United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Se Plaintiff Jonathon Meskauskas, an inmate in the
custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”), filed the suit at bar pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges that while incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), he was
assaulted by several Menard officials, denied adequate
medical care, and issued two baseless disciplinary tickets in
retaliation for reporting the staff assault. Plaintiff was
placed in segregation, and he also brings claims alleging
unconstitutional conditions of confinement during his
of his suit, Plaintiff listed as defendants IDOC officials,
as well as employees of Wexford Health Sources
(“Wexford”) and Wexford itself. Among the
defendants Plaintiff named were Jane and Jon Does. On
September 30, 2015, Plaintiff was warned that he had 90 days
to identify the Jane and John Doe defendants. (Doc. 49, p.
3). He has not done so. Since Plaintiff has failed to
identify these defendants, all Jane and John Doe defendants
are DISMISSED without prejudice. Since a
John Doe defendant is the only defendant listed in Count 10,
the Court's dismissal of Doe defendants renders Count 10
DISMISSED without prejudice.
matter is before the Court on two motions seeking summary
judgment, or partial summary judgment-one filed by Defendants
Berry, Harrington, Maciura, and Willis (“IDOC
Defendants”) (Doc. 109), and the other filed by
Defendants Trost and Wexford (Doc. 89). As discussed below,
the motion filed by the IDOC Defendants (Doc. 109) is
GRANTED, and the motion filed by Dr. Trost
and Wexford (Doc. 89) is GRANTED in part and DENIED
Factual and Procedural Background
deciding a motion seeking summary judgment, the Court views
the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Anderson v. Donahoe, 699 F.3d 989,
994 (7th Cir. 2012). When that party fails to
respond to a summary judgment motion, or any facts set forth
in such a motion, the Court can consider those facts set
forth by the moving party as undisputed. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Plaintiff filed three responses
to the motion filed by Defendants Trost and Wexford, but he
failed to file a response to the motion filed by the IDOC
Defendants. (See Docs. 112, 125, & 126).
Therefore, though the Court views the facts in the light most
favorable to Plaintiff, pursuant to Rule 56(e), it considers
the facts set forth by the IDOC Defendants as undisputed.
all times relevant to this suit, Plaintiff was an inmate
incarcerated with the IDOC. (Doc. 1). From 2013 to April
2014, Plaintiff was housed at Menard. (Doc. 90-6, p. 9). On
February 3, 2014, there was a physical altercation between
inmates in the west dining room. (Doc. 90-6, p. 11-12).
Plaintiff was in close proximity to this altercation, and,
after the altercation broke out, a “warning shot”
was fired. (Id. at 12- 13, 14). After the warning
shot, correctional officers entered the dining hall.
(Id. at 14). Plaintiff went to the ground when the
warning shot was fired. (Id. at 13, 14). The
responding officers rushed into the dining hall
“screaming, ” and Plaintiff was sprayed in the
face with mace, rendering him “essentially blind”
at that time. (Id. at 14, 17). After being sprayed
with the mace, Defendant Buskohl kicked Plaintiff in the face
while the other correctional officers were running into the
dining hall, “swarming around.” (Id. at
17-18). According to Plaintiff, Defendant Buskohl only kicked
him one time, and no other officer physically assaulted
Plaintiff in the dining hall. (Id. at 17, 18). At
the moment Plaintiff was kicked in the face, he was not able
to see exactly how close the other officers were to him, but
he testified that they were “in close proximity.”
(Id. at 19). After the incident in the dining hall,
Plaintiff was taken to the healthcare unit
approximately 9:15 a.m., Plaintiff presented to the HCU with
blood on his face after allegedly being assaulted by an IDOC
officer. (Doc. 90-1, p. 2; Doc. 90-2, p. 1). Plaintiff was
treated for the injury to his nose and for pepper spray.
(Doc. 125, p. 2). He was seen by Dr. Trost, a licensed
physician employed by Wexford, a company that has contracted
with the State of Illinois to provide health care services to
incarcerated inmates. (Doc. 90-1, p. 1). While Dr. Trost
contends that Plaintiff had two superficial injuries-a small
laceration on his nose, and a small abrasion over his left
eye, (Doc. 90-1, p. 2), Plaintiff contends that he was
bleeding so much that the nurse attending to him asked if he
was a hemophiliac (Doc. 125, p. 2). The nurse attempted to
stop the bleeding to his nose by putting gauze in it.
(Id.). Plaintiff told Dr. Trost that he was in pain;
however, Dr. Trost never prescribed Plaintiff any medication,
including pain medication. (Id.). Dr. Trost does not
dispute that Plaintiff did not receive any pain medication.
(Doc. 90-1, p. 2). Plaintiff was treated with an antibiotic
ointment and a Band Aid, and Dr. Trost determined that no
further treatment was necessary. (Id.).
same day, after being seen by medical staff at the HCU,
Plaintiff was taken to Internal Affairs. (Doc. 90-6, p. 20).
He was asked questions by Defendants Hect, Spiller, and
Reichert about the incident in the dining hall. (Id.
at 21). According to Plaintiff, during the interview he was
physically assaulted by Defendants Spiller and Reichert.
(Id.). After this second assault, Plaintiff was
taken back to the HCU and then to segregation. (Id.
at 22 - 23).
the incident with Internal Affairs, Plaintiff presented to
the HCU at roughly 10:15 a.m. (Doc. 90-1, p. 2). According to
Dr. Trost, Plaintiff had a quarter-sized abrasion to his left
hairline with a small amount of controlled bleeding as well
as bleeding from Plaintiff's nostrils. (Id.).
Plaintiff claims that his injuries occurred when Defendant
Reichert slammed his head against a metal bar protruding from
the ground. (Doc. 125, p. 3). He notes that his head wound
included swelling covering a large surface. (Doc. 125, p. 3;
Doc. 90-4.). Plaintiff claims that upon receiving the blow to
the head, he saw stars, heard ringing in his ears, felt
extreme pain, and was disoriented. (Doc. 125, p. 4). He
claims that the incident with Internal Affairs occurred in
the HCU and that one of the nurses was a couple of rooms
away. (Id.). A nurse treated Plaintiff's wound
by putting ointment on it and informed him that the large
lump on his head would probably require an x-ray.
(Id.). She told Plaintiff that his wound would not
require stitches. (Id.).
taken to the main HCU and was again treated by Dr. Trost and
another nurse. (Id. at 5). Plaintiff's nose was
still bleeding, and he was disoriented. Despite his
condition, he still managed to tell Dr. Trost that he was in
pain and that he thought his nose was broken. (Id.).
Plaintiff asked for x-rays of both his head and nose, but Dr.
Trost refused. (Id.). Dr. Trost also would still not
prescribe any pain medication. (Id.). Plaintiff was
given a tetanus shot. (Id.). According to Dr. Trost,
when he saw Plaintiff, he saw no evidence that his nose was
displaced or broken. (Doc. 90-1, p. 2). Plaintiff, however,
contends that his nose was displaced or broken and is still
displaced. (Doc. 125, p. 6). Based on his findings, Dr. Trost
also did not believe that pain medication was medically
necessary. (Doc. 90-1, p. 2). Plaintiff, for his part, notes
that he specifically informed the doctor that he was in pain
and takes issue with not receiving pain medication upon
presenting with visible open wounds. (Doc. 125, p. 6).
Plaintiff admits that he has received pain medication and
x-rays on other occasions, however. (Doc. 90-6, p. 70).
leaving the HCU, Plaintiff claims that he filed various
medical requests by depositing them in the outgoing mail in
the segregation unit. (Id. at 57). He testified that
officers collected the mail but that he could not testify
whether Dr. Trost personally reviewed any of his medical
requests to determine whether to grant him a medical pass.
(Id.). The only remaining sign or symptom of
Plaintiff's injuries at this time is his slightly
displaced nose. (Id. at 60 - 61). Plaintiff has
denied any residual pain or trouble breathing as a result of
the displacement and has agreed with it being categorized as
cosmetic. (Id. at 60).
February 6, 2014, Plaintiff appeared before a disciplinary
committee relating to the incident during the Internal
Affairs interview. (Doc. 110-2, p. 1). Immediately
thereafter, another disciplinary hearing was held regarding
the incident in the dining hall. (Doc. 110-1, p. 1). The
Adjustment Committee report indicates that Defendants Willis,
Berry, and Maciura were witnesses to the events in the dining
hall. (Doc. 110-1, p. 1). Plaintiff was found guilty of the
charged violations at both hearings, and Defendant Harrington
signed off on the recommended disciplinary actions. (Doc.
110-1, p. 1, 2; Doc. 110-2, p. 1, 2). Plaintiff alleges that
he was given no notice of the disciplinary hearings and was
not allowed to call witnesses. (Doc. 90-6, p. 26). The only
two officials involved in the hearing were Defendants Hart
and Hughes. (Id. at 28; Doc. 110-1, p. 1; Doc.
110-2, p. 1).