United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
TRACY A. THOMAS, Plaintiff,
WINNEBAGO CO. JAIL, DR. LEE, DR. MILO, and SWEDISH AMERICAN HOSPITAL, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Z. Lee, United States District Judge.
Tracy Thomas, an inmate in the Illinois Department of
Corrections, has sued Defendants Winnebago County Jail, Dr.
Kenton Lee, Dr. Steven Milos, and Swedish American Hospital,
alleging unconstitutionally inadequate care for knee pain he
suffered while in the Winnebago County Jail. Dr. Lee, the
only remaining Defendant, moves for summary judgment. For
the reasons stated herein, Dr. Lee's motion  is
granted. Civil case terminated.
was detained in the Winnebago County Jail from April 15,
2016, to June 16, 2017, when he was transferred to the
Illinois Department of Corrections. Def.'s LR 56.1(a)
Stmt. Facts (“Def.'s SOF”) ¶ 1, ECF No.
54. While at the Winnebago County Jail, he sought treatment
for knee pain from Dr. Lee, the jail's Medical Director.
Id. ¶¶ 3-4, 8. Dr. Lee is a licensed
family practitioner who does not specialize in surgery.
Id. ¶ 3.
first saw Dr. Lee on April 29, 2016. Id. ¶ 4.
At that visit, Thomas informed Dr. Lee that, before his
detention, he had been scheduled for a knee replacement for
his left knee. Id. ¶ 8. He described his pain
as being constant and explained that he previously had
received an MRI. Id.; see Def.'s Ex. B,
Lee Decl., Ex. 1, Jail Medical Records at 64, ECF No.
55-3. Dr. Lee noted that he would obtain the
records from Thomas's October 2015 MRI, and prescribed
Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Jail Medical Records at 65.
records showed a “complex tear” in Thomas's
medial and lateral meniscuses, as well as a
“full-thickness tear” in his ACL. Id. at
66-67. The records further indicated that, following the MRI,
Thomas was referred to an orthopedic doctor. Def.'s SOF
¶ 10. But Thomas did not seek out an orthopedic doctor
at that time due to insurance problems. Id.
saw Dr. Lee again on May 27, 2016. Id. ¶ 4. At
that visit, Dr. Lee noted Thomas's complaint that his
pain medications were “not doing anything.” Jail
Medical Records at 76. Dr. Lee referred Thomas to an
orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Milos, for a consultation. Def.'s
SOF ¶ 12; Jail Medical Records at 77. Dr. Lee also
switched Thomas's medication to Ultram. Jail Medical
Records at 77.
then saw Dr. Lee on July 1, 2016. Def.'s SOF ¶ 4.
Dr. Lee noted that Thomas had a brace, which he had kept
since his arrival in the jail. Jail Medical Records at 81.
Dr. Lee prescribed Thomas a walker “until seen by
orthop [sic] who will provide immobilizer.”
Id. at 82; see Def.'s SOF ¶ 30.
Dr. Lee also prescribed Thomas an “ACE wrap.”
Def.'s SOF ¶ 35; Jail Medical Records at 82.
Milos evaluated Thomas on July 11, 2016. Def.'s SOF
¶ 13. Thomas told Dr. Milos that he had injured his left
knee a year earlier while playing basketball. Id.
Dr. Milos reviewed the October 2015 MRI and conducted a
physical examination. Id. ¶¶ 14-15. Dr.
Milos concluded that another MRI was not necessary, because
Thomas had not reported any new injuries since October 2015.
Id. ¶ 16. Dr. Milos diagnosed Thomas with a
left ACL tear, left medial meniscus tear, and tear of the
lateral meniscus of the left knee. Id. ¶ 17.
Dr. Milos spoke with Thomas about conservative treatment
options such as rest, activity modifications, a knee brace,
and anti-inflammatory medication, but Thomas wanted to have
surgery. Id. ¶¶ 18-19. Accordingly, Dr.
Milos's handwritten report to the jail stated:
“Orders/recommendations: Recommend surgery for ACL
meniscus tears *Needs 3 months of post-op PT. Rx for brace
given.” Id. ¶ 20.
medical staff received calls from Dr. Milos's office on
July 14 and July 18, 2016, informing them that Dr. Milos
recommended that Thomas have ACL surgery. Def.'s LR
56.1(b)(3)(B) Resp. Pl.'s SOAF ¶ 10, ECF No. 96;
see Jail Medical Records at 85; Def.'s Ex. C,
Milos Decl., Ex. 1, Consultation Records at 6. Dr. Lee, in
response, wrote that he would wait to receive records from
the orthopedic visit before scheduling surgery. Jail Medical
Records at 85.
Milos's typed consult report, faxed to the jail on August
3, 2016, stated:
[Thomas] has a left knee ACL and meniscus tears with
instability and mechanical symptoms. We discussed
conservative options but he wishes to proceed with surgery. .
. . We will proceed with left knee ACL reconstruction
(patellar allograft) with partial medial and lateral
SOF ¶ 21. After receiving Dr. Milos's report, Dr.
Lee asked jail medical staff to check with Dr. Milos to see
if the surgery was elective, noting that the “jail
usually defers elective procedure[s].” Id.
¶ 22; Jail Medical Records at 97.
days later, on August 12, 2016, Thomas received a knee brace.
Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. Add'l Facts
(“Pl.'s SOAF”) ¶ 14, ECF No. 95. Dr. Lee
then discontinued Thomas's prescription for a walker.
Id. ¶ 15; see Jail Medical Records at
97-98. Once Thomas received the knee brace, however, a
correctional officer confiscated the metal supports from the
brace. See Pl.'s SOAF ¶ 16; Pl.'s LR
56.1(b)(3)(B) Resp. Def.'s SOF ¶ 40, ECF No. 93. Dr.
Lee noted this removal in a note on August 16, 2016.
Pl.'s SOAF ¶ 16; see Jail Medical Records
at 97. He wrote: “pt brace has metal-theref[ore]
security risk, ask pt if want brace but would need to be in
seg vs. walker able to be in GP.” Jail Medical
Records at 97.
August 23, 2016, jail medical staff received a call from a
nurse at Dr. Milos's office. Pl.'s SOAF ¶ 17.
The nurse explained that Thomas “will need surgery at
some point, ” but stated that “ACL surgery is
consider[ed] elective surgery” and Thomas had
“request[ed] that surgery be done now instead of other
options.” Id.; Jail Medical Records at 99.
Furthermore, the nurse explained, Thomas would need physical
therapy starting two days after surgery. Jail Medical Records
saw Dr. Lee again on September 2, 2016. Def.'s SOF ¶
4. At that visit, Dr. Lee again noted that the metal supports
had been taken out of Thomas's brace, and that Thomas had
been given the option of getting them back by going to
“seg.” Jail Medical Records at 101. Dr. Lee noted
that he would check with the orthopedic surgeon to confirm
that surgery was ...