United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
PHIL GILBERT, DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) (Doc. 60) of Magistrate
Judge Donald G. Wilkerson recommending that the Court grant
the defendants' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 52).
The plaintiff has objected to the report (Doc. 61) and the
defendants have responded (Doc. 63). For the following
reasons, the Court GRANTS the
defendants' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 52).
Gonzalez is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (IDOC). He brought this action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because he believes that the
medical staff at Robinson Correctional Center (Robinson CC)
were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, Gonzalez
claims that the medical staff failed to properly diagnose and
treat his pneumonia in a timely manner, which led to an
emergency room visit and lung surgery.
Judge Wilkerson has already described the record in this case
to a great degree of precision. Gonzalez first checked in
with the doctors at the medical unit at Robinson CC on April
9, 2015, claiming that he had a dry cough and nasal
congestion. (Doc. 53-6, ¶ 5; Doc. 53-1, pp. 26-27.) A
nurse examined Gonzalez and found that he only had a slight
of temperature of 100.4° F and normal pulse oxygenation
readings. Accordingly, the nurse gave Gonzalez some Ibuprofen
and an antihistamine and sent him on his way, along with
instructions to rest and drink more fluids. (Id.;
Doc 56-1, p. 10.)
days later, Gonzalez went back to the medical unit
complaining of chills, coughing, and sputum. (Doc. 53-6,
¶ 6.) Another nurse examined Gonzalez, found a
temperature of 96.7° F, and noted that Gonzalez's
lung sounds were clear and the throat and nasal exams were
normal. This nurse gave Gonzalez Acetaminophen and an
expectorant to help relieve the reported symptoms.
later, Gonzalez returned to the medical unit. (Doc. 53-6,
¶ 7.) This time, he said that he had pain in his right
lung and that he could not sleep due to coughing fits. The
nurse referred Gonzalez to a doctor. That doctor-defendant
Dr. Michael Adams-saw Gonzalez the very next day. (Doc. 53-6,
¶ 8.) This time, Gonzalez described the pain as a sharp
pain with a cough and “nasty” sputum. Dr. Adams
then ran several tests. He found that Gonzalez's
temperature was 99.6° F and that several of his other
vital signs were normal. Dr. Adams then tested Gonzalez's
lungs and found one area that appeared to be more dull to a
percussion test than the rest of his lungs, though
Gonzalez's breathing sounds were normal. Dr. Adams
diagnosed Gonzalez with bronchitis and prescribed him an
antibiotic to be taken daily for seven days. (Id.)
The FDA has approved this particular antibiotic-Levaquin-to
treat both bronchitis and uncomplicated pneumonia. (Doc 56-3,
¶ 9.) Dr. Adams did not think it was necessary to take
an x-ray of Gonzalez's lung at this time.
days later, the medical unit called an emergency because
Gonzalez's condition worsened. (Doc 56-3, ¶ 10.) His
fever had risen to 103° F, several of his other vital
signs were above normal, he continued to cite pain in his
right lung, and he was coughing up green and brown sputum.
The acting nurse called Dr. Adams, who then instructed the
nurse to been seen by another doctor on duty the next day-Dr.
Shah. The medical staff continued to monitor Gonzalez until
Dr. Shah was available. When Dr. Shah did examine Gonzalez
two days later, Dr. Shah diagnosed him with probable
pneumonia and sent him to the emergency room. (Doc 56-3,
¶ 13.) The doctors at the emergency room diagnosed
Gonzalez with pneumonia and an empyema. Gonzalez then
underwent surgery to remedy and drain the lung. (Doc 56-3,
Gonzalez claims that (1) Dr. Adams was deliberately
indifferent to his lung complications in violation of the
Eighth Amendment; (2) Wexford has an unconstitutional
“cost over care” policy, practice, or custom that
deprives inmates of inadequate medical care at the prison;
and (3) Wexford has an unconstitutional policy of juggling
doctors, nurses, and patients around that results in a broken
system of care for inmates. The defendants have moved for
summary judgment on all of Gonzalez's claims.
Standard of Review
Court may accept, reject, or modify-in whole or in part-the
findings or recommendations of the magistrate judge in a
report and recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). The Court
must review de novo the portions of the report to
which objections are made. Id. “If no
objection or only partial objection is made, the district
court judge reviews those unobjected portions for clear
error.” Johnson v. Zema Sys. Corp., 170 F.3d
734, 739 (7th Cir. 1999).
judgment must be granted “if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes
Wheels Int'l-Ind., Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir.
2000). The Court must construe the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of that party. See ...