United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
LAMPTON J. TURNER, Plaintiffs,
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., LISA KREBS, VENERIO SANTOS, ARNEL A. GARCIA, STEVE MEEKS, and LISA PRATHER, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
STEPHEN C. WILLIAMS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, pro se Plaintiff filed his
complaint against Defendants alleging that they were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs
including hand and wrist pain and an abnormal BUN/CREAT
ratio. This matter is before the Court on Wexford Health
Sources, Inc.'s (hereinafter “Wexford”)
motion for summary judgment on the basis of failure to
exhaust administrative remedies (Docs. 63 and 64). Plaintiff
has filed a response (Doc. 77) in opposition to that motion.
Wexford has filed a reply (Doc. 84) and Plaintiff has filed a
response (Doc. 90) to that reply. In addition to the summary
judgment motion from Wexford, Defendants Lisa Krebs, Lisa
Prather, and Steve Meeks have also filed a motion for summary
judgment on the basis of failure to exhaust administrative
remedies (Docs. 74 and 75). Plaintiff has also filed a
response (Doc. 91) to that motion. Plaintiff has recently
filed a motion to present relevant evidence which includes a
copy of his cumulative counseling summary (Doc. 113) which
the undersigned has granted (Doc. 115) and will consider
along with Plaintiff's other filings.
matter has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge
Stephen C. Williams by United States District Judge Michael
J. Reagan pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(B) and
(c), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), and Local Rule
72.1(a). The undersigned held a hearing on May 30, 2018.
Based on the following, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DENY
the summary judgment filed by Defendant Wexford and GRANT IN
PART AND DENY IN PART the motion for summary judgment filed
by Lisa Krebs, Lisa Prather, and Steve Meeks.
complaint, as narrowed by the Court's threshold order
(Doc. 8), alleges that Defendants have been deliberately
indifferent to his hand and wrist pain and to the results of
a blood test, indicating a low BUN/CREAT ratio. Plaintiff
alleges that he injured his hands and wrists when he fell on
June 27, 2016 (Doc. 8, p. 2). He was seen by Dr. Garcia on
July 27, 2016 (Id.). At that time, Plaintiff
complained of numbness, tingling, aching, and swelling in his
hands and wrists (Id.). Dr. Garcia diagnosed
Plaintiff with inflammation and prescribed Prednisone (a
steroid) and Robaxin (a muscle relaxer) (Id.).
Plaintiff had a follow-up with Garcia on October 26, 2016
where Plaintiff again complained of pain, and his
prescriptions were renewed (Id.). Plaintiff sought
an additional follow-up on November 2, 2016 as his
prescriptions were not renewed when they ran out, but he was
informed that he would have to pay a $5 co-pay for the visit
(Doc. 8, p. 2). Plaintiff refused the appointment.
November 10, 2016, Plaintiff began experiencing dizziness,
tingling, skin crawling, and headaches, as well as the pain
in his hands and wrists (Doc. 8, p. 2). He requested pain
medication, but the nurse on duty refused, instead placing
him on a list to see the doctor (Id.). Plaintiff was
seen by Dr. Santos on November 12, 2016 and was told his
symptoms might be a side effect of the prednisone or
allergies (Id.). Santos ordered a blood test but
refused any pain medication or an x-ray (Id.).
saw Santos again on November 17, 2016 to go over
Plaintiff's blood test (Doc. 8, p. 3). Plaintiff
indicated he was still experiencing problems with his hands
and asked for an x-ray (Id.). Santos denied
Plaintiff an x-ray. On November 25, 2016, Plaintiff indicated
that he began hearing crunching sounds in his hands and
experienced pain between his thumb and index finger, as well
as cramping while writing and brushing his teeth
(Id.). He also continued to experience back pain,
neck pain, and dizziness (Id.).
December 21, 2016, Plaintiff received his medical records and
noted that his BUN/CREAT ratio was out of range (Doc. 8, p.
3; Doc. 2, p. 8). Plaintiff believed that the ratio was
dangerously low because his godmother is a nurse and told his
mother as much (Id. at p. 3-4). Plaintiff inquired
of his ratio and requested a blood pressure check, but was
told in a response to his grievance that the ratio, although
“out of range”, was not at “panic
level” (Id. at p. 4; Doc. 1-1. P. 15).
December 22, 2016, Plaintiff was referred to the doctor for
continued pain in his arms and the crunching sound in his
wrists (Doc. 8, p. 4). Plaintiff was seen by Santos and at
that time Plaintiff complained about symptoms in his right
hand (Id.). Santos ordered an x-ray and Ibuprofen
(Id.). Plaintiff experienced dizziness and passed
out on January 15, 2017 (Id. at p. 5). Plaintiff
also indicated that he was experiencing frequent urination,
pain in his kidneys, and shaking (Id.). He saw
Santos, who informed Plaintiff that his right ear was full of
wax which had caused the fainting (Id.). Plaintiff
was provided with ear drops to remove the wax (Id.
at p. 5). Plaintiff experienced dizziness again on January
18, 2017 and asked to speak to the doctor (Id.).
Plaintiff had an ear flush on January 21, 2017, which removed
a ball of wax the size of a penny (Id.). He was seen
again on February 11, 2017, but the nurse could not release
any more wax in his right ear, and informed him that he also
had wax in his left ear that would need scraped out
(Id.). However, Santos later denied Plaintiff had
any wax in his left ear (Id.).
again saw Santos on February 6, 2017 for pain in his kidneys
(Doc. 8, p. 5). Santos told him all of his labs were normal
(Id.). He also informed Plaintiff that he thought he
was faking his pain because Santos pushed on his muscle and
not his kidney, when palpitating the area (Id.).
Plaintiff asked about his BUN/CREAT ratio and asked for an
MRI but Santos denied the MRI (Id. at p. 5-6).
Plaintiff again saw Santos on February 14, 2017, asking for a
CAT scan and an assessment of his BUN/CREAT ratio
(Id. at p. 6). Santos denied the CAT scan
complaint also alleges that Wexford Health Sources, Inc. has
multiple unconstitutional policies which violated his
constitutional rights. Those policies include: prescribing
over-the-counter painkillers only, requiring certain
conditions to reach a “panic” level prior to
providing preventative care, only providing ear drops for
dizziness and wax build-up, refusing to refer patients to an
outside specialist, and refusing to provide special diets
when blood results are out of range (Doc. 8, p. 7).
November 2, 2016 Grievance
submitted several grievances regarding his medical
conditions. His first grievance, dated November 2, 2016,
alleged that he believed that he suffers from rheumatoid
arthritis and that he was prescribed prednisone and Robaxin
(Doc. 64-1, p. 25). Plaintiff argued that he was only given a
prescription for six days when he suffers from a continuing
problem and needed more pills than what was prescribed. He
also took issue with the nurse charging him another co-pay
for his chronic condition (Id.). The grievance was
received by Plaintiff's counselor on November 7, 2016 and
the counselor responded on November 8, 2016, noting that per
the healthcare administrator, the doctor had not added
Plaintiff to the chronic clinic and he would be required to
pay a co-pay for requests to the healthcare unit
(Id.). Plaintiff submitted the grievance to the
grievance officer, who received the grievance on November 21,
2016. The grievance was denied on November 22, 2016 and the
chief administrative officer concurred on November 28, 2016
(Id. at p. 24). Plaintiff appealed the grievance to
the ARB where it was received on December 7, 2016 and denied
on April 13, 2017 (Doc. 64-1, p. 23).
November 17, 22, 28, and 29, 2016 Grievances
submitted grievances dated November 17, 2016, November 22,
2016, November 28, 2016, and November 29, 2016 to the ARB
with an affidavit that stated his grievances were not
properly responded to (Doc. 75-2, p. 12). The affidavit
indicated that he received only copies back of the grievances
and that the grievances were viewed in their totality rather
than individually (Id.). The affidavit also stated
that the healthcare administrator, Lisa Krebs, failed to make
a new statement as the statement in response to the grievance
was the same as the response to another grievance. All four
grievances were received by the ARB on January 23, 2017 (Doc.
64-1, p. 12).
November 17, 2016 grievance grieves his blood work and hands.
His grievance stated that he received blood work on November
16, 2016 and that he then saw Dr. Garcia for the results on
November 17, 2016 (Doc. 64-1, p. 15). The grievance stated
that Garcia told him the results were fine but that Plaintiff
told him he was still having problems with numbness,
tingling, and swelling in his hands at night (Id.).
Garcia told him there was nothing wrong with him
(Id. at p. 16). He asked for an x-ray for his hands
but Garcia told him that he did not want to expose Plaintiff
to radiation (Id.). Plaintiff noted that Dr. Garcia
had Dr. Santos' name tag on at the time of his visit
(Id.). Plaintiff stated that Garcia yelled at him
and failed to treat him with consideration and dignity
(Id.). He also stated that Garcia told him the
medication Dr. Santos prescribed had side-effects which could
cause more inflammation but Garcia failed to treat the issue
(Id.). The counselor responded to the grievance on
December 15, 2016 indicating that Plaintiff was evaluated and
treated by Dr. Garcia and Dr. Santos and neither deemed
further testing necessary (Id. at p. 15).
grievance in the packet sent to the ARB is dated November 22,
2016 (Doc. 64-1, p. 17). This grievance indicated that he
received the same medication twice to treat his arthritis and
that the medicine actually made his arthritis worse
(Id.). Plaintiff's grievance also indicated that
the warden did not inform the healthcare administrator of
Plaintiff's issues when the warden was in the position to
do so. He also stated that the doctors, healthcare
administrator, and the warden were allowing him to suffer
from chronic pain and doing nothing to alleviate his problems
(Id. at p. 18). The grievance was received by the
counselor on December 8, 2016, who noted that no further
requests from Plaintiff were submitted to the healthcare unit
and Plaintiff had already been evaluated and treated by Dr.
Garcia and Dr. Santos (Id. at p. 17).
November 28, 2016 grievance indicated that Plaintiff was
still in pain and that neither Dr. Santos, Dr. Garcia, or the
nurses did anything to care for Plaintiff. He complained that
the medication Dr. Santos prescribed caused him more
inflammation and Dr. Garcia informed Plaintiff that the
medication had such a side-effect (Doc. 64-1, p. 19). Dr.
Garcia admitted that Dr. Santos gave Plaintiff an
“adverse medication” but failed to treat
Plaintiff and refused Plaintiff an x-ray (Id. at p.
20). Plaintiff alleged that he kept paying the healthcare
unit just to tell him there was nothing wrong with him, when
he believes that he has ...