United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
A. Beatty United States Magistrate Judge.
matter has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge
Mark A. Beatty by United States District Judge Nancy J.
Rosenstengel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B),
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), and SDIL-LR 72.1(a)
for a Report and Recommendation on the Defendant
Stelfox's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 362). It is
recommended that the District Court adopt the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law, and the motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 362) be DENIED.
Findings of Fact
David Bentz, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center, filed
this action alleging that medical personnel at Stateville,
Pontiac, and Menard Correctional Centers were deliberately
indifferent to his serious dental condition. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges he was denied medical care for an abscessed
tooth from approximately October 2010 to June 2013. Plaintiff
filed this action on June 17, 2013.
following claims remain before the Court (Doc. 281):
1. Bentz's claim that Dr. Ghosh was deliberately
indifferent to a serious medical need because he ignored
Plaintiff's need for immediate pain relief during his
October 28, 2010 appointment;
2. Bentz's claim that Robert Stelfox, D.D.S. was
deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's complaints of
pain and a tooth abscess;
3. Bentz's Eighth Amendment claims against officers
Sadler and Lair for recklessly disregarding a substantial
risk of serious pain to an inmate when they ignored
Bentz's complaints about an abscessed tooth; and
4. Bentz's Illinois state-law negligence claims against
officers Sadler and Lair regarding his complaints of tooth
January 16, 2019, Stelfox filed a motion for summary judgment
(Doc. 362) arguing he is entitled to judgment because he was
not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious
medical needs. After the Court granted Plaintiff several
extensions to respond to Stelfox's motion for summary,
Plaintiff filed a response on May 9, 2019.
in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the evidence and
the reasonable inferences that can be drawn from it establish
the following relevant facts for purposes of the instant
summary judgment motion.
to Bentz's testimony, in December 2009, an intake dentist
at Graham Correctional Center told Bentz he needed three
teeth “fixed.” (Doc. 197-3, p. 7). The dental
record accompanying this visit, however, only indicates that
he needed a “routine exam.” (Doc. 299-1, p. 1).
Shortly thereafter, Bentz was transferred to Stateville,
where he asserts he asked Defendant Dr. Ghosh for pain
medication and a dental referral (Doc. 197-3, p. 7). Dr.
Ghosh denied Bentz pain medication but referred him to a
dentist (Id.). On November 5, 2010, a dentist took
x-rays of Bentz's teeth and indicated he would be
scheduled to receive fillings (Id., p. 8). Bentz was
not given any medication for his chronic pain (Id.).
He was scheduled for a referral exam on March 31, 2011, which
was later rescheduled to May 6, 2011, then to August 17, 2011
(Id., pp. 11-12). Prior to his August 2011
appointment, however, Bentz was transferred to Pontiac
Correctional Center (“Pontiac”) (Doc. 1, p. 6).
When Bentz saw the Medical Director at Pontiac in August 2011
for another medical issue, the Medical Director refused to do
anything for Bentz's tooth pain or to put him in to see
dental (Id., p. 6). Bentz alleges he never saw a
dentist while at Pontiac before he was transferred to Menard
in November 2011 (Id.).
arriving at Menard, Bentz told the intake nurse that he had
dental issues but was simply told to put in a request slip
for dental (Id., p. 7). Bentz claims he did not see
a dentist until May 22, 2013, when he had his biannual exam
(Id.). He claims he told Stelfox he had an abscessed
tooth causing swelling down to his neck, but Stelfox informed
him he only needed a cleaning and there was nothing wrong
with his teeth (Id.). Bentz alleged in his complaint
that he was told he would have to wait until he was released
to get his teeth fixed, but Bentz is serving a life sentence,
making him ineligible for release (Id.).