United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WOOD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
James Johnson claims that while in the custody of the
Illinois Department of Corrections at Stateville Correctional
Center (“Stateville”), he was denied proper
medical care by Defendants Imhotep Carter, Darryl Edwards,
and Nwadiutor Ifezue, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to
the United States Constitution. Accordingly, Johnson has brought
this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking
monetary damages and injunctive relief. Before the Court are
two motions for summary judgment-one filed by Defendant
Carter and the other by Defendant Edwards. For the reasons
detailed below, Defendant Carter's summary judgment
motion (Dkt. No. 186) is denied and Defendant Edwards's
motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 189) is granted.
otherwise indicated, the following facts are undisputed. At
the time of the actions alleged in Johnson's complaint,
Defendant Carter was the medical director at Stateville and
Defendant Edwards was an assistant warden at Stateville.
March 25, 2012, Johnson was involved in a fight with another
inmate. (Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 4, Dkt.
No. 187; Edwards's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 4, Dkt.
No. 190.) Stateville correctional officers responded to the
scene and broke up the fight, macing Johnson in the process.
(Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 34;
Edwards's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 5.) The officers
managed to restrain Johnson and place him in handcuffs.
(Id.) As the officers were pulling Johnson's
hands behind his back, Johnson heard his finger pop.
(Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 34.) After he
was handcuffed, Johnson was taken to the Stateville
healthcare unit where he was treated by a nurse.
(Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 11;
Edwards's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 7.) The nurse
flushed Johnson's eyes with water and a saline solution
to remove the mace. (Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts
¶ 11; Edwards's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 8.)
According to Johnson, he told the nurse that his finger hurt
badly and that he had heard and felt it “pop.”
(Johnson's Stmt. of Add'l Facts ¶ 4, Dkt. No.
194, 196.) Johnson testified during his deposition that the
nurse did not provide him with any medical treatment for his
broken finger. (Id. ¶ 7.) Instead, he was sent
to segregation after his eye treatment concluded.
(Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 11;
Edwards's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 11.) Johnson
also claims that his finger caused him extreme pain while he
was in segregation and that he had trouble sleeping because
of the pain. (Johnson's Stmt. of Add'l Facts ¶
testified that he made several attempts to contact both
Defendant Edwards and Defendant Carter regarding his injured
finger. For example, Johnson claims that on March 27, 2012,
he sent letters to sick call, Defendant Carter, and Defendant
Edwards. In the letter to Defendant Edwards, Johnson wrote:
I have written to the hospital and let them know that my
finger was broken on 3/25/12 . . . I showed [the nurse] my
finger, but she refused to treat my finger. I am in a lot of
pain. Could you please tell someone in the hospital about my
finger and tell them to see me please?
(Edwards's Stmt. of Material Facts Ex. H, Dkt. No.
190-2.) Defendant Edwards has no recollection of receiving or
reading this letter. (Id. ¶ 17.) Nonetheless,
he claims that if he had received the letter, it would have
been forwarded to the health care unit administrator.
letters Johnson allegedly sent to sick call and Defendant
Carter contain the following statement: “Could I please
be seen because I think my finger is broken. . . . I was
brought up to the hospital and the African nurse told me that
the officer came first and she [refused to treat me]. I am in
a lot of pain.” (Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts
Ex. A, Dkt. No. 187-1 at 107 of 120, 109 of 120.) According
to Johnson's testimony, he sent follow-up letters to both
sick call and Defendant Carter on April 6, 2012. In his
letter to Defendant Carter, Johnson states:
Could you please see me because my finger is broken. I was
seen by the med-tech and showed her my finger and she said
that she thought that my finger looked broken, but she
refused to give me a splint or anything for my pain. . . . I
am unable to sleep because of the pain I'm in.
(Id. at 110 of 120.) Johnson makes similar
complaints regarding his broken finger in his letter to sick
call. (Id. at 108 of 120.) But according to
Defendant Carter, even if those letters were actually sent,
it was not part of his responsibilities as medical director
to receive sick call requests or letters from inmates; those
responsibilities are delegated to other employees.
(Carter's Stmt. of Material Facts ¶ 19.)
April 10, 2012, Johnson's medical records reflect a note
from a Correctional Medical Technician that Johnson was
complaining about an injury to his right hand and that he
needed to see a doctor. (Id. ¶ 18.) Johnson
claims that sometime before April 20, 2012 he was called to
the health care unit. (Edwards's Stmt. of Material Facts
¶ 20.) Johnson states that he was put in a segregation
holding cell for approximately 30 minutes before a medical
technician informed him that he would not be seen because he
was not scheduled to attend the health care unit.
(Johnson's Stmt. of Add'l Facts ¶ 14.) Johnson
claims that he showed the medical technician his swollen
finger and she placed his name on the sick call.
(Id. ¶ 15.) Afterwards, according to Johnson,
while he was waiting to be returned to his cell, he saw
Defendant Carter coming out of the back of the health care
unit. (Id. ¶ 16.) According to Johnson, he
stopped Defendant Carter and showed him his broken finger.
(Id.) Defendant Carter responded: “OK.
It's swollen and bent. What do you want me to do about
it?” (Id.) Upon learning how Johnson injured
his finger in a fight, Johnson asserts that Defendant Carter
denied him medical treatment, saying, “Oh, you fighting
with officers, I can't do nothing for you. You got what
you deserve.” (Id. ¶ 17.) Defendant
Carter does not recall this conversation. (Carter's
Response to Johnson's Stmt. of Add'l Facts ¶ 16,
Dkt. No. 204.)
same day, Johnson claims to have spoken with Defendant
Edwards and shown Defendant Edwards his swollen finger.
(Johnson's Stmt. of Add'l Facts ¶ 18.) Johnson
asked Defendant Edwards to help him get medical attention
because his hand was hurting so badly he could not sleep.
(Id. ¶¶ 18, 19.) Defendant Edwards told
Johnson to wait in the hospital holding cell and he would
inquire about medical treatment. (Id. ¶ 20.)
Defendant Edwards went into the health care unit, and when he
returned he told Johnson he needed to drop a sick call
request into the sick call box in order to receive treatment.
(Id. ¶ 21.)
around April 20, 2016-26 days after his finger was
injured-Johnson was seen by a physician's assistant. An
x-ray of Johnson's hand was ordered, he was prescribed
Tylenol, and his finger was splinted. (Carter's Stmt. of
Material Facts ¶ 13.) On April 26, 2012, the x-ray was
performed and it indicated that Johnson had an
“avulsion fracture base of distal phalanx at insertion
of extension tendon.” (Id. ¶ 14.) Johnson
was told that his finger was broken but healing.
(Id. ¶ 42.) Defendant Carter has testified that
he reviewed the x-ray report on April 30, 2012, and directed
the physician's assistant to tape Johnson's fingers
together and repeat the x-ray in ten days. (Id.
¶¶ 14, 15.) The second x-ray was performed on May
6, 2012 and showed an “undisplaced bone base of distal
phalanx 4th finger at insertion of extension tendon.”
Defendant Carter ...