United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Scott Wilson (“Wilson”), plaintiff, began serving
a 38-year sentence for murder at Stateville Correctional
Center in Illinois in 1999. He alleges that from September
2011 until September 2014 defendants acted with deliberate
indifference to his serious hernia medical needs in violation
of his constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual
punishment. This action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The court has jurisdiction of the subject matter
and the parties. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343. The
case is now before the court on the defendants' motions
for summary judgment.
filed an earlier suit on May 13, 2013 (13 cv 3656) making the
same claims as in this case. That action was dismissed
without prejudice for failure to satisfy the exhaustion
requirement of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) before filing suit.
Ford v. Johnson, 362 F.3d 739, 742 (7th
Cir. 2008); Wilson v. Obaisi, 2016 WL 3640412 (N.D.
Ill.). Exhaustion was complete when the administrative review
of plaintiff's prison grievance was later denied on
appeal as not being timely. After that action plaintiff's
administrative remedies were exhausted and the present case
was timely. Accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss
this action for failure to exhaust administrative remedies
was denied. (Dkt. 27).
Imhotep Carter M.D. was medical director at Stateville
Correctional Center from July 25, 2011 to May 13, 2012. He
left that position at a time when plaintiff claims injury and
violation of his rights. Federal law provides that a claim
against any particular person accrues immediately and a
limitations period begins to run when a person resigns or
retires from public employment. Heard v. Elyea, 525
Fed.Appx. 510, 511 (7th Cir. 2013). This action
was brought against defendant Carter more than two years
after it accrued contrary to the Illinois two-year statute of
limitations which applies to § 1983 actions. Carter was
dismissed from this case. (Dkt. 27).
named as defendants are Wexford Health Sources, Inc., a
private entity that contracts to provide health services at
Stateville and two of its employees, Saleh Obaisi, M.D, who
was medical director from August 2, 2012 until the present
and La Tanya Williams P.A. who has been a physician's
assistant at Stateville since 2002 (“the Wexford
Lemke, who was warden at Stateville for the calendar year
2013 and Royce Reed-Brown, Stateville Health Care
Administrator, are named as defendants.
motion for summary judgment, the entire record is considered
with all reasonable inferences drawn in favor of the
nonmovant and all factual disputes resolved in favor of the
nonmovant. Crawford v. Metro. Gov't of Nashville
& Davidson Cnty., Tenn., 555 U.S. 271, 274 n.1
(2009); Malen v. MTD Prods., Inc., 628 F.3d 296, 303
(7th Cir. 2010); Stokes v. Bd. of Educ. of City of
Chicago, 599 F.3d 617, 619 (7th Cir. 2010). The burden
of establishing a lack of any genuine issue of material fact
rests on the movant. Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan,
614 F.3d 684, 691 (7th Cir. 2010); Outlaw v.
Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837 (7th Cir. 2001). The
nonmovant, however, must make a showing sufficient to
establish any essential element for which he will bear the
burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Montgomery v. Am. Airlines,
Inc., 626 F.3d 382, 389 (7th Cir. 2010). The movant need
not provide affidavits or deposition testimony showing the
nonexistence of such essential elements. Celotex,
477 U.S. at 324; Freundt v. Allied Tube & Conduit
Corp., 2007 WL 4219417 *2 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 29, 2007);
O'Brien v. Encotech Constr., 2004 WL 609798 *1
(N.D. Ill. March 23, 2004). Also, it is not sufficient to
show evidence of purportedly disputed facts if those facts
are not plausible in light of the entire record. See
Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. A & E Oil, Inc., 503 F.3d
588, 594-95 (7th Cir. 2007); Yasak v. Ret. Bd. of
Policemen's Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago,
357 F.3d 677, 679 (7th Cir. 2004); Lampley v.
Mitcheff, 2010 WL 4362826 *6 (N.D. Ind. Oct. 27, 2010).
Id. (citation omitted). In determining whether the
nonmovant has identified a "material" issue of fact
for trial, the court is guided by the applicable substantive
law; "[o]nly disputes that could affect the outcome of
the suit under governing law will properly preclude the entry
of summary judgment." McGinn v. Burlington Northern
R.R. Co., 102 F.3d 295, 298 (7th Cir. 1996) (citation
omitted). A factual dispute is "genuine" for
summary judgment purposes only when there is "sufficient
evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a
verdict for that party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986). Hence, a
"metaphysical doubt" regarding the existence of a
genuine fact issue is not enough to stave off summary
judgment, and "the nonmovant fails to demonstrate a
genuine issue for trial 'where the record taken as a
whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the
non-moving party . . . .'" Logan, 96 F.3d
at 978 (quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348
medical condition was a left-side reducible inguinal hernia.
An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue or structures travel
from the abdominal cavity into the inguinal canal and
protrude outside of the body. The size of the hernia is
related to the pain and discomfort that the hernia causes.
testified that he had surgery for an unrelated hernia
condition in 1994.
states that he first complained of a hernia that developed at
Stateville in 2011. He was seen by defendant LaTanya Williams
P.A. of the medical staff for back and leg pain on September
28, 201l. The medical record does not show a hernia
evaluation. Williams testified that she would not look at a
hernia if Wilson was being seen for back and leg pain.
Williams has no independent recollection of conversations
January 3, 2012 plaintiff filed a grievance describing hernia
pain and stated that he had submitted medical requests which
had not been acknowledged.
was seen by Dr. Imhotep Carter, M.D. on January 26, 2012 for
leg pain and a low-bunk and low-gallery assignment. Dr.
Carter granted his requests and prescribed medication.
Plaintiff contends that at this appointment the hernia was
visible and manually reducible. According to Wilson, Dr.
Carter would not consider his hernia complaints. Dr. Carter
has no independent recollection of any conversations with
was given a physical examination by LaTanya Williams on
February 21, 2012. Williams observed a hernia and recommended
a treatment plan that included patient education of how to
reduce the hernia and medical observation. It is undisputed
that plaintiff complained of pain at that time.
the time plaintiff was diagnosed and treated at Stateville
the Medical Policies and Procedures approved by the Wexford
Health Advisory Committee, dated October 21, 2011, stated:
Reducible hernias, in which the herniated contents
may be returned to the abdominal cavity either spontaneously
or manually, generally pose no ...