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Peguess v. Coe

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 11, 2018

DAM PEGUES, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN COE, et al., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Adam Pegues, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendants failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Following threshold review, Plaintiff proceeds on the following claims:

Count 1:Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Defendant Duncan, for ignoring Plaintiff's request for help in obtaining medical care;
Count 2:Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Defendants Coe, and Kimmel, for denying or delaying medical care to Plaintiff;
Count 3:Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Wexford Health Sources, for maintaining policies that resulted in the denial and/or delay of medical care to Plaintiff;
Count 4:Claims under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act against Director Baldwin (official capacity only), for denial of accommodations such as a wheelchair attendant, showers, and access to gym and physical therapy.

         This matter is currently before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Duncan and Baldwin (Doc. 129) and the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Coe, Kimmel and Wexford (Doc. 131). Plaintiff filed a Response to each motion (Docs. 137, 138). Defendants Coe, Kimmel and Wexford filed a Reply to Plaintiff's Supplemental Statement of Material Facts (Doc. 139). For the following reasons, Defendants' motions are GRANTED.

         Material Facts

         1. Adam Pegues was transferred to Lawrence in March 2014 (Plaintiff's Deposition, Doc. 130-2 at 6).

         2. Defendant Dr. John Coe is a medical doctor who served as the Medical Director at Lawrence from 2013 to July 31, 2016, as an employee of Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (Deposition of Dr. John Coe, Doc. 132-2).

         3. Defendant Tammy Kimmel was a licensed practical nurse at Lawrence and an employee of Wexford Health Sources Inc., during the material time period referenced in Plaintiff's Complaint (Deposition of Tammy Kimmel, Doc. 132-3).

         4. Wexford Health Sources, Inc. entered into a contract with IDOC to provide medical services to IDOC inmates, including Lawrence (Doc. 1).

         5. Defendant Duncan was the warden at Lawrence and is not a medical professional (130-1 at 1).

         6. Pegues complained of non-specific abdominal pain prior to his transfer to Lawrence (Doc. 130-2 at 11).

         7. An x-ray and sonogram of his abdomen performed prior to his arrival at Lawrence were normal (Id.).

         8. Pegues alleges that he spoke to Defendant Duncan about being in pain on March 22, 2014. Pegues told Duncan “about the blood in the stool and the stomach pains I was having and it is hard to eat and stuff like that, and I told him I need medical attention, could he get me some medical attention” (Id. at 45).

         9. Pegues received medical treatment on March 24, 2014; two days after he alleges that he spoke to Warden Duncan. He was seen in the Health Care Unit (“HCU”) and was referred to see Dr. Coe (Plaintiff's Medical Records, Doc. 130-3 at 2).

         10. Dr. Coe saw Pegues for the first time on March 25, 2014 for complaints of abdominal pain (Id. at 1).

         11. On March 25, 2014, Pegues' abdomen was tender to deep palpation. Dr. Coe prescribed Enulose and Fiberlax (both laxatives), and scheduled Pegues for a return visit in one week for further evaluation (Id.).

         12. When Pegues returned on April 1, 2014, he reported that his stools had not loosened. Dr. Coe again reviewed Plaintiff's prior records, including the February 2014 sonogram report (Id. at 3).

         13. Dr. Coe planned to admit Pegues to the infirmary when possible to evaluate for blood in his stool (Id.).

         14. On May 15, 2014, Dr. Coe reviewed Pegues' most recent lab results, which were normal, and asked that Pegues be scheduled for a visit in the HCU so that he could discuss the results with him (Doc. 93-4 at 2).

         15. Dr. Coe discussed Pegues' lab results with him on May 20, 2014, and scheduled him for another visit in one week. On May 28, Dr. Coe noted normal bowel sounds with some tenderness in Pegues' left mid to lower abdomen. He added Bentyl, a drug designed to treat bowel spasms/Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to Pegues' medication regimen. Dr. Coe scheduled him to return in two weeks (Id. at 2-3).

         16. On June 5, 2014, Pegues requested additional testing be performed. Dr. Coe explained that further testing was not clinically indicated until he had completed further evaluation (Id.).

         17. On June 7, 2014, Pegues returned to the HCU complaining of abdominal pain. He stated, “no one will help me” and reported that he had a bowel movement earlier that day that was hard as a brick (Affidavit of Sherry Collins, LPN, Doc. 93-2 at 1).

         18. Pegues stated that “no one was doing their jobs” and that “no one was taking him seriously” but would do so when he was dead. Nurse Collins noted a recent visit with Dr. Coe on June 5, 2014 and scheduled Pegues for a visit with the doctor. (Id. at 1-2).

         19. Pegues was admitted to the infirmary on June 20, 2014. On admission, Dr. Coe performed a complete physical exam. A rectal exam was negative for blood. Dr. Coe added nortriptyline (Pamelor), an antidepressant, and Tylenol to Pegues' medication regimen, and ordered inspection of his stools to check for blood (Doc. 93-4 at 3).

         20. During Pegues' admission to the infirmary from June 20-23, 2014, his stool was regularly checked for blood, each time with a negative finding (Doc. 93-2 at 2).

         21. Nurse Collins saw Pegues in the infirmary on June 22, 2014. His abdomen was soft and not distended. Pegues was able to eat his entire lunch tray, walk around his cell normally and sit upright to read a book, despite rating his pain at 8/10 (Id.).

         22. Dr. Coe discharged Pegues from the infirmary with continued prescriptions for Enulose, Fiberlax, Tylenol and Pamelor (Doc. 93-4 at 3).

         23. Dr. Coe saw Pegues again on July 17, 2014. He complained that the Pamelor caused headaches and nausea, and that the Bentyl was ineffective. Pegues requested a wheelchair, but Dr. Coe declined the request due to the observations of medical and prison staff members that Pegues was able to walk normally. Pegues disputes that he was able to walk normally. Dr. Coe continued Pegues' prescription for Enulose, and scheduled him to be followed in the General Medicine Clinic (Id. at 3-4).

         24. On August 6, 2014, Pegues returned to the HCU complaining of pain with urination. Dr. Coe performed a physical exam, which was normal except for the same mild tenderness in Pegues' left lower quadrant. A urinalysis was negative for blood or any other objective finding consistent with Pegues' subjective complaints (Id. at 4).

         25. When Dr. Coe next saw Pegues on September 17, 2014, he continued to complain of abdominal pain. His bowel sounds were normal. Pegues also complained of generalized back pain and an inability to walk. Dr. Coe performed a complete neurological exam, which was completely normal. Pegues' lab results demonstrated that he had high cholesterol, so Dr. Coe prescribed Simvastatin and continued all other orders (Id.).

         26. Dr. Coe next saw Pegues on November 5, 2014. He had complained to the nurse of pain in his back, abdomen and penis, and asked for a wheelchair because it hurt to walk. Dr. Coe performed another physical exam, and found some mild tenderness in Pegues' lower back, but Pegues denied abdominal tenderness. Dr. Coe scheduled Pegues for labs in February 2015 and a follow-up visit in March 2015 (Id.).

         27. Pegues was seen by the nursing staff in sick call on November 12, 1014, November 23, 2014, and December 3, 2014 with complaints of generalized pain (Id.).

         28. On December 12, 2014, Dr. Coe saw Pegues for his continued complaints. A physical exam was again normal. Dr. Coe ordered a series of lab tests and scheduled a return visit thereafter (Id. at 4-5).

         29. When Pegues returned on January 26, 2015, Dr. Coe noted that his urinalysis was positive for a small amount of blood and protein, with a slightly elevated sedimentation rate and an elevated creatinine value. Dr. Coe ordered a follow-up ...


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