United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Marvin E. Aspen United States District Judge.
before us is Defendant Dr. Wesley Harmston's motion for
summary judgment. Plaintiff Derrick Stefan Williams, a former
pretrial detainee at the Will County Adult Detention Facility
(“WCDF”), filed this civil rights action against
Dr. Harmston pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that
Dr. Harmston behaved in an inappropriate manner during two
medical examinations of Williams in the fall of 2014. (Compl.
(Dkt. No. 1) at 4-5.) For the reasons stated herein, we grant
Dr. Harmston's motion for summary judgment.
was a pretrial detainee at WCDF starting in August 2014 and
at all times relevant to his claims. (Def.'s L.R. 56.1(a)
Statement of Undisputed Facts (“SOF”) (Dkt. No.
88) ¶ 1.) From June 2012 to June 2015, Dr. Harmston was
a licensed doctor providing medical services to inmates at
the jail. (SOF ¶ 2.) Williams' claims of sexual
harassment against Dr. Harmston stem from medical
examinations Dr. Harmston conducted of Williams' elbow,
neck, back, and ribs, which Williams contends were injured
during his arrest in August 2014. (SOF ¶¶ 3-4,
8-9.) As relevant here, Dr. Harmston saw Williams on
September 22, 2014 to examine an elbow injury. (Dkt. No. 86-2
at PageID #:673-75.) Williams returned for treatment on
October 6, 2014 complaining of an injury to his ribs after
allegedly being kicked by police during his arrest.
(Id. at PageID #:676-78.)
the October 6, 2014 medical appointment, Dr. Harmston asked
Williams to remove his shirt to examine his chest, back,
neck, and abdomen both by visual examination and palpation.
(Id. ¶¶ 11, 13-14.) Dr. Harmston maintains
that it would be impossible to examine Williams' rib
injuries without having Williams remove his shirt, as he
needed to perform a visual examination and palpate the
injured areas to assess tenderness, irregular movement,
changes to the skin, and symmetry. (Id. ¶¶
12, 14-15.) Williams disputes whether it was medically
necessary to remove his shirt and have his neck, arm, chest,
and rib area visually examined and palpated. (Id.
¶¶ 13-14.) Dr. Harmston also ordered an x-ray in
order to rule out acute rib fractures and dislocations, as
undiagnosed rib fractures may be life threatening.
(Id. ¶¶ 16-17.)
addition, Plaintiff alleges that during the October 6 visit,
Dr. Harmston asked Williams if he wanted a prostate exam.
(Id. ¶ 18.) Williams declined the offer, and
Dr. Harmston never performed a prostate exam. (Id.
¶¶ 17-18.) Dr. Harmston contends that he did not
discuss Williams' prostate health again, never touched
Williams “on or in the vicinity of his genitals or
rectum, ” and never “forced or coerced”
Williams into undergoing a prostate exam. (Id.
¶¶ 19-22.) Dr. Harmston asserts that he asked
Plaintiff about the exam because “as an African
American male over the age of forty-five . . . Plaintiff was
a member of at least two populations who experience increased
risk of prostate cancer.” (Id. ¶ 23.) Dr.
Harmston further asserted that Williams had not had a
prostate exam for years, and such exams are an important tool
in early detection of prostate cancer. (Id.
¶¶ 24, 26.)
Williams admits that Dr. Harmston did not perform a prostate
exam, he disputes that Dr. Harmston never again discussed
prostate health or touched Williams on or near his genitals
or rectum. (Pl.'s L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B) Resp. to Def.'s
SOF (“Pl.'s Resp. SOF”) (Dkt. No. 88)
¶¶ 20-22.) Williams maintains that despite
being a member of a population at high risk for prostate
cancer, Dr. Harmston had insufficient grounds to inquire into
prostate health, and the inquiry was not documented on the
medical visit reports. (Id. ¶ 27; Pl.'s
Statement of Add'l Facts (“PSAF”) (Dkt. No.
88) ¶ 1.) Williams argues his complaints and injuries
were unrelated to prostate cancer, and because Dr. Harmston
was not examining him for a yearly routine exam, a prostate
exam was “not part of the ‘normal standard of
care'” for his complaints. (Pl.'s Resp. SOF
Williams' claim and the reason he alleges he felt
humiliation is his assumptions about Dr. Harmston's
sexual orientation. (SOF ¶¶ 5-6.) Williams
Q. Had you ever discussed prostate health with Dr. Harmston
A. Dr. Harmston is a fag.
Q. Okay. I noticed in one of your records that you mentioned
to the mental health professionals that you thought Dr.
Harmston was gay?
A. He is. He a fag.
Q. Okay. Why did you think that was worth mentioning?
A. Because he looked like a fag. He talked - he looked like a
fag. He talked like a fag.
Q. Okay. Why did you think that was important for the mental
health professionals -
A. Because I wanted to let them know they need to get rid of
Q. Because he's gay?
A. Yeah, gay.
* * * Q. And you saw Dr. Harmston complaining of various