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Orozco v. Wexford Health Sources

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 11, 2018

VICTOR OROZCO, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Hon. Reona J. Daly United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 61) filed by Defendants Wexford Health Sources, Inc. and John Coe, M.D. (“Wexford Defendants) and the Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 62) filed by Defendants Kyle Henton, Phill Martin and Anne Tredway (“IDOC Defendants”). For the reasons set forth below, the Motions for Sanctions are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         Factual Background

         Plaintiff Victor Orozco, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”). Orozco alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He is proceeding on the following counts:

Count 1: Defendants Coe violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights by unnecessarily delaying his treatment for prolonged stomach pain of undiagnosed origin, maintaining a course of treatment that proved ineffective, and failing to further inquire into Plaintiff's condition or refer him to a specialist when his condition persisted;
Count 2: Defendant Wexford maintained a policy, custom, and/or practice of elevating concerns regarding the cost of inmate care over the quality of care in order to minimize its costs in violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights;
Count 4: Defendants Henton and Martin violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights by taking inadequate steps to intervene and ensure his receipt of proper medical care upon receipt of grievances regarding the same.

         On March 20, 2018, attorney Carla Tolbert, counsel for Wexford Defendants, properly noticed Plaintiff's deposition pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30 and mailed a copy of that notice to Plaintiff. Plaintiff's deposition was scheduled for April 18, 2018 at Centralia Correctional Center (“Centralia”). Plaintiff did not object. On April 18, 2018, counsel for Wexford Defendants, Plaintiff Orozco, and the court reporter were present at Centralia for Plaintiff's deposition; Assistant Attorney General Patel, representing IDOC Defendants, was present via video.

         Prior to beginning the deposition Plaintiff informed counsel that he would not participate because he was not represented. Counsel for defendants requested that the court reporter create a record; Plaintiff refused to be sworn in and refused to answer any questions without an attorney. Plaintiff was reminded that the Court had denied his Motions for appointment of counsel; however he still refused to participate in the deposition. When asked whether he had agreed to participate in the scheduled deposition, Plaintiff repeatedly answered, “I plead the Fifth on that.”

         Defendants filed motions for sanctions pursuant to Rule 30 and 37 for Plaintiff's refusal to participate in good faith in his deposition. Wexford Defendants request reimbursement for the following expenses:

• Bill for Alaris Litigation services ($190.20);
• Attorney's mileage reimbursement form ($66.20, at the rate of 54 cents per mile);
• Attorney billed 4.3 hours for travel time, and time spent within Centralia Correctional Center, for ...

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