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Medrano v. Ghosh

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

April 5, 2018

Jose Medrano, Plaintiff,
Parthasarathi Ghosh; Charles Fasano; Louis Shicker; Arthur Funk; Andrew Tilden; Randy Pfister; Michael Melvin; and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Defendants.


          Honorable Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge.

         Jose Medrano is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) at Pontiac Correctional Center, and previously at Stateville Correctional Center. He alleges that IDOC staff and medical service providers were deliberately indifferent to pain in his back, shoulder, and wrist in violation of the Eighth Amendment. R. 129. Specifically, McDowell has sued the IDOC's former Medical Director, Louis Shicker; the IDOC's former Medical Coordinator, Charles Fasano; Stateville's Warden, Randy Pfister; Pontiac's Warden, Michael Melvin; the IDOC's medical services provider, Wexford Health Sources, Inc.; and doctors employed by Wexford, namely Parthasarathi Ghosh, Arthur Funk, and Andrew Tilden. Defendants have moved for summary judgment. R. 268; R. 272. For the following reasons, Defendants' motions are granted.

         Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows 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); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The Court considers the entire evidentiary record and must view all of the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences from that evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Ball v. Kotter, 723 F.3d 813, 821 (7th Cir. 2013). To defeat summary judgment, a nonmovant must produce more than “a mere scintilla of evidence” and come forward with “specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Harris N.A. v. Hershey, 711 F.3d 794, 798 (7th Cir. 2013). Ultimately, summary judgment is warranted only if a reasonable jury could not return a verdict for the nonmovant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).


         I. Back Pain

         In 1988 or 1989, Medrano underwent back surgery to remove vertebrae. R. 290 ¶ 8. He received steroid injections to address pain from time to time. See Id. ¶ 9. On September 28, 2009, Medrano saw Dr. Konstantin Slavin at UIC Hospital about his back pain. Id. ¶ 10. Dr. Slavin advised that surgery could relieve the pain or make it worse, and Medrano elected to continue to receive epidural injections instead. Id. ¶¶ 12-14. He received injections in 2010 and 2011. Id. ¶ 15. Defendant Dr. Tilden referred Medrano to UIC again on July 23, 2012, and UIC's report noted that Medrano “will not benefit from further injections.” Id. ¶ 17.

         On November 15, 2015, Medrano fell in the shower, exacerbating his back pain. Id. ¶ 20. Dr. Tilden ordered a CT scan, which noted “degenerative changes without significant progression.” Id. ¶ 21. Dr. Tilden explained that this meant that Medrano's back condition was unchanged. Id. ¶ 22. Dr. Tilden has sought to manage Medrano's back pain by prescribing Naproxen, Neurontin, and Tramadol. Id. ¶¶ 23-25.

         II. Wrist Pain

         On May 12, 2009, Medrano saw occupational therapist Andrew Offerman. Id. ¶ 26. Medrano's exam indicated that he might have carpal tunnel syndrome. Id. ¶¶ 27-28. Offerman prescribed a wrist brace. Id. ¶ 29. Medrano alleges that Offerman specifically prescribed a brace made of Kevlar, but Offerman testified to the contrary and that he is not aware that such braces exist. Id. ¶¶ 29. Medrano was given a wrist brace, but he alleges that the brace does not hold his wrist at the angle recommended by Offerman. Id. ¶¶ 29-31.

         III. Shoulder Pain

         Medrano was transferred from Pontiac to Stateville on December 31, 2009 to receive physical therapy for his shoulder. Id. ¶ 32. Medrano's shoulder improved, but by May 18, 2010, the physical therapist reported to Dr. Ghosh that Medrano's improvement had plateaued and no further improvement was expected. Id. ¶ 34. Medrano then had surgery on his shoulder, and subsequently received further physical therapy. Id. ¶¶ 35-36. The therapy referral was closed when it was determined that no further improvement was expected. Id. ¶ 36.

         IV. Expert Reports

         Dr. Jeffrey W. Grosskopf has submitted a report addressing Medrano's condition and treatment. R. 291 ¶ 12. With regard to Medrano's back condition, Dr. Grosskopf opined that additional epidural injections are not recommended; surgery is not recommended; Medrano's back condition has been treated appropriately; and there is no cure for Medrano's back condition. Id. ¶¶ 35-39. With regard to Medrano's wrist condition, Dr. Grosskopf opined that Medrano does not have carpal tunnel syndrome, and Medrano was provided with a suitable brace. Id. ΒΆΒΆ 42, 53. With regard to Medrano's shoulder condition, Dr. Grosskopf opined ...

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