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Michaels v. Ludford

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

July 30, 2019

Carl Michaels, Plaintiff,
v.
Dr. David Ludford, et al ., Defendants.

          ORDER

          PHILIP G. REINHARD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         For the reasons set forth below, the motion for partial summary judgment filed by defendants Ludford, Chamberlain, and Wexford Health Sources, Inc. [50], is granted. Defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc.'s motion to stay pleadings and set a Pavey hearing [29] is denied as moot. This case is terminated.

         STATEMENT-OPINION

         Plaintiff Carl Michaels, formerly an inmate at Dixon Correctional Center and currently on parole, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of his Eighth Amendment rights and alleged violations of state law. Plaintiff alleges that defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in relation to treatment for glaucoma and macular degeneration. Defendants Dr. David Ludford, Dr. Tim Chamberlain, and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., filed a motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiff's alleged failure to exhaust his administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act on December 6, 2018 [50].[1]Plaintiff filed a response to the motion on February 13, 2019 [63], and defendants filed a reply to the response on March 13, 2019 [67]. The matter is now ready for the court's review.

         FACTS

         The following facts are taken from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 statements of facts.

         Plaintiff, currently on parole, was an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections at Dixon Correctional Center (“Dixon”) in Dixon, Illinois. Defendant Ludford is an optometrist employed by Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”) and formerly worked at Dixon. Defendant Chamberlain is a physician who was formerly employed by Wexford as medical director at Dixon. Defendant Wexford provides medical services to inmates at various prisons in Illinois, including Dixon.

         Grievance #1

          On or about June 19, 2017, plaintiff filed a grievance (“Grievance #1”) complaining about treatment for his glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Grievance #1 referenced an approval for surgery to address these conditions dating back to 2009. Despite plaintiff's request for emergency review of Grievance #1, on June 28, 2017, it was deemed to not be an emergency and plaintiff was instructed to follow the normal course of pursuing a grievance. Plaintiff sent Grievance #1 directly to the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”). On July 26, 2017, the ARB received Grievance #1. On July 31, 2017, Sherry Benton (“Benton”)[2] returned Grievance #1 to plaintiff requesting he provide (1) his original written Offender's Grievance, DOC 0046, including the counselor's response, (2) a copy of the Response to Offender's Grievance, DOC 0047, including the Grievance Officer's and Chief Administrative Officer's response, if timely, and (3) the dates of when the incidents at issue in the grievance occurred, noting they needed to be within 60 days of the date on the grievance. Benton further stated that plaintiff was required to provide this additional information within the timeframes set forth in the Illinois Administrative Code. Grievance #1 did not contain any dates regarding treatment for his glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts that occurred within 60 days prior to June 19, 2017.[3]

         Grievance #2

          On or about August 27, 2017, plaintiff sent Benton a correspondence that included Grievance #1 and two medical records (Grievance #2). Plaintiff did not include in his correspondence the information Benton requested on July 31, 2017. Plaintiff also did not include any dates of treatment that occurred within 60 days of the date of his Grievance #1.[4] On September 11, 2017, Benton returned Grievance #2 to plaintiff and again requested the same documents she previously requested regarding Grievance #1. She again advised plaintiff that he must provide her with the dates of when the incidents at issue in the grievance occurred and that those dates needed to be within 60 days of the date on t he grievance. (See fn. 4 for plaintiff's response to this fact.)

         Grievance #3

         On September 28, 2017, plaintiff sent another correspondence to Benton (Grievance #3), including his Grievance #1, his counselor's response to Grievance #1 (dated August 1, 2017), his grievance officer's response to Grievance #1 (dated September 29, 2017), and the previous response Benton provided to plaintiff's Grievance #2. The ARB (Benton) received this correspondence and attachments on October 10, 2017. On October 24, 2017, Benton responded to plaintiff's Grievance #3, noting that plaintiff still had not provided her the information that she had previously requested, namely dates of an occurrence within 60 days preceding the filing of his June 19, 2017 Grievance #1. (See fn. 4 for plaintiff's response to this fact.) On that same day, Benton rejected plaintiff's Grievance #3 as not timely. She noted that plaintiff's grievance did not comply with 20 Ill. Admin. Code § 504.810(a) insofar as plaintiff had not provided her with the date of any incident within 60 days preceding his grievance. Because plaintiff failed to provide all the information Benton requested on July 31, 2017, Benton was unable to determine whether plaintiff's grievances were timely under 20 Ill. Admin. Code § 504.810(a). (See fn. 4 for plaintiff's response to this fact.)

         SUMMARY ...


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