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Donald v. Varga

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division

June 19, 2019

Maurice Donald #N-70687, Plaintiff,
v.
John Varga, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Philip G. Reinhard United States District Court Judge

         For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion for summary judgment [32] is granted. Plaintiff's motion for extension of time to respond to defendant's reply [41] is denied because Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 does not provide for a response to the reply. Plaintiff's motion for attorney representation [42] is denied. This case is terminated.

         STATEMENT-OPINION

         Plaintiff Maurice Donald, presently in state custody at Dixon Correctional Center, brought this action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges that defendant nurse Kristina Mershon provided him with inadequate medical care in violation of his constitutional rights.[1]Before the court is defendant's motion for summary judgment [32].

         Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, defendant served him with a “Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment” as required by Local Rule 56.2. [37]. This notice explained how to respond to defendant's summary judgment motion and Rule 56.1 statement and cautioned plaintiff that the court would deem defendant's factual contentions admitted if he failed to follow the procedures delineated in Local Rule 56.1.

         Plaintiff failed to respond to defendant's undisputed facts. Instead, plaintiff submitted an answer to defendant's motion for summary judgment. [38]. Plaintiff's answer generally disputes defendants' version of events but does not directly respond to the statements of fact with citations to the record. The court thus considers defendant's properly supported statements of fact to which plaintiff did not properly respond, admitted. The court considers plaintiff's answer to defendant's motion but not any contested facts included therein.

         FACTS

         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections at Dixon Correctional Center in Dixon, Illinois. (Def. St. of Facts, Dkt. 34, ¶ 1.) Defendant is a nurse practitioner employed by Wexford Health Sources, Inc. at Dixon. (Id. at ¶ 2.) She is licensed by the state of Illinois as a board-certified family nurse practitioner and was licensed while treating plaintiff. (Id.)

         On May 1, 2017, plaintiff was housed in building 26, cell 46. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Sometime around noon, plaintiff was climbing down from the top bunk when his left foot went downwards onto an exposed screw. (Id. at ¶¶3-4.) Plaintiff pulled his left foot off the screw, asked his cellmate to call correctional staff as he noticed that his foot was bleeding, and an officer came to plaintiff's cell to take plaintiff to the health care unit. (Id. at ¶ 4.) At the health care unit plaintiff saw a registered nurse (not defendant) who completed an offender injury report. (Id. at ¶ 5.)

         The nurse took plaintiff's vital signs and noted that he had an approximately 1-inch wide puncture wound to the bottom of his left foot with minimal bleeding and noted that the puncture wound was not deep. (Id. at ¶ 6.) According to the injury report, the nurse cleansed the wound, planned for an x-ray of his foot, and referred plaintiff to defendant for further treatment. (Id.)

         Later on May 1, 2017, defendant Mershon examined plaintiff's left foot and noted the presence of a puncture wound, and an x-ray of plaintiff's left foot indicated there was no foreign object still in plaintiff's foot. (Id. at ¶ 7.) Defendant Mershon prescribed plaintiff a two week “lay-in” so he would not have to go to the yard or work. (Id. at ¶ 8.) Defendant Mershon also gave plaintiff a permit so that he could wear shower shoes for two weeks to help keep pressure off his foot while it was healing. (Id.) Defendant Mershon also gave plaintiff a two-week low bunk permit so he would not have to climb to a top bunk while his foot healed. (Id. at ¶ 9.) She also ordered daily dressing changes for plaintiff's left foot and instructed the nursing staff to use bulky dressings, and to avoid using adhesive dressings. (Id.) Defendant also scheduled plaintiff for a return visit in two weeks. (Id.) Plaintiff also received a three-day supply of Levaquin 500mg, as a prophylactic antibiotic. (Id.)

         Defendant did not believe that crutches were medically necessary for plaintiff at the time. (Id. at ¶ 10.) He was walking under his own power and reported no difficulties. (Id.) However, when plaintiff returned on May 2, 2017, complaining of pain, she provided him with crutches. (Id. at ¶ 12.) On May 1, 2017, defendant Mershon also did not believe that prescription pain medication was necessary, and plaintiff did not request any. (Id. at ¶ 11.)

         Plaintiff underwent dressing changes every day for a month. (Id. at ¶13.) During his daily dressing changes, the nursing staff would look at plaintiff's foot to see if it was bleeding, or if there was any pus, and would spray his foot with a wound cleaner and tape it back up. (Id.)

         On May 6, 2017, plaintiff returned to the health care unit and saw a registered nurse for a complaint of pain in his left foot and a request for pain medication. (Id. at ¶ 15.) The nurse's note indicates that on that date plaintiff's puncture wound was healing with scant drainage. (Id.) The nurse also noted that he was using a set of crutches to ambulate and noted that she planned to continue plaintiff's dressing changes and provided him with Tylenol for his pain. (Id.)

         On May 8, 2017, plaintiff returned to the health care unit and saw a nurse for a complaint of on-going pain in the bottom of his left foot. (Id. at ¶ 16.) According to the May 8, 2017, note, the bottom of plaintiff's left foot showed no redness, no swelling, and no drainage. (Id.) The note indicates that plaintiff was using crutches and that plaintiff was provided with a prescription for Ibuprofen 200mg 1-2 tabs, three times per day as needed, for three days to address his complaints of foot pain. (Id.)

         On May 12, 2017, plaintiff returned to the health care unit and saw a nurse for a complaint of on-going pain in the bottom of his left foot. According to the medical notes, the puncture wound to the bottom of plaintiff's left foot was scabbed over without drainage or odor. (Id. at ¶ 17.) Plaintiff returned to the health care unit again on May 13, 2017 and saw a nurse for further treatment of his puncture wound. (Id. at ¶ 18.) The nurse noted that plaintiff's puncture wound was scabbed, healing well, had scant drainage, and showed no signs or symptoms of infection. (Id.) Plaintiff was instructed to avoid putting increased pressure on the site of the puncture. (Id.) On May 14, 2017, plaintiff again saw a nurse for further treatment of his puncture wound. (Id. at ¶ 19.) At that time, the nurse noted that plaintiff's wound was dry and healing well, and no drainage was noted, and plaintiff continued to use crutches to walk. (Id.)

         On May 15, 2017, defendant saw plaintiff for a follow-up appointment regarding the puncture wound to the bottom of his left foot and plaintiff reported that the puncture wound in his foot was improving. (Id. at ¶ 20.) He also reported some continued pain while walking. (Id.) Defendant Mershon examined plaintiff's left foot and noted that the puncture wound was healing well with no surrounding erythema (redness) or open areas. (Id. ¶ 21.) She noted that the puncture wound had a scab over it, that plaintiff had full range of motion in his left foot and ankle, and that his circulatory, motor, and sensory functions (“CMS”) in ...


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