United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
James Ferguson, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). He
asserts claims against Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Dr.
Thomas Burrell, D.D.S., Dr. Aldridge, D.D.S., Dr. Naroditsky,
D.D.S., Beverly Rockwell, Kendra Seip and Kurtis Hunter. In
particular, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were
deliberately indifferent to his health in failing to provide
adequate dental care in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He
is proceeding on the following Counts:
Count I: Defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc. exhibited
deliberate indifference toward Plaintiff's dental needs
in violation of the Eighth Amendment, by maintaining a policy
or practice to deliberately understaff Shawnee with an
insufficient number of licensed dentists to meet the serious
medical needs of the inmates and to refuse outside referral;
Count II: Defendants Dr. Burrell, Dr. Naroditsky, and Dr.
Aldridge exhibited deliberate indifference toward
Plaintiff's serious medical/dental needs in violation of
the Eighth Amendment when Defendants failed to timely treat
his dental needs;
Count III: Defendants Hunter, Rockwell and Seip exhibited
deliberate indifference toward Plaintiff's serious dental
need to have his decayed tooth extracted.
matter is now before the Court on the Motion for Summary
Judgment for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies filed
by Defendants Dr. Burrell and Dr. Narodistky (Doc. 90).
Plaintiff filed a timely response (Doc. 97). For the
following reasons, Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment is GRANTED.
argue that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies prior to filing suit. Specifically, Defendants
assert that the two grievances Plaintiff filed relating to
their treatment, dated July 11, 2015 and June 18, 2015, were
not exhausted, and that the only grievance that was
exhausted, Grievance #2015-06-39, makes no reference to Dr.
Burrell or Dr. Naroditsky. In Grievance #2015-06-39,
Plaintiff complained that despite paying a $5.00 co-payment
for an April 28, 2015 dental visit, no dental work was
performed (Id.). The grievance references the
“dental doctor” who examined and performed an
x-ray on Plaintiff on April 28, 2015 (Id.).
regard to Plaintiff's June 18, 2015 grievance, the
evidence before the Court indicates the grievance was
received by the Administrative Review Board
(“ARB”) on June 24, 2015 (Doc. 97-1 at 4-7).
There is no evidence that the grievance was sent to anyone
other than the ARB. The ARB denied the grievance on
procedural grounds because it failed to include responses
from a counselor, grievance officer and the Chief
Administrative Officer (“CAO”) (Id. at
4). The ARB instructed Plaintiff to resubmit the grievance
with the missing responses for further review on the merits,
if timely. (Id.). There is no other documentation
concerning the June 18, 2015 grievance.
July 11, 2015 grievance was received by the ARB on July 15,
2015 (Doc. 97-1 at 2-3). There is no evidence before the
Court to show the grievance was sent to anyone other than the
ARB. The ARB also denied this grievance on procedural grounds
for failing to include responses from a counselor, grievance
officer and the CAO. (Id. at 2). The ARB instructed
Plaintiff to resubmit the grievance with the missing
responses for further review on the merits, if timely.
(Id.). There is no other documentation concerning
the July 11, 2015 grievance.
judgment is appropriate only if the moving party can
demonstrate “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); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322(1986); see also
Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Information Solutions,
Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005). The moving
party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the lack of
any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477
U.S. at 323. Once a properly supported motion for summary
judgment is made, the adverse party “must set forth
specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 250 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact exists
when “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Estate
of Simpson v. Gorbett, 863 F.3d 740, 745 (7th Cir. 2017)
(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). In deciding a
summary judgment motion, the district court views the facts
in the light most favorable to, and draws all reasonable
inferences in favor of, the nonmoving party. Apex
Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962,
965 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).