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Donelson v. Shearing

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 19, 2017

CHARLES DONELSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. SHEARING, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE United States District Judge

         Before the Court are Defendants Robert Shearing and Samuel Nwaobosi's Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant Aimee Lang's Motion for Summary Judgment (Docs. 216, 226). Plaintiff Charles Donelson filed an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging several constitutional violations (Docs. 1, 2). The Court subsequently severed Plaintiff's claims into separate actions (Doc. 1). In this case, Plaintiff asserts the following claims:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs claim against Dr. Shearing for failure to treat Plaintiff's tonsils;
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs claim against Dr. Nwaobasi for failure to treat Plaintiff's tonsils; and
Count 3: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs claim against Medical Technician Aimee Lang for delaying Plaintiff's appointments with physicians.

(Doc. 57).

         Defendants now move for summary judgment of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS summary judgment with respect to Defendant Lang and DENIES summary judgment as to Defendants Nwaobosi and Shearing.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Charles Donelson was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center from July 18, 2012 until October 19, 2013. Wexford Health Sources contracts with the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) to provide medical services to inmates and Defendants Shearing and Nwaobosi were employed by Wexford as physicians. Defendant Lang was employed by IDOC as a medical technician. Her duties included evaluating inmates who request medical attention. During his time at Menard, Donelson had medical complaints regarding his ears and throat. According to the medical records, Donelson received the following evaluations and treatment for his complaints:

On November 22, 2012, Donelson complained to Defendant Lang of intermittent, sharp, stabbing pain in both ears, which Donelson rated as 4 of 10 (Doc. 217-1 at 2). Lang assessed an ear ache or ear wax impaction, recommended medication for pain and ear wax removal, and did not refer Donelson to a physician. (Id.)
On December 28, 2012, Donelson complained to a nurse about nasal congestion, itchy throat, ear discomfort and headaches.[1] (Id. at 3). The nurse assessed a cold or upper respiratory infection, recommended medication for pain and cold symptoms, and did not refer Donelson to a physician. (Id.)
On January 12, 2013, Donelson complained to a nurse of pain in both ears, which he rated as 4 of 10. (Id. at 4). He informed the nurse about his prescription for Prilosec and indicated that his tonsils had not been removed. (Id.) The nurse recommended medication for pain and referred Donelson to a physician. (Id.)
On January 18, 2013, Donelson saw Dr. Nwaobosi, complaining of foot pain and ear pain. (Id. at 5). Dr. Nwaobosi diagnosed rotational trauma of the left foot and a common cold. (Id.) He recommended an X-ray of the left foot, ibuprofen for pain, medication for cold symptoms and scheduled a follow up appointment for three weeks later. (Id.) Donelson did not attend the follow up appointment due to an institutional lockdown. (Id. at 5-6).
On February 27, 2013, Donelson complained of numbness, tingling and pain in both wrists to Lang. (Id. at 7). Lang assessed non-specific discomfort and ...

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