United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by Defendants Phil Martin, Stephen Duncan, Thomas
Simmons, Bradley Rue, Randall Baylor, and Michael Zwilling
(Doc. 109). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants'
Motion is granted in part and denied in part.
Joecephus Mitts, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”).
Mitts asserts he was denied adequate medical treatment for a
rare skin cancer condition, mycosis fungoides, insofar as he
was not allowed to see an outside specialist to monitor and
treat his condition. Mitts also asserts he was assaulted by
correctional officers on May 14, 2014, after a nurse in the
healthcare unit made false allegations of sexual assault
against him. Following a screening of Mitts's original
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and the filing
of a First Amended Complaint with leave of Court, Mitts is
proceeding on the following claims:
Count One: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim
against Phil Martin and Stephen Duncan for failing to provide
Plaintiff with regular consultations with a cancer
Count Two: Eighth Amendment excessive force and failure to
intervene claim against Randall Baylor, Bradley Rue, Thomas
Simmons, and Michael Zwilling.
filed their motion for summary judgment on January 3, 2017
(Doc. 109). Because Defendants failed to file the requisite
Rule 56 Notice with their motion, the Court filed the
appropriate Notice and extended Mitts's response deadline
(see Doc. 118). The Court again extended the
response deadline on August 1, 2017 to August 15, 2017
(see Doc. 120). The Court subsequently provided
another brief extension of time, and Mitts timely filed his
response on August 22, 2017 (see Doc.
suffers from mycosis fungoides, a rare type of cancer that
affects his skin (Deposition of Joecephus Mitts, Doc. 110-1,
p. 13). Mitts was diagnosed with this condition in 1997 and,
after being transferred to Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”) in July 2013, he received the
recommended treatments for his condition, including
ultraviolet therapy (“UVB treatment”)
(Id. at 14, 18-19). From July 2013 to May 14, 2014,
Mitts received UVB treatments three times per week and was
sent for follow-up appointments with a specialist, Dr.
Hurley, every eight weeks (Id. at pp. 18-19).
undisputed that Mitts underwent a UVB treatment on May 14,
2014; however, the parties dispute the events that took place
on this date. According to Mitts, Nurse Brooks monitored his
UVB treatment on May 14, 2014, and while he was in the booth
receiving the treatment, the light started to burn his face,
neck, and fingers (Id. at pp. 20-22). Mitts
explained at his deposition that Nurse Brooks “lost
it” when he complained of burning, they “had
words, ” and he cussed at her (Id. at p. 23).
Mitts avers that Nurse Brooks then went to the front desk and
“the police” came in to take Mitts to the bullpen
(Id. at p. 25). Mitts was escorted to the hallway
and handcuffed by Defendant Lieutenant Baylor (Id.
at p. 29). Defendant Baylor twisted the handcuffs
causing Mitts to feel as if his wrists were breaking
(Id.). While Defendant Baylor was holding
Mitts's handcuffs, Defendants Simmons, Rue, and Zwilling
kicked, stomped, and punched Mitts in the head, back, and
groin for a “good five minutes” (Id. at
pp. 33-34). At his deposition, Mitts testified that he
suffered from a swollen wrist and a “busted head”
with a “dab of blood” following this incident
and, although he asked Defendants for medical treatment, they
denied him care (Id. at p. 38).
assert Mitts sexually assaulted Nurse Brooks during his
treatment on May 14, 2014 (Affidavit of John Coe, M.D., Doc.
110-2, ¶ 22). Mitts was issued a disciplinary ticket for
sexual misconduct and insolence and was ultimately found
guilty of the charges (Doc. 110-1, p. 26).
the incident on May 14, 2014, Mitts refused to go to the
healthcare unit for his UVB treatments until he was
ultimately transferred to Centralia Correctional Center
(“Centralia”) in July 2016 (Doc. 110-1, pp. 7,
43, 58). Due to his refusal to undergo his UVB treatments,
Mitts's referrals to the outside specialist, Dr. Hurley,
also ceased (See Id. at p. 56). Mitts asserts
Defendant Martin was responsible for this circumstance, as he
was the healthcare administrator and approved all outside
appointments (Id. at p. 44). According to Mitts, Dr.
John Coe told him he was not scheduled for his follow-up
appointments with the specialist because of Martin and was
informed that if he continued to refuse his UVB treatments he
would not be sent out to the specialist (Id. at p.
51). Defendant Martin also advised Mitts on one occasion that
he would not be sent out so long as Mitts refused on-site
treatment (Id. at p. 76). Mitts also spoke with
Defendant Duncan, the Warden at Lawrence during the relevant
time period, about whether he would be sent to an outside
specialist, but Defendant Duncan failed to approve any
referrals despite indicating he would look into the situation
John Coe attests Mitts was not approved for follow-up
appointments with Dr. Hurley because of his non-compliance
with her treatment plan (Doc. 110-2, ¶¶ 30, 40). In
particular, Dr. Coe asserts he consulted with Dr. Hurley and
understood that if Mitts continued to refuse UVB therapy,
there was no reason for him to come to her office
(Id. at ¶ 31). Following his transfer to
Centralia in July 2016, Mitts resumed his UVB treatments and
was also sent out for appointments with Dr. Hurley (Doc.
110-1, p. 58).