United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
CHARLES W. CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
GHALIAH OBAISI, the Independent Executor of the Estate of Saleh Obaisi,  and WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCE, INC., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L.ELLIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Charles W. Campbell, an inmate at Stateville Correctional
Center (“Stateville”), suffers from lower back
pain. He filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit against
Defendants Dr. Saleh Obaisi, now deceased, and Wexford Health
Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”), alleging that Dr.
Obaisi and Wexford exhibited deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Defendants seek summary judgment on Campbell's claims.
Because Campbell cannot establish that Dr. Obaisi acted with
deliberate indifference to his lower back condition, the
Court grants summary judgment for the executor of Dr.
Obaisi's estate. Similarly, because Campbell has not
established a question of fact as to whether Wexford's
alleged practice of scheduling outside referrals based on the
urgency of the inmate's medical condition caused him
harm, the Court grants summary judgment for Wexford.
is a sixty-three year old inmate housed at Stateville. Dr.
Obaisi, now deceased, served as the medical director at
Stateville during the relevant time period. Wexford, a
private corporation that has contracted with the Illinois
Department of Corrections to provide medical services to
inmates at Stateville, was his employer.
October 1, 2013, during a medical evaluation with Dr. Obaisi,
Campbell complained of lower back pain. Dr. Obaisi prescribed
Campbell Mobic 7.5 mg and Protonix 40 mg, both to be taken
twice a day for two months. During a follow-up visit on
February 20, 2014, Dr. Obaisi diagnosed Campbell with chronic
low back pain radiating to his right leg. Dr. Obaisi ordered
an x-ray of the lumbar spine and gave Campbell a Depo-Medrol
80 mg injection. Campbell had the x-ray on February 27, 2014,
which revealed degeneration of the L4-L5 disc. At a follow-up
appointment on April 17, 2014, Dr. Obaisi prescribed two
tablets of Tylenol #3 with codeine to be taken twice a day
for thirty days. Campbell did not show up for his next
appointment with Dr. Obaisi on April 28, but Dr. Obaisi did
submit a request that day to send Campbell to UIC for an
orthopedic evaluation. Wexford approved that request. On May
12, Dr. Obaisi prescribed Campbell Mobic 7.5 mg to be taken
twice a day for ninety days and two tablets of Tylenol #3
with codeine to be taken twice a day for sixty days. Dr.
Obaisi also told Campbell that Wexford approved him for an
orthopedic evaluation at UIC.
again saw Dr. Obaisi on July 15, complaining of pain in his
right lumbar area. Dr. Obaisi gave Campbell a Depo-Medrol 80
mg injection and prescribed Mobic 7.5 mg and two tablets of
Tylenol #3 with codeine, both to be taken to be taken twice a
day for ninety days. Dr. Obaisi noted in Campbell's
medical records that Campbell was still waiting for his
orthopedic consultation. Several months later, on November
11, Campbell again saw Dr. Obaisi with complaints of lower
back pain. Dr. Obaisi prescribed Campbell Naproxen 500 mg, a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, to take twice a day for
four months, and scheduled him for a steroid injection.
Because Campbell still had not been called by UIC for his
orthopedic consultation, Dr. Obaisi submitted a second
request, noting that Campbell had already received approval
in April 2014. Wexford again approved the request on November
18. That same day, Campbell received the ordered steroid
injection of Depo-Medrol 80 mg, at which time Dr. Obaisi also
again prescribed Tylenol #3 with codeine for fourteen days.
February 3, 2015, Campbell saw Dr. Obaisi and complained of
pain in his right lower back and hip. Dr. Obaisi prescribed
Robaxin 500 mg to be taken twice a day for thirty days. Dr.
Obaisi also told Campbell that his orthopedic evaluation at
UIC had finally been scheduled. On March 13, Campbell was
sent to UIC for that evaluation with Dr. Anis Mekhail, who
recommended that Campbell obtain an MRI of his lumbar spine.
Obaisi testified that UIC handled the scheduling of outside
referrals and so the delay in sending Campbell to UIC for his
orthopedic evaluation was attributable to UIC's
scheduling department. Dr. Obaisi's understanding was
that UIC triages requests for appointments based on their
urgency. Although he acknowledged that he sometimes would
have his secretary contact a liaison at UIC, Barbara Johnson,
concerning scheduling delays, and thought he may have called
UIC about Campbell's initial appointment, he did not have
any documentation to support such calls in this case. Dr.
Obaisi testified that, of all referrals he made to UIC, the
most common were those to the orthopedic department.
on Dr. Mekhail's recommendation, on March 16, Dr. Obaisi
submitted a request to have Campbell sent to UIC for an MRI
and follow-up, which Wexford approved on March 19.
saw Dr. Obaisi on March 23, and he had an MRI of his lumbar
spine at UIC on May 12. On May 18, Campbell saw Dr. Obaisi
again, who issued him a permit to use a crutch for ninety
days. Several days later, on May 22, Campbell returned to UIC
for an orthopedic evaluation with Dr. Gary Edwards.
Campbell's MRI showed a central L4-L5 disk herniation and
L3-L4 severe right-sided neural foraminal stenosis with
multilevel degenerative changes. Dr. Edwards recommended
physical therapy for six to eight weeks and a follow-up
appointment in two months to evaluate Campbell's
progress. Dr. Obaisi sought approval for the orthopedic
follow-up on June 1. And Campbell attended approximately ten
physical therapy appointments between June 9 and July 27.
7, Dr. Obaisi gave Campbell a Toradol 60 mg injection for his
complaints of significant back pain. Campbell testified that
the Toradol shots helped alleviate his back pain. But
Campbell again complained of back pain to Dr. Obaisi on
August 18, at which time Dr. Obaisi prescribed Mobic 7.5 mg
and two tablets of Tylenol #3 with codeine for ninety days.
On September 21, Dr. Obaisi resubmitted his request to have
Campbell seen for a follow-up orthopedic consultation at UIC,
which Wexford approved on October 5. On December 1, Campbell
again presented to Dr. Obaisi with complaints of back pain.
Dr. Obaisi continued the Tylenol #3 with codeine and Mobic
prescriptions for another ninety days and also gave Campbell
a Toradol 60 mg injection.
13, 2016, Campbell finally returned to UIC for an orthopedic
follow-up with Dr. Mekhail, who recommended that Campbell be
sent to a pain clinic for a possible epidural steroid
injection. Dr. Mekhail also recommended a neurology
consultation for possible neuropathy. Dr. Obaisi submitted
requests on May 17 to send Campbell to UIC for both pain
clinic and neurology consultations. Wexford approved both
requests on May 26. Meanwhile, on May 19, Dr. Obaisi
prescribed more pain medicine for Campbell, continuing his
prescription of Tylenol #3 with codeine for another six
September 7, Campbell went to UIC for a pain clinic
evaluation with Dr. Khalid Malik, who recommended giving
Campbell a lumbar epidural steroid injection, which he
provided that day, and increasing Campbell's prescription
of gabapentin to 300 mg three times a day. On September 13,
Dr. Obaisi submitted a request to send Campbell back to UIC
for a pain clinic follow-up, which Wexford approved on
September 21. On November 16, Dr. Obaisi again refilled
Campbell's Tylenol #3 with codeine prescription for
another three months.
December 8, Campbell had his neurology consultation at UIC
with Dr. Neelofer Shafi, who diagnosed Campbell with
neuropathy. Dr. Shafi provided a prescription for an
additional crutch and suggested physical therapy for a gait
assessment. On December 13, Dr. Obaisi issued Campbell a
four-month medical permit for two crutches. Campbell
testified that he had requested a second crutch for almost a
year, but Dr. Obaisi did not recall ever receiving such a