United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. WILKERSON United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 102)
and a Motion to Strike (Doc. 116) filed by Defendants. For
the reasons set forth below, the Motion for Summary Judgment
is DENIED as to Defendants Obaisi, Wahl and
Larson, but is GRANTED as to Defendant
Wexford; the Motion to Strike is GRANTED.
and Procedural Background
Robert Stoces filed a complaint on March 11, 2015 alleging
violations of his rights under the Eighth Amendment, as well
as Illinois state law, against three health care providers at
Lawrence Correctional Center and Wexford Health Sources (Doc.
before the Court are the following claims:
Count 1: Defendants Obaisi, Wahl, Larson and
Wexford Health Services were deliberately indifferent to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs when they failed to
provide adequate medical care, including refusing or failing
to order a colonoscopy; Count
3: Defendants Obaisi, Wahl, Larson and
Wexford committed malpractice/were negligent in their care of
February 2013, Stoces was diagnosed with colon cancer (Doc.
1, p. 12). Stoces claims Defendants refused to order
diagnostic tests in a timely manner that were essential to
detecting his colon cancer earlier; instead they insisted on
a course of treatment that was ineffective (Doc. 1, p. 12).
was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”) at the time the events in question
occurred. He first visited the healthcare unit at Lawrence
about his bowel problems in January 2010 (Doc. 1, p. 8). At
that time, Stoces was provided Metamucil (Doc. 103-1, ¶
7). It is undisputed Stoces saw Defendant Obaisi (a medical
doctor at Lawrence) twenty-two additional times between
January, 2011 and July, 2012 (Doc. 103-1, ¶¶ 7-18,
20-21, 25-27, 29-36). Obaisi claims Stoces only stated he had
constipation on two occasions (Doc. 103-1, ¶¶ 7,
27), and never complained of abdominal pain or blood in his
stool (Doc. 103-1, ¶¶ 7-18, 20-21, 25-27, 29-36).
Stoces alleges that from February 1, 2010 through December
21, 2010 he repeatedly requested a colonoscopy due to pain
and a disruption in his normal bowel function (Doc. 113, p.
3). Stoces alleges Obaisi refused to order a colonoscopy due
to costs, and several nurses told him Obaisi was not
documenting Stoces' requests for a colonoscopy and
related symptoms in his medical records (Doc. 113, p. 3). As
a result, on December 21, 2010 Stoces went to the health care
unit call line and asked that his request for a colonoscopy
be documented in his medical file (Doc. 113, p. 3). Obaisi
admits he saw Stoces six days later, but claims that is the
first time a colonoscopy was requested (Doc. 103-1, ¶
14). Obaisi denied the request on the grounds that Stoces was
not alleging constipation, blood in his stool, or abdominal
pain (Doc. 103-1, ¶ 14). Obaisi never ordered a
August 2, 2012 Stoces was seen by Defendant Dr. Wahl. It is
undisputed Stoces told Wahl he had blood in his stool and
that she was aware Stoces had told the nurse practitioner the
previous week that he had blood in his stool for over three
months (Doc. 103-3, ¶ 4). Wahl stated in her declaration
that the records indicated Stoces was instructed by the nurse
to collect three stool samples, but only one fecal blood test
had been documented in the file at that time (Doc. 103-3,
¶ 4). She admits, however, she has no knowledge about
how many samples he actually collected (Doc. 103-3, ¶
4), and Stoces states he collected at least five.
Wahl saw Stoces two weeks later for an unrelated dermalogical
condition, and alleges Stoces did not report any blood in his
stool, constipation or abdominal pain at that time (Doc.
103-3, ¶ 4). She saw him against a few days later,
reviewed his blood tests, which were normal, and alleges
Stoces again did not complaint of any constipation, abdominal
pain or blood in his stool (Doc. 103-3, ¶ 4). Stoces
disagrees, stating he complained about his “constant
pain, bowel obstruction, and blood in his stool” each
time he saw Dr. Wahl (Doc. 113, p. 12).
Dr. Wahl saw Stoces several more times, she claims he did not
report any blood in his stool again until September 27, 2012
(Doc. 103-3, ¶ 4). At which time, she ordered him to
collect two more fecal samples (Doc. 103-3, ¶ 4). Wahl
saw Stoces again several weeks later and did a rectal exam,
noting that his stool was positive of occult blood (Doc.
103-3, ¶ 4). Dr. Wahl did not order a colonoscopy.
Rather, she prescribed fiber and an anti-inflammatory
suppository for internal hemorrhoids, despite the fact that
she did not feel any hemorrhoids during the exam (Doc. 103-3,
¶ 4). Dr. Wahl recommended follow up in one month to
re-check Stoces' stool (Doc. 103-3, ¶ 4).
is no evidence in the record that such a follow up ever took
place. Stoces was not seen again until November 9,
2012-three-and-a-half months later-when he was seen by
Defendant Dr. Larson (Doc. 103-4, ¶ 4). Dr. Larson
alleges Stoces did not complain of constipation, blood in his
stool or abdominal pain at the appointment (Doc. 103-4,
¶ 4). There is no indication that Dr. Larson rechecked
Stoces stool as recommended by Dr. Wahl, despite declaring
that he relies on his review of medical records when making
medical decisions (Doc. 103-4. ¶ 3).
Larson conducted a review of Stoces' medical record the
following month, and saw Stoces on December 13, 2012 to
follow up on the blood in his stool (Doc. 103-4, ¶ 4).
Larson admits Stoces told him at that appointment he had
blood in his stool “since August 2012 and before”
(Doc. 103-4, ¶ 4). Stoces admits he refused a rectal
exam during that appointment, but explains his refusal was
due to the need to have a bowel movement (Doc. 113, p. 12).
He states he asked Dr. Larson to call him back to the health
care unit for a rectal exam on another date, but Larson never
did so (Doc. 113, p. 12). Dr. Larson stated that due to
Stoces refusal of the rectal exam, he simply reordered fiber
medication and indicated Stoces needed a follow up
appointment in four to six weeks (Doc. 103-4, ¶ 4).
was seen by Dr. Shepherd a month later due to abdominal pain
(Doc. 103-2). Dr. Shepherd ordered a colonoscopy (Doc.
103-2). The colonoscopy was performed five days later and
Stoces was diagnosed with colon cancer; he ...