United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
WILLIAM P. LEGER, Plaintiff,
KAREN JAIMET and DR. VIPIN SHAH, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
William Leger, currently 70 years old, is an inmate with the
Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”). In
late November 2010, he injured his right shoulder while
passing out laundry at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”). Leger was transferred to
Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”) the following year. He injured
his shoulder again in February 2012 when he suffered a fall
while climbing down from his bunkbed. An orthopedic surgeon
later diagnosed Leger as having a complete rupture of the
rotator cuff. Despite the injury, prison medical staff
declined to provide Leger with surgery. Leger brings this
action against Dr. Vipin Shah, asserting that Dr. Shah was
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Shah is a prison physician and an employee of Wexford Health
Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”). Wexford is a
contractor that provides healthcare services to IDOC inmates.
Leger also seeks prospective injunctive relief. Therefore,
the Pinckneyville Warden, currently Karen Jaimet, has been
added as a defendant in her official capacity only.
now seek summary judgment. (Docs. 69, 70, 71 and 72).
Plaintiff opposes both motions. (Docs. 73, 74, 75, and 76).
Defendants also filed reply briefs (Docs. 77 and 78) to
Plaintiff's responses. For the following reasons,
Defendants' motions are DENIED.
following facts were obtained from Leger's deposition
unless otherwise noted. (Leger Deposition, Doc. 70-1). Leger
entered IDOC custody in 1988. Id. at 3. He is
currently 70 years old. Id. at p. 2. In November
2010, Leger was working as a cell house custodian at Menard
when he injured his right shoulder while passing out small
bags of laundry to the inmates in the cell house.
Id. at p. 6. “It felt like something
ripped” in his shoulder when he threw a three to five
pound bag to an upper gallery. Id. at p. 6. Menard
medical staff examined Leger after the injury. Id.
at p. 7. Leger's treating physicians provided medication,
but he was not provided physical therapy or sent to an
outside specialist. Id. at p. 7.
December 25, 2011, IDOC officials transferred Leger from
Menard to Pinckneyville. (“Offender Health Status
Transfer Summary” Form, Doc. 70-2, p. 3). On the
medical transfer form, the nurse noted that Leger underwent a
bowel resection in 2009, a colonoscopy and EGD in 2011 and
had a history of back surgeries. Id. The nurse also
noted that he had hypertension and dyslipidemia. Id.
His medications included Metamucil, Vasotec (hypertension
medication), Inderal (heart/hypertension medication), Digoxin
(heart medication), Maxzide (hypertension medication), ECASA
(coated aspirin) and niacin (used to manage cholesterol).
February 12, 2012, Leger was admitted to the Pinckneyville
infirmary after he fell from his bunkbed. (Doc. 70-2, p. 6).
He was getting down from the top bunk when his shoulder
“gave way, ” causing him to fall off the bed,
hitting the toilet and floor. (Doc. 70-1, p. 8). Upon
arriving at the Health Care Unit, Leger told the treating
nurse that he was experiencing pain in his chest and having
difficulty breathing. Id. at p. 10. In Leger's
medical records, there is a nurse's entry from February
12, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. stating, “[inmate] brought over
by leutinent [sic] [complaining of] injury to [left]
posterior rib area - radiating to [left] front rib area
[complains] also of low back pain.” (Doc. 70-2, p. 6).
Leger told the nurse, “I fell off my bunk.”
Id. The nurse contacted Dr. Shah and Dr. Shah
examined Leger the following morning. Id. at p. 7.
Shah's handwritten medical entries are almost entirely
illegible, but according to his affidavit attached to his
motion for summary judgment, he observed that Leger had a
soft tissue injury to his left ribs. (Doc. 70-5, p. 2). Dr.
Shah “ordered X-rays of [Leger's] left ribs, gave
[Leger] low bunk privileges indefinitely, and told the nurse
that he could be released to his housing unit but would need
to be rechecked the following Friday.” Id.
February 16, 2012, Dr. Shah reviewed Leger's x-rays and
noted he had two rib fractures. (Doc. 70-5, p. 2). Dr. Shah
prescribed Tylenol and ordered a follow up appointment in
four weeks. Id. It is unclear from the medical
records whether he personally examined Leger on that date.
Id. at p. 10.
21, 2012, Leger was examined by a nurse for complaints of
pain in his shoulder. (Doc. 70-2, p. 11). The nurse noted
that Leger's “shoulder still hurts from
fall.” Id. The nurse observed no swelling or
bruising, but Leger experienced discomfort when he lifted his
arm above his shoulder. Id. The nurse issued Leger a
prescription for Tylenol for one week and directed him to
“[r]eturn to see provider if symptoms worsen or
interfere with daily functioning.” Id.
continued to experience pain in his shoulder. He was next
seen by a nurse on July 13, 2012. (Doc. 70-2, p. 12). The
nurse referred Leger to see a physician and on July 17, 2012,
he was examined by Dr. Shah. Id. at p. 13. Dr. Shah
states in his affidavit that this was the first time he
examined Leger's right shoulder. (Doc. 70-5, p. 3). Leger
told Dr. Shah that his injury occurred in 2010 at Menard and
that he was now “losing strength and feeling in his
hand.” Id. Dr. Shah ordered that Leger's
previous x-rays be sent to Pinckneyville and for Leger to
receive an MRI examination of his right shoulder.
19, 2012, Dr. Shah submitted a “Medical Special
Services Referral and Report” to the Wexford
Utilization Management Office (as part of a process referred
to as “collegial review”), recommending that
Leger receive an MRI examination. (Doc. 70-2, p. 97). He also
discussed physical therapy with Leger and scheduled him to
see a physical therapist. Id. at p. 17. Despite an
initial scheduling of July 26, 2012, Leger was not seen by
the physical therapist until November 19, 2012. Id.
at p. 100. The physical therapist assessed Leger as having
“[right] shoulder pain, significant rotator cuff and
biceps strength impairment [and] loss of functional AROM
[.]” Id. The therapist recommended physical
therapy twice a week for eight weeks and to “continue
to follow up [with] M.D. / N.P. for pain.” Id.
Leger participated in physical therapy sessions from late
November 2012 through mid-January 2013. (Doc. 70-5, p. 4).
26, 2012, Dr. Baker at the Wexford Utilization Management
Office denied approval of the MRI examination. (Doc. 70-2 at
p. 98). Dr. Baker noted:
Comments: Inmate with complaints of upper arm discomfort due
to old injury. No limb atrophy or neurovascular comprimised
[sic] noted on exam. Inmate's xrays were negative when he
was at Menard cc. Dr. Baker advises starting PT for
strengthening and ROM exercises. Dr. Shah in agreement with
alternate plan. Represent if needed. Id.
December 17, 2012, Dr. Shah again submitted a request for an
MRI to collegial review. (Doc. 70-2, p. 101). Wexford denied
the request and directed that Leger receive the full course
of physical therapy. Id. at p. 102. On January 17,
2013, the physical therapist drafted a re-evaluation report,
assessing “[p]ersistent pain, persistent [right]
shoulder weakness, probable rotator cuff dysfunction. No
significant improvement in functional [range of
motion].” Id. at p. 104. Dr. Shah then
submitted another request for an MRI to collegial review
which was approved on January 22, 2013. Id. at p.
underwent an MRI on January 30, 2013 at Carbondale Memorial
Hospital. (Doc. 70-2, p. 124). The reviewing physician's
report states in part, “[f]ull thickness, full width
tears of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus with tendon
retraction and marked muscle atrophy.” Id. at
p. 125. Dr. Shah examined Leger on March 12, 2013 and
recommended that he receive an ...