United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Garcia (Plaintiff), currently an inmate at Lawrence
Correctional Center (Lawrence), filed a pro se complaint in
the above-captioned case, alleging violations of his
federally-secured civil rights while incarcerated at
Pinckneyville Correctional Center (Pinckneyville). Now before
the Court is a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant
Dr. Vipin Shah (Doc. 24). Defendant John Baldwin moves to
join in Shah's motion. Defendant Baldwin's motion to
join (Doc. 27) is GRANTED, and the Court
treats the summary judgment motion and supporting brief as
filed by both Defendants.
seek summary judgment on the ground that Plaintiff failed to
exhaust his administrative remedies as required by the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Plaintiff failed to respond to
the summary judgment motion, and the time to respond has long
passed. The motion is ripe for disposition. As explained
below, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in
part the motion for summary judgment.
Procedural Background and Summary of Key
preliminary note is warranted about the consequences of
Plaintiff's failure to respond to the summary judgment
motion. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) affords federal
district courts a certain amount of discretion when a
responding party fails to properly address facts raised in
the moving party's motion for summary judgment. Available
options, inter alia, include giving the opposing party an
opportunity to address the facts as stated by the movant,
considering the facts undisputed, or issuing “any other
appropriate order.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Although the
undersigned typically considers uncontested facts as
undisputed, here the Court finds portions of Plaintiff's
complaint and attached records, exhibits helpful in
understanding the steps taken by Plaintiff to exhaust his
administrative remedies. Therefore, while the Court considers
most of the facts set forth by Defendants as undisputed, it
exercises discretion under Rule 56(e) to rely upon certain
aspects of Plaintiff's complaint and supporting
documentation to fill in gaps in Defendants' record.
filed this lawsuit on July 20, 2016. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff has
been a quadriplegic since 1995 and is dependent on a
wheelchair. (Doc. 7, p. 2). His hands, torso, and lower body
are paralyzed, and he has partial paralysis of his arms.
(Id.). Beginning in 2012, Plaintiff was permanently
housed in the Pinckneyville infirmary. After a disciplinary
incident in June 2015, he was moved to an ADA cell - i.e., a
cell compliant with the Americans with Disability Act, 42
U.S.C. 12132, et seq. -- in the disciplinary segregation
unit. (Id. at 2 - 3).
alleges Eighth Amendment violations against Defendant Shah
for failing to take measures to meet Plaintiff's medical
needs (e.g., treatment for ulcers, a transfer board, and
assistance with bowel hygiene) while he was housed in
segregation cells from June to August 2015, and for delaying
and/or failing to provide medical care for a hip fracture
suffered when Plaintiff fell off his bunk in the ADA cell on
August 8, 2015.(Id. at 4, 6). Plaintiff also
raises Eighth Amendment and ADA claims against Defendant
Baldwin (Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections),
seeking injunctive relief to prevent Plaintiff's future
placement in a disciplinary housing unit unless he is
provided the same accommodations and medical care access he
would get in the prison infirmary. (Id.).
prepared a grievance regarding his issues with the
segregation cell on August 2, 2015. (Doc. 25-2, p. 7). In the
grievance, Plaintiff detailed that he is a quadriplegic, and
that after living in the prison's infirmary since August
2012, he was moved to a segregation cell in general
population on June 28, 2015. (Id.). Plaintiff also
wrote that the cells he was housed in were not fit for a
person with his level of dependency and that he was suffering
from multiple pressure ulcers due to the neglect of medical
staff. (Id.). He indicated that he had no assistance
for bowel movements, and that he soiled himself daily.
(Id.). For the relief requested, Plaintiff sought
immediate transfer to the infirmary, a discontinuation of his
disciplinary confinement in segregation, and a transfer to
Dixon Correctional Center, where he could receive more
adequate care. (Id.).
August 2, 2015 grievance was sent as an emergency grievance
and was deemed to be an emergency by the warden on August 10,
2015. (Id.). A note in the space for the
counselor's response dated August 15, 2015, says that the
issue was addressed and the inmate was moved to the
healthcare unit on August 11th. (Id.). In
his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that after receiving the
counselor's response, on August 15th, he sent
the grievance to the grievance officer. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
grievance was denied by the grievance officer the same day,
indicating that the issue had already been addressed and that
there was no justification for further consideration. (Doc.
25-2, p. 9). The denial was sent in a memo from the grievance
officer to Plaintiff. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that
the grievance was not sent to the warden. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
Though it is not clear exactly when, the grievance was sent
to the Administrative Review Board (ARB) and was received by
the ARB on November 4, 2015. (Doc. 25-2, p. 7). The ARB
returned the grievance on November 16, 2015, indicating it
was untimely. (Id. at 6).
prepared another grievance on March 21, 2016. (Id.
at 4). He again grieved being placed in the segregation cell
in the summer of 2015. (Id.). He also referenced his
broken hip, stating that he went “multiple days without
medical treatment [for] a severe broken hip.”
(Id.). By the time Plaintiff prepared this
grievance, he had been transferred from Pinckneyville to
Lawrence. (Id.). The counselor indicated that the
grievance was outside the jurisdiction of the facility and
should be sent to the ARB. (Id.). The ARB received
the grievance on May 18, 2016 and responded on June 22, 2016.
(Id. at 3). The ARB indicated that the grievance was
untimely and that it was misdirected. (Id.). The ARB
instructed Plaintiff to contact the healthcare unit regarding
his hip pain. (Id.). The records contain only two
other grievances by Plaintiff. (Id. at 2). Both of
these grievances were prepared prior to Plaintiff's
transfer to segregation in June 2015 and are not relevant
here. (Id. at 2, 11).
Applicable Legal Standards