Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bartlett v. Winans

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

January 4, 2018




         Plaintiff asserts that, during his detention in the McLean County Detention Center in the Fall of 2015, he contracted an infection in his fingers and thumbs after using dirty nail clippers. He proceeds on two claims: (1) Defendant Winans, the Operations Supervisor at the Jail, was deliberately indifferent to the risk of disease or infection posed by the McLean County Jail's alleged practice of not disinfecting nail clippers after each use; and (2) Defendant Payne, a nurse and the Supervisor of the Jail's Health Services, was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's need for treatment for his infection. (9/15/16 Merit Review Order.)

         Defendants move for summary judgment, which is granted for the reasons below.

         Summary Judgment Standard

         "The court shall grant summary judgment 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). A movant may demonstrate the absence of a material dispute through specific cites to admissible evidence, or by showing that the nonmovant “cannot produce admissible evidence to support the [material] fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(B). If the movant clears this hurdle, the nonmovant may not simply rest on his or her allegations in the complaint, but instead must point to admissible evidence in the record to show that a genuine dispute exists. Id.; Harvey v. Town of Merrillville, 649 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2011). “In a § 1983 case, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof on the constitutional deprivation that underlies the claim, and thus must come forward with sufficient evidence to create genuine issues of material fact to avoid summary judgment.” McAllister v. Price, 615 F.3d 877, 881 (7th Cir. 2010).

         At the summary judgment stage, the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmovant, with material factual disputes resolved in the nonmovant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A genuine dispute of material fact exists when a reasonable juror could find for the nonmovant. Id.


         Plaintiff was detained in the McLean County Detention Facility (“Jail”) from August 19, 2015 to April 19, 2016.[1] Defendant Winans was the Operations Supervisor at the Jail. Defendant Payne was a registered nurse and the Supervisor of the Jail's Health Services.

         The Jail kept two pairs of nail clippers for use by detainees upon request. (Winans Aff. ¶ 58.) During Plaintiff's prior detentions at the Jail, he would use the Jail's nail clippers if his request for cleaning solution for the clippers was granted. Generally, Plaintiff would clean the clippers with an alcohol pad if provided. If no alcohol pad or other cleaning solution was provided, he would not use the clippers. (Pl.'s Dep. 57, 61-62.) Plaintiff does not dispute that Clorox disinfectant wipes or alcohol pads were generally, or supposed to be, available to wipe down the clippers upon request by a detainee. (Winans Aff ¶ 9.)

         October 1-2, 2015, was different. Plaintiff asked an unidentified officer on October 1 for cleaning solution for the clippers, but the officer denied the request. Plaintiff's understanding was that the officer contacted the health care unit to ask about the cleaning solution, and whoever the officer talked to stated that there was no cleaning solution. (Pl.'s Dep. 64-67.) These understandings are based on inadmissible hearsay, but, in any event the purported conversation between the officer and health care is immaterial for purposes of this order. Plaintiff offers no evidence to dispute Defendants' averments that they were not involved in Plaintiff's requests regarding the nail clippers on October 1 or the next day. (Winans Aff. ¶; Payne Aff. ¶¶ 76-78.) On October 1, Plaintiff asked to speak to someone higher up, but was eventually told by the unknown officer that they were too busy to worry about nail clippers. (Pl.'s Dep. 69.) Plaintiff did not use the clippers that day.

         Plaintiff tried again the next day-October 2, 2015-asking another unknown officer for nail clippers and something to clean them with. The officer gave Plaintiff the clippers, but the clippers were dirty with what looked like rust and possibly blood. (Pl.'s Dep. 72.) In response to Plaintiff's request for some kind of cleaning solution, the officer replied, “[L]eave crying to babies. Just be a man, go in your cell and just rinse them off with warm water and dry them off with a paper towel, little bit of stuff ain't going to hurt you, you know, you'll be all right.” (Pl.'s Dep. 72-73.)

         Plaintiff proceeded to use the clippers to cut his fingernails after rinsing the clippers in the sink. Soap was available but he does not remember whether he used the soap to clean the clippers. (Pl.'s Dep. 81.) In trying to cut out hangnails, Plaintiff cut some of his skin. (Pl.'s Dep. 85.) A few hours later, Plaintiff's cuticles began to swell, burn, and turn a “red kind of real light blue color, ” according to Plaintiff. (Pl.'s Dep. 85-86.)

         Plaintiff says that he began submitting requests slips to see a nurse or doctor for what he suspected was an infection in his fingers and thumbs. Accepting Plaintiff's account, he sent daily requests beginning on October 2 through October 7, but got no responses. (Pl.'s Dep. 88-90, 98.) Those requests were written by another detainee because Plaintiff had suffered an injury to his right hand from an altercation with an inmate the prior month. That injury was the subject of another case of Plaintiff's and is not material here except for background. Bartlett v. Inoue, 15-cv-1466 (C.D. Ill.)(summary judgment granted to defendants on 7/5/17).

         On October 8, 2015, Nurse Bonnie Brown (who is not a Defendant) saw Plaintiff about Plaintiff's complaint regarding his thumbs/fingers. Plaintiff maintains that his fingers were red and swollen, with “pus and stuff oozing out.” (Pl.'s Dep. 102.) Nurse Brown noted mild redness in Plaintiff's right thumb and ordered Epsom ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.