United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHNSON COLEMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Johnson brings this claim against Nurse Eboni Parker, Nurse
Wade, Nurse Beecher, Correctional Officer Maurice Gee, Tarry
Williams, and Nurse Amy Rue alleging deliberate indifference
to his medical needs in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Currently before the Court is Nurse Parker's  and
Nurse Rue's  motions for summary judgment. For the
reasons explained below, the Court grants the motions of both
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted. Terry
Johnson is an inmate in the Illinois Department of
Corrections and was housed at Stateville Correctional Center
from May 2014 until March 2015. Nurse Parker and Nurse Rue
(“defendants”) worked as nurses at Stateville and
were responsible for administering medication to inmates in
their cells. During his initial intake evaluation, Johnson
informed Nurse Athena Smith that he had asthma. Generally,
unless there was a medical emergency, an inmate must complete
an “Offender Request Slip” in order to see a
physician. A correctional officer would pick up the Offender
Request Slips weekly when they retrieved the inmates'
alleges to have suffered five asthma attacks from May 2014
through December 2014. During times when Nurse Parker or
Nurse Rue would administer medication to Johnson's
cellmate, Johnson informed the defendants that he was having
asthma attacks and needed an inhaler. Without an inhaler,
Johnson would raise his hands above his head to help with the
asthma attacks. Johnson alleges that when he informed the
defendants of his medical need, they told him to fill out an
Offender Request Slip, but also wrote Johnson's name down
and told him they would put his information on a list to see
a physician. Johnson alleges that he completed 12 separate
Offender Request Slips. Johnson was transferred to another
facility in March 2015 where he was given an inhaler. On
January 5, 2015, Johnson filed a complaint alleging
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs alleging
that the defendants denied him an inhaler.
judgment is appropriate “if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91
L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).
The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating
that there is no genuine issue of material fact, and if done,
judgment as a matter of law should be granted in its favor.
Vision Church v. Vill. of Long Grove, 468 F.3d 975,
988 (7th Cir. 2006). All evidence and inferences must be
viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255,
106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).
“unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain” as
proscribed by the Eighth Amendment protects prisoners against
the deliberate indifference to their serious medical needs.
Zaya v. Sood, 836 F.3d 800, 804 (7th Cir. 2016)
(citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104, 97
S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976)). To establish a section
1983 claim for deliberate indifference, a plaintiff must
demonstrate: (1) an objectively serious medical condition and
(2) that an official was deliberately, subjectively,
indifferent to that condition. Id. (citing
Duckworth v Ahmad, 532 F.3d 675, 679 (7th Cir.
2008)). Negligence or even gross negligence on the part of an
official does not constitute deliberate indifference. See
Borello v. Allison, 446 F.3d 742, 749 (7th Cir. 2006).
Rather, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant acted
with intent equivalent to criminal recklessness. Id.
deliberate indifference claim can be supported by a delay in
medical care for a serious medical condition. See
Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 779 (7th Cir. 2008)
(internal citation omitted). However, to survive summary
judgment, the plaintiff must put forth “verifying
medical evidence” that shows the delay in medical care
had a detrimental effect. Id. (internal citation
Court notes, and the parties do not dispute, that asthma can
constitute an objectively serious medical condition
“depending on the severity of the attacks.”
See Daniels v. Harper, 640 Fed.Appx. 519, 521 (7th
Cir. 2016) (internal citation omitted). What defendants
argue, however, is that Johnson fails to put forth evidence
that either Nurse Parker or Nurse Rue “actually
knew” that Johnson needed medical treatment for a
serious medical need and deliberately withheld it.
evidence of deliberate indifference Johnson posits
essentially comes in three forms. First, Johnson points to
his testimony stating that he told all the nurses that would
administer medicine to his cellmate, including Nurse Parker
and Nurse Rue, that he suffered from asthma attacks and
needed an inhaler. Second, Johnson argues that he completed
12 Offender Request Slips between May 2014 and August 2015
about his need for an inhaler. Third, Johnson points to
Officer Maurice Gee, who testified that Johnson informed him
that he had asthma and needed an inhaler, thus making medical
needs generally known. Dkt. 151-13 at 31-32.
after construing the evidence in a light most favorable to
Johnson, the Court finds that there are no material facts at
issue as to whether Nurse Rue or Nurse Parker showed
deliberate indifference to Johnson's serious medical
need. Johnson does not allege that Nurse Parker nor Nurse Rue
ever treated or examined him. Further, it is undisputed that
neither Nurse Parker nor Nurse Rue ever witnessed Johnson
having an asthma attack. Johnson is correct in arguing that
each state actor must reasonably respond to his medical
complaint. However, neither Nurse Rue nor Nurse Parker ever
examined Johnson. Without examining Johnson or ever
witnessing him have an asthma attack, there is simply no
evidentiary support that Nurse Rue or Nurse Parker knew that
Johnson had a serious medical condition that needed immediate
attention and deliberately ...