be adversely affecting
Collins' blood cells. (Id. at ¶¶
Collins' leukopenia worsened, he would have a greater
risk of infection and a decreased ability to fight infection,
and patients with significant leukopenia who contract an
infection can experience complications such as sepsis, septic
shock, and death. (Id. at ¶ 22.) Decreased
platelets can result in the inability to clot blood in the
event of a cut or laceration. (Id.) Infection and
physical injuries accompanied by bleeding are of particular
concern in the prison context. (Id.)
Dr. Kelly balanced the benefits versus the risks of
continuing Depakote and decided to discontinue Depakote and
re-evaluate Collins to determine if Depakote was responsible
for Collins' abnormal bloodwork. (Id. at ¶
21.) Based upon his review of Collins' medical records at
Stateville, Dr. Kelly believes that discontinuing Depakote on
June 4, 2013, did not result in any physical harm to Collins.
(Id. at ¶ 49.) Dr. Kelly's sole reason for
discontinuing Depakote was to prevent it from negatively
affecting Collins' chronic leukopenia. (Id. at
¶¶ 50, 54.)
21, 2013, Collins' blood was redrawn pursuant to Dr.
Kelly's orders to determine if Collins' condition had
improved after discontinuing Depakote. (Id. at
¶ 23.) It had not. (Id.) For unknown reasons,
Collins did not present for a July 3, 2013 appointment with
Dr. Kelly, who had planned to review Collins' lab results
and medication options ...