United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
STEPHEN C. WILLIAMS United States Magistrate Judge
pro se, Plaintiff Michael Smith, an inmate at Menard
Correctional Center, brought the present lawsuit alleging
violations of his civil rights. Among the allegations raised
by Plaintiff, he alleges violations of his rights relating to
the care and treatment of a hand injury he suffered in May
2016. This matter is before the Court on two motions for
summary judgment filed by Defendants (Docs. 39 and 48).
Defendants contend that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (“PLRA”). After reviewing the briefs,
the undersigned held an evidentiary hearing, and this matter
is now ripe for disposition. Since the undersigned finds that
Plaintiff's administrative remedies were not available to
him, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that the
district judge DENY the motions for summary
February 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed the present lawsuit. (Doc.
1). In a merits review order pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915A,
Chief Judge Reagan found that Plaintiff had successfully
pleaded the following counts:
Count 1:Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Macdonough and the John Doe
Lieutenant for refusing to summon medical staff after
Plaintiff's hand was injured on May 30, 2016;
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Dr. Trost and Dr. Ritz for denying
and delaying medical attention for Plaintiff's injured
Count 4: First Amendment retaliation claim
against Dr. Trost for denying Plaintiff a medical front-cuff
permit after Plaintiff filed grievances against him;
Count 5: Eighth Amendment claims against C/O
Larry for deliberate indifference and excessive force, for
refusing to loosen Plaintiff's handcuffs or consult
medical staff on December 23, 2016;
Count 7: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
claim against Butler for failing to act on
Plaintiff's grievances complaining about lack of medical
care after the May 30, 2016 hand injury.
(Doc. 7, p. 6).
17, 2016, Plaintiff prepared a grievance regarding lack of
medical treatment. (Doc. 49-1, p. 9). In that grievance,
Plaintiff wrote that he suffered an injury to his hand on May
30, 2016, and that he notified staff of the injury.
(Id.). He wrote that the staff, however, delayed
notifying or escorting him to the healthcare unit.
(Id.). Plaintiff also complained of Dr. Trost's
failure to adequately examine his injury. (Id. at
grievance was sent by Plaintiff as an emergency, but was
deemed to not be an emergency by Warden Butler on June 26,
2016. (Id. at 9). After receiving the grievance back
from the warden, Plaintiff submitted it to his counselor, who
responded on July 8, 2016. (Id.). Plaintiff
testified that he then submitted the grievance, along with a
follow-up grievance dated July 22nd, to the grievance office.
(Doc. 60, p. 31). Plaintiff did not get either of those
grievances back. (Id. at 38). According to
Plaintiff's testimony, at the same time he initially
prepared the June 17th grievance, he also prepared an
identical duplicate grievance, which he sent directly to the
ARB. (Id. at 24 - 25). He did this in order to
attempt to make a record of his grievance submissions.
(Id. at 25).
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that in July 2016, Dr. Trost
sought an orthopedic consult for Plaintiff, but that the
consult request was denied by Dr. Ritz. (Doc. 7, p. 3 - 4).
After Plaintiff submitted a sick call request at the end of
July 2016 regarding pain and swelling in his hand, he
submitted another grievance on September 30, 2016,
“which incorporated the issues from the 7/22/16
grievance and the and the 6/17/2016 grievance.” (Doc.
60, p. 27). Plaintiff did not receive the September grievance
back. (Id. at 35). In ...