United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Gary Feinerman William Richter filed this suit under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Dr. Saleh Obaisi, Dr. Ann Hundley
Davis, and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., alleging deliberate
indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. Doc. 8. The court recruited counsel, who has
performed ably, on Richter's behalf. Doc. 5 (Darrah, J.).
Discovery has closed, and a jury trial is set for November
13, 2017. Docs. 49, 58. Defendants have moved for summary
judgment. Doc. 60. The motion is granted in part and denied
following facts are stated as favorably to Richter as
permitted by the record and Local Rule 56.1. See Woods v.
City of Berwyn, 803 F.3d 865, 867 (7th Cir. 2015). In
considering Defendants' motion, the court must assume the
truth of those facts, but does not vouch for them. See
Arroyo v. Volvo Grp. N. Am., 805 F.3d 278, 281 (7th Cir.
an inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”), was housed at all relevant times at
Stateville Correctional Center. Doc. 62 at ¶ 1. Wexford
contracts with IDOC to provide medical services to inmates at
Stateville. Id. at ¶ 2. Dr. Obaisi is employed
by Wexford and serves as Stateville's medical director.
Id. at ¶ 3. Dr. Davis was employed by Wexford
as a physician at Stateville. Id. at ¶ 4.
was involved in a workplace accident prior to his
incarceration that left him with chronic back pain, and he
also has a herniated disc of unknown origin. Id. at
¶ 8. To address these maladies, Richter took several
narcotic pain medications on a daily basis before being
incarcerated. Id. at ¶ 10. In June 2011, after
being incarcerated, he developed swelling and discomfort in
his left testicle, a condition later diagnosed as a
hydrocele. Id. at ¶ 12. A hydrocele is a
liquid-filled cyst that can cause discomfort. Id. at
¶ 43. Hydroceles do not pose a health risk if left
Obaisi first saw Richter on August 17, 2012. Id. at
¶ 41. Richter complained of lower back pain, and Dr.
Obaisi noted the existence of the hydrocele. Ibid.
Dr. Obaisi discontinued Richter's narcotic regimen
(consisting of Ultram, id. at 39), and instead
prescribed Motrin, Robaxin, and Neurotonin (a neurogenic pain
medication), and also injected a long-acting steroid,
Depomedrol. Id. at ¶¶ 45-46. Richter
submitted a grievance complaining that this new regimen was
inadequate and that he needed a special pillow, shoes, and
pads to treat his chronic pain. Id. at ¶ 47.
Obaisi saw Richter again on October 31, 2012; the hydrocele
did not come up, but Richter continued to complain of back
pain. Id. at ¶ 49. Dr. Obaisi renewed the
Motrin prescription and added two doses of Tylenol.
Ibid. Richter then submitted another grievance,
again complaining that the treatment was inadequate for his
back pain. Id. at ¶ 51.
17, 2013, Richter saw Dr. Davis for the first time.
Id. at ¶ 52. Richter did not mention back pain,
but instead complained of lower abdominal pain.
Ibid. Dr. Davis examined Richter and found swelling
of his left testicle, which she determined did not arise from
a hernia but instead was a case of orchitis, an inflammatory
condition that may be associated with a hydrocele.
Id. at ¶¶ 52-53. To address any possible
infection, Dr. Davis prescribed an antibiotic. Id.
at ¶ 54.
thereafter, Richter saw Dr. Davis again. Id. at
¶ 55. Richter again complained of testicular pain, and
Dr. Davis detected the hydrocele, which swelling had
prevented her from seeing at their first appointment.
Id. at ¶ 56. Dr. Davis diagnosed Richter with
testicular pain secondary to the hydrocele and prescribed
Tylenol #3. Id. at ¶ 57. After this visit, Dr.
Davis's role in Richter's treatment was limited to
renewing his prescriptions. Id. at ¶¶
71-72, 74, 76, 78.
29, Richter returned to Dr. Obaisi, again complaining of
abdominal pain, but not back pain. Id. at ¶ 58.
Dr. Obaisi confirmed the presence of the hydrocele and ruled
out prostate issues, and then modified Richter's
prescription regimen and ordered an ultrasound and other
tests on the hydrocele. Id. at ¶¶ 58-59.
On June 11, Richter saw Dr. Obaisi again, complaining of
stomach pain and low back pain, but nothing related to the
hydrocele. Id. at ¶ 60.
19, Richter underwent an ultrasound of his scrotum.
Id. at ¶ 63. Although the radiologist who
evaluated the ultrasound reported that the hydrocele was
likely “secondary to epididymitis, ” Dr. Obaisi
disagreed on the ground that prior ultrasounds of
Richter's scrotum revealed no indication of infection.
Id. at ¶¶ 63-64. Based on this, as well as
on the fact that Dr. Davis's antibiotic treatment had
ruled out infection, Dr. Obaisi concluded that the hydrocele
was not secondary to infection. Id. at ¶ 64.
that point until May 16, 2016, Richter had twelve more
appointments with Dr. Obaisi, where he raised a variety of
complaints at different times, including hip pain, numbness,
and oral pain, as well as back pain and the hydrocele.
Id. at ¶¶ 65, 67, 70, 75, 87, 89, 91,
94-95, 97-98. At one appointment, Dr. Obaisi offered to
aspirate (drain with a syringe) the hydrocele, but Richter
reported that the pain was not “great” and thus
declined that treatment. Id. at ¶ 75. In
addition, at various points during Richter's time at
Stateville, Dr. Obaisi renewed or modified his pain
prescriptions. Id. at ¶¶ 73, 79, 82, 88,
both sides agree that Richter is, or at least may be, a
“candidate for surgery” to treat his back pain,
Doc. 74 at ¶ 11, they disagree over whether Dr. Obaisi
referred Richter for offsite evaluation and treatment. Dr.
Obaisi testified in his deposition that he offered to refer
Richter for an offsite evaluation of his back pain. Doc. 62
at ¶¶ 24, 27 (Richter disputes Defendants'
characterization of Dr. Obaisi's testimony, Doc. 72 at 2
¶ 27, but not the testimony itself, so the court will