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Wilsonn v. Darnold

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 14, 2017

CHARLES WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DANA DARNOLD, RYAN R. ERICKSON, OFFICER HARGETT, and OFFICER OSWALT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge

         A Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Dana Darnold is pending before the Court. (Doc. 33). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is granted.

         Procedural Background

         Plaintiff Charles Wilson, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging his constitutional rights were violated during the time he was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center. Specifically, Wilson's complaint alleges he was assaulted by three correctional officers on October 7, 2013, and that Nurse Dana Darnold subsequently refused to provide medical treatment for the head injury he sustained in the attack. Wilson's complaint was screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915A, and he was allowed to proceed on the following claims (Doc. 8, p. 4):

Count I: Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Defendant Correctional Officers Erickson, Hargett, and Oswalt for using excessive force against Wilson after the magazine incident on or about October 7, 2013;
Count II: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Defendants Erickson, Hargett, and Oswalt for refusing Wilson's request for treatment of his injuries arising from the beating reference in Count One;
Count III: First Amendment retaliation claim against Defendant Darnold for refusing to examine or treat Wilson's injuries after he threatened to report her to her supervisor; and
Count IV: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Defendant Darnold for failing to examine or treat Wilson after he reported his symptoms and requested medical assistance.

         Darnold filed a motion for summary judgment on February 21, 2017 (Doc. 33), and Wilson filed a timely response on April 21, 2017 (Doc. 45).

         Factual Background

         Wilson asserts Defendant Correctional Officers Erickson, Hargett, and Oswalt assaulted him on October 7, 2013. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). During the assault, these individuals allegedly slammed Wilson's head into the floor and later into the shower cabinet in the segregation unit. (Doc. 1, pp. 7, 13; Doc. 45, p. 17, ¶ 4). Wilson requested medical attention, indicating he had a headache and was feeling light-headed and dizzy. (Doc. 45, p. 17, ¶ 5). Eventually Darnold, a registered nurse at Lawrence Correctional Facility, arrived in the segregation unit. (Doc. 34-6, ¶¶ 4, 7, 11-13; Doc. 45, p. 17, ¶ 6).

         The parties dispute the actions Darnold took after arriving in the segregation unit. Wilson attests that after arriving, Darnold began flirting with officers until he told her to “do the job that she came over for” and threatened to report her to her supervisor. (Doc. 45, pp. 17-18, ¶ 6). Darnold then “came close to the segregation holding cell” and Wilson told her he was feeling light-headed, dizzy, had a headache, and that a bump was growing on his forehead. (Doc. 45, pp. 17-18, ¶ 6). Wilson asserts that Darnold told him in a “sarcastic and laughing tone” he had to wait twenty-four hours before she would provide any treatment. (Doc. 45, pp. 17-18, ¶ 6). Wilson further alleges that Darnold made this statement “without any test nor [sic] close physical examination.” (Doc. 45, pp. 17-18, ¶ 6).

         Conversely, Darnold states when she saw Wilson on October 7, 2013, he had no symptoms consistent with a concussion or other neurologic injury and no physical signs of injury. (Doc. 34-6, ¶ 13). As a registered nurse Darnold is qualified to look for signs of concussion or neurologic injury including monitoring the patient's speech and gait, determining whether the patient is alert and oriented, and checking the patient's pupils and grip strength. (Doc. 34-6, ¶ 12). Wilson's medical record dated October 7, 2013, prepared by Darnold, notes that Wilson was “alert orient x 3, ” “speech clear, ” gait steady, ” “pupils equal and reactive to light, ” and “bilateral grasp equal and steady.” (Doc. 34-1, p. 1). Darnold also noted there was no redness or swelling that indicated an area of contusion (Doc. 34-1, p. 1) and that she advised Wilson to return to nurse sick call the next day or sooner if any problems arose (Doc. 34-1, p. 2; Doc. 34-6, ¶ 13). Wilson asserts the medical records created on this date and signed by Darnold are inaccurate (Doc. 45, p. 18, ¶ 7), but does not specify how.

         It is undisputed that Darnold did not see Wilson for complaints of a head injury or concussion after October 7, 2013. It is also undisputed that Wilson was evaluated by other medical providers on October 17, 2013, and October 22, 2013, for complaints of a ...


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