United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WILLIAMS, Magistrate Judge:
se Plaintiff Montrell Holmes brought the present lawsuit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his
constitutional rights. Plaintiff, an inmate incarcerated by
the Illinois Department of Corrections, alleges Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately
indifferent to a serious medical need posed by shoulder pain
Plaintiff suffered while an inmate at Pinckneyville
Correctional Center. This matter is before the Court on
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 66).
Plaintiff has filed a response, and the Motion is ripe for
disposition. Since no reasonable juror could find that
Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's
serious medical needs, Defendants' Motion is
Holmes injured his left shoulder in mid-July 2014. (Doc.
67-1, p. 17). After being seen for unrelated right arm pain
in July 2014, Plaintiff next returned to the healthcare unit
on September 27, 2014 complaining of left shoulder pain.
(Doc. 67-2, p. 1, 3). He was seen by Defendant Barron, a
nurse, and after describing his pain as a seven or eight out
of ten, he was provided acetaminophen. (Id. at 3).
According to Plaintiff, Nurse Barron refused to refer him to
a physician, stating that she could not according to her
protocols. (Doc. 70, p. 1). After this visit, Plaintiff wrote
a grievance, and a response was provided by Healthcare Unit
Administrator Brown (“HCUA”). HCUA Brown stated
that Plaintiff “could be referred at the first clinic
if medically indicated. The nurse was telling [him] this was
not something new and he should try Tylenol first to see if
it helps. The nurse can't give him anything
stronger….If he is still having problems then he will
need to go back through NSC.” (Doc. 70-1, p. 1).
Apparently unsatisfied with this response, on October 5,
2014, Plaintiff wrote a letter to Director of Nursing,
Defendant Shipley. Plaintiff complained about his visit with
Nurse Barron and indicated he was beginning to experience
slight paralysis in his shoulder that his pain was
intensifying. (Id. at 26 - 27).
was next seen by a non-party nurse on October 29, 2014 due to
complaints of his shoulder hurting often. (Doc. 67-2, p. 5).
He also complained of his shoulder “freezing up”
at certain positions and was provided Motrin and alternating
cold and hot packs. (Id.). After refusing to be seen
or not being present in his cell for a November 5, 2014 sick
call, he was seen by another non-party nurse on November
10th. (Id. at 7, 9, 11). Plaintiff was referred to a
physician. (Id. at 11).
was seen by Defendant Dr. Shah on November 13, 2014 for
complaints of his shoulder freezing in certain positions.
(Doc. 67-4, p. 2). Dr. Shah ordered x-rays, prescribed
Naproxen, and ordered a follow-up visit in two weeks.
(Id. at 2 - 3). Plaintiff's x-rays were taken on
November 21, 2014 and they showed no acute bony abnormality.
(Doc. 67-4, p. 3; Doc. 67-2, p. 15).
November 16, 2014, Plaintiff sent another letter to Defendant
Shipley which was nearly identical to the first letter. (Doc.
70-1, p. 24 - 25). He sent a third letter on December 10,
2014, stating that he was still in pain and was waiting on
his x-ray results. (Id. at 28). Plaintiff sought
assistance in obtaining proper and adequate care from Dr.
Shah. (Id.). He sent a final letter to Defendant
Shipley on January 5, 2015. In this letter Plaintiff
indicated that he was still in pain and had yet to receive
the results from his x-ray. (Id. at 29). Though he
stated that he had signed up for sick call and had seen Dr.
Shah, he does not mention attempting to sign up for sick call
after his visit with Dr. Shah. (Id.). Plaintiff
asked Defendant Shipley to “talk to Dr. V. Shah about
the course of [illegible] he's giving me and if possible
receive treatment that will stop pain I'm having.”
January 14, 2015, Plaintiff was transferred to Illinois River
Correctional Center (“Illinois River”). (Doc.
67-4, p. 3). Prior to being transferred, Plaintiff did not
follow-up with Dr. Shah and did not find out the results of
his x-ray. (Id; Doc. 70, p. 1). Dr. Shah, however,
is not responsible for the scheduling of patient
appointments, and if Plaintiff was not called to the
healthcare unit for his follow-up, according to Dr. Shah, he
should have filed a sick call request. (Doc. 67-4, p. 3).
After Plaintiff was transferred, he received further
treatment, including Toradol injections. (See Doc.
Summary Judgment Standard
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs summary
judgment motions. The rule states that summary judgment is
appropriate only if the admissible evidence considered as a
whole shows there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Archdiocese of Milwaukee v. Doe, 743 F.3d 1101, 1105
(7th Cir. 2014) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)). The party
seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of
demonstrating - based on the pleadings, affidavits and/or
information obtained via discovery - the lack of any genuine
issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact
remains “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). Accord Bunn v. Khoury Enterpr. Inc., 753
F.3d 676 (7th Cir. 2014).
assessing 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.
Anderson v. Donahoe, 699 F.3d 989, 994 (7th Cir.
2012); Righi v. SMC Corp. , 632 F.3d 404, 408 (7th
Cir. 2011); Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899
(7th Cir. 2011). As the Seventh Circuit has explained, as
required by Rule 56(a), “we set forth the facts by
examining the evidence in the light reasonably most favorable
to the non-moving party, giving [him] the benefit of
reasonable, favorable inferences and resolving conflicts in
the evidence in [his] favor.” Spaine v. Community
Contacts, Inc., 756 F.3d 542 (7th Cir. 2014).
claims against all three defendants arise under the Eighth
Amendment. Prison officials violate the Eighth
Amendment's proscription against “cruel and unusual
punishments” if they display deliberate indifference to
an inmate's serious medical needs. Greeno v.
Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 652-53 (7th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Accord Rodriguez v. Plymouth
Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 828 (7th Cir. 2009)
(“Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of a
prisoner constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain forbidden by the Constitution.”). A prisoner is
entitled to reasonable measures to meet a substantial risk of
serious harm - not to demand specific care. Holloway v.
Delaware Cnty. Sheriff, 700 F.3d 1063, 1074 (7th Cir.
2012) (stating that a prison doctor “is free to make
his own, independent medical determination as to the
necessity of certain treatments or medications, so long as
the determination is based on the physician's
professional judgment and does not go against accepted
professional standards”); Forbes v. Edgar, 112
F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir. 1997). Although a prison official may
not continue a course of ...