United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Edmond E. Chang United States District Judge.
Deandre Crawford is a prisoner at Stateville Correctional
Center. Since 2013, Crawford has suffered from severe
abdominal and testicular pain, and he alleges that he has not
received adequate medical treatment for those
conditions. R. 38, Am. Compl. Crawford contends that one
of his treating physicians, Dr. Davis, is liable for her
failure to treat him, and that Wexford Health Sources, which
provides medical care for Stateville, is liable because its
practices caused lengthy delays in his treatment.
Id. ¶¶ 26-44. After a long and contentious
discovery period, Davis and Wexford moved for summary
judgment. R. 150, Mot. Summ. J. For the reasons explained
below, summary judgment is denied on the claim against Davis,
and denied in part on the claim against Wexford.
deciding Crawford's motion for summary judgment, the
Court views the evidence in the light most favorable to
Crawford, because he is the non-moving party. Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
587 (1986). Crawford is imprisoned in Stateville Correctional
Center. DSOF ¶ 1. The process of obtaining medical care at
Stateville is known as “sick call.” Id.
¶ 8. Inmates request medical treatment by filling out a
sick-call request form and placing the form in the bars of
their cells to be picked up. Id. Until December
2013, sick-call requests were screened by certified medical
technicians (called CMTs). Pl. Resp. DSOF ¶ 11. The CMT
could then refer the inmate to “MD sick call.”
Id. Despite the name, “MD sick call”
actually refers to medical care provided not only by
physicians, but also mid-level providers (such as
physician's assistants and nurse practitioners). DSOF
Exh. E, Funk Dep. 48:4-19; DSOF ¶ 10. Starting around
December 2013, inmates would first see a nurse as part of
“nurse sick call” and then be referred by the
nurse to MD sick call. Pl. Resp. DSOF ¶ 11.
addition to regular MD sick call, Stateville physicians saw
patients with certain chronic conditions-hypertension,
diabetes, asthma, and seizures-at daily “chronic care
clinics.” DSOF Exh. C, Davis Dep. 21:8-11, 26:19-27:11.
Inmates sometimes complained about other conditions at the
chronic care clinics, but they were discouraged from doing
so. Id. 28:21-29:12, 128:1-23. Inmates who raised
non-emergency concerns during a chronic care clinic were told
to use the ordinary sick-call procedure to seek treatment.
March 2013-June 2013
March 30, 2013, a CMT received a note from Crawford stating
that Crawford was experiencing testicular and abdominal pain
and requesting to be placed on sick call for evaluation. DSOF
¶ 26. Crawford's medical records state that he was
referred to MD sick call for evaluation and treatment.
Id. But Crawford was not promptly seen at sick call;
instead, it took about three months (until late June 2013)
for Crawford to get treatment. See id. ¶ 37.
The parties dispute the reasons for the delay. See
Pl. Resp. DSOF ¶¶ 27-30. The Defendants point out
that Crawford missed several other medical and mental health
appointments during the time gap. R. 151, Def. Mem. at 1;
DSOF ¶¶ 27-30. But Crawford responds that there is
no evidence about why he missed these other appointments, and
avers that he would not have refused to go to sick call.
See Pl. Resp. DSOF ¶¶27-31.; see
also PSOF Tab 1, Crawford Aff. ¶ 2.
several missed appointments, Crawford presented to Dr. Davis
at the chronic care clinics for hypertension and seizure on
May 14, 2013. DSOF ¶ 31. Crawford says that he
complained to Davis about his abdominal and testicular pain
at this appointment. PSOF ¶ 65, Pl. Resp. DSOF ¶
31. Davis, however, did not note any complaints about
abdominal or testicular pain in Crawford's medical
records, and did not provide any treatment for those
conditions. DSOF ¶ 31, DSOF Exh. F at 24-28 (sealed).
finally got treatment for his abdominal and testicular pain
in late June 2013, when he saw physician's assistant La
Tanya Williams. DSOF ¶ 37. At this appointment, Williams
diagnosed Crawford with an enlarged prostate, ordered various
tests, and prescribed Hytrin, a drug often used to treat the
symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Id; Pl. Resp. DSOF
¶ 37. Williams followed up with Crawford around six
weeks later. DSOF ¶ 39, DSOF Exh. F at 34 (sealed). She
noted that Crawford's symptoms were only slightly
improved and increased his Hytrin dose. Id.
August 2013-May 2014
August 17, 2013, Crawford saw Davis at the seizure chronic
clinic. Once again, Crawford asserts that he complained of
testicular and abdominal pain to Davis, but Davis did not
record those complaints. DSOF ¶ 41; PSOF ¶ 65.
There is no record of Davis providing treatment to Crawford
for abdominal or testicular pain during this encounter. DSOF
Exh. F at 37-38 (sealed).
late August to sometime in September 2013, Stateville entered
an extended lockdown. PSOF ¶ 66. During the lockdown, sick
call was suspended. Id. Eventually, Wexford began
sending nurses to see patients in the cell houses, but MD
sick call did not take place. Def. Resp. PSOF ¶ 66; DSOF
Exh. C, Davis Dep. 165:11-22. Around this time, Crawford
began to complain frequently of testicular and abdominal
pain. Specifically, between September 17, 2013 and January 5,
2014, Crawford submitted 14 sick-call requests about the
pain. PSOF ¶ 68; PSOF Tab 2.Despite his many requests,
Crawford was not seen in connection with his testicular and
abdominal pain until January 13, 2014-almost three months
after the September 17 sick-call request. DSOF ¶ 43. The
January 13 appointment was with a nurse or CMT, not a
physician or physician's assistant. DSOF Exh. F at 43
(sealed). At this appointment, Crawford reported pain that
rated “10/10” on the pain scale, and also
reported that it “[f]eels like someone is squeezing
it.” Id. Under the “plans” section
of the pertinent medical record, the staff member wrote
“MD PA referral, ” but Crawford did not see a
doctor or physician's assistant for several weeks after
that. See id.; DSOF ¶¶ 43-46.
when Crawford did see a physician, he did not get treatment
for the abdominal and testicular pain. On January 24, 2014,
Crawford saw Davis at the seizure and hypertension clinics.
DSOF ¶ 46. Crawford complained to Davis about the pain,
but Davis did not record these complaints or provide any
treatment. PSOF ¶ 65; DSOF ¶ 46; DSOF Exh. F at
46-49 (sealed); PSOF Tab 3, 1/26/14 Grievance. Two days
later, Crawford filed a grievance complaining about the
continuing lack of treatment for the abdominal and testicular
pain and stating that Davis had refused to acknowledge the
issue. PSOF Tab 3, 1/26/14 Grievance.
his requests for help, Crawford still did not receive
treatment for his pain. He continued to complain about the
ongoing abdominal and scrotal pain at nurse sick call over
the next five months, see DSOF ¶ 48, 51; PSOF
¶ 71, but apparently got no help for the conditions. At
one of these appointments, Crawford reported “grabbing,
squeezing pain [through] my whole body.” DSOF Exh. F at
55 (sealed); PSOF ¶ 70. The nurse noted that Crawford
should follow up at urgent care “as scheduled, ”
but there is no evidence that he was seen at urgent care.
PSOF ¶ 70. The Defendants point out that Crawford missed
several medical appointments during this time period, but
again, it is not clear why. See Pl. Resp. DSOF
¶ 50, 52, 55, 57.
last, on May 13, 2014, Crawford saw physician's assistant
Williams for his scrotal pain. DSOF ¶ 58. Williams
diagnosed Crawford with epididymitis, which is an
inflammation of the coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of
the testicle. PSOF ¶ 72. Williams prescribed Cipro, an
antibiotic. Id. When Crawford followed up with
Williams in June 2014, he reported that the pain had
improved. Id. ¶ 73. Williams continued Cipro
and prescribed Naproxen. DSOF ¶ 59. Williams ordered a
follow-up in six weeks. Pl. Resp. DSOF ¶ 59.
June 2014-January 2015
2014, Crawford saw a Wexford physician's assistant and
reported abdominal pain that radiated to his rectum. PSOF
¶ 74. Noting Crawford's “longstanding
abdominal pain, ” the physician's assistant
referred Crawford to Stateville's medical director for
evaluation. Id. The notation “8/19/14”
was made in Crawford's medical records next to the
referral plan. Id. Crawford saw Stateville's
then-medical director, Dr. Obaisi, on August 19, 2014.
Id. ¶ 75. There is no evidence that Obaisi
treated Crawford for abdominal or testicular pain during this
appointment, but also no evidence that Crawford complained to
Obaisi of abdominal or testicular pain. Id.;
see DSOF Exh. F at 84 (sealed).
not appear that Crawford complained of abdominal or
testicular pain for the next several months (though he was
seen by multiple providers, including physicians, for other
issues during that time). See DSOF Exh. F at 85-95.
Then, on January 10, 2015, Crawford presented at nurse sick
call with abdominal pain that radiated to his testicles and
rectum. PSOF ¶ 76. The nurse noted that an appointment
with a physician was already scheduled for January 28, 2015.
Id. Sure enough, on January 28, Crawford was seen by
Obaisi for his abdominal pain. Id. ¶ 77. Obaisi
diagnosed Crawford with prostatitis, and prescribed Bactrim,
an antibiotic. Id., DSOF Exh. F at 97 (sealed).
After that, Crawford did not complain of abdominal pain for
about a year. See PSOF ¶ 78.
judgment must be granted “if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine issue of material fact exists
if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In
evaluating summary judgment motions, courts must view the
facts and draw reasonable inferences in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Scott v. Harris,
550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007). The Court may not weigh conflicting
evidence or make credibility determinations, Omnicare,
Inc. v. UnitedHealth Grp., Inc., 629 F.3d 697, 704 (7th
Cir. 2011), and must consider only evidence that can
“be presented in a form that would be admissible in
evidence.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2). The party seeking
summary judgment has the initial burden of showing that there
is no genuine dispute and that they are entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. Carmichael v. Village of
Palatine, 605 F.3d 451, 460 (7th Cir. 2010); see
also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986);
Wheeler v. Lawson, 539 F.3d 629, 634 (7th Cir.
2008). If this burden is met, the adverse party must then
“set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S.
Eighth Amendment requires prisons to provide humane
conditions of confinement, including adequate medical care.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994).
Deliberate indifference to a prisoner's serious medical
needs violates the Eighth Amendment (which is incorporated
against state officials through the Fourteenth
Amendment's due process clause). Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-06 (1976). To determine whether
the Eighth Amendment has been violated, the Court asks
whether the plaintiff suffered from an objectively serious