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Dent v. Burrell

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 12, 2019

CHARLES DENT, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS BURRELL, ALFONSO DAVID, KAREN SMOOT, JEFFERY DENNISON, HARRY ALLARD, DEDA MILLIS, STEPHEN ENGLER, and SHERRY BENTON, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          MARK A. BEATTY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The 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 Defendants Dennison, Millis, Allard, Smoot, Engler, and Benton's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 180), Defendants Burrell and David's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 182), and Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a motion for summary judgment out of time (Doc. 198). It is recommended the District Court adopt the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, and the motion for summary judgment (Doc. 180) be GRANTED, the motion for summary judgment (Doc. 182) be GRANTED in part, DENIED in part, and the motion for leave (Doc. 198) be DENIED as moot.

         I. Findings of Fact

         Plaintiff Charles Dent, an inmate with the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges Thomas Burrell, Alfonso David, Karen Smoot, Jeffery Dennison, Harry Allard, Deda Millis, Stephen Engler, and Sherry Benton (“Defendants”) violated his Eighth Amendment rights by exhibiting deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Specifically, he alleges Defendants failed to intervene in Plaintiff's medical care for his dental issues with tooth number 31.

         Following the Court's threshold review of Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court allowed Plaintiff to proceed on the following counts:

COUNT 1: Burrell failed to promptly and properly treat Dent's abscess and abscess related complications, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
COUNT 2: Burrell made improper treatment decisions and wrote a false disciplinary report against Dent because Dent filed grievances against him concerning his treatment, in violation of the First Amendment.
COUNT 3: David, Smoot, Dennison, Allard, Millis, Engler, and Benton violated the Eighth Amendment by not intervening in Dent's dental care.
COUNT 4: David failed to properly treat Dent's migraine-related problems from May 2016 to August 2016, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

(Doc. 6, p. 8). Dennison remained in the case in his official capacity for responding to injunctive orders (Id.).

         Defendants Allard, Benton, Dennison, Engler, Millis, and Smoot (“IDOC Defendants”) filed a motion for summary judgment (Doc. 180); Plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion (Doc. 184). After the Court granted counsel for Plaintiff leave to withdraw because Plaintiff wished to proceed pro se, Plaintiff filed an additional response in opposition to the motion (Doc. 194). IDOC Defendants then filed a reply to Plaintiff's second response (Doc. 195). Plaintiff then filed a response the reply (Doc. 197).

         Defendants Burrell, a dentist at Shawnee, and David, a doctor at Shawnee (“Wexford Defendants”) filed a motion for summary judgment (Doc. 182); Plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion (Doc. 186). Wexford Defendants then filed a reply to Plaintiff's response (Doc. 189). Again, after the Court granted counsel for Plaintiff leave to withdraw because Plaintiff wished to proceed pro se, Plaintiff filed an additional response in opposition to the motion (Doc. 193). Wexford Defendants then filed a reply to Plaintiff's second response (Doc. 196).

         Construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, the evidence and the reasonable inferences that can be drawn from it establish the following relevant facts for purposes of the instant motions for summary judgment.

         A. Relevant Facts Related to IDOC Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

         On August 23, 2016, Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance with Defendant Dennison seeking dental care based on “Dr. Burrell's botched extraction on 8-15-16.” (Doc. 194, p. 7); Defendant Dennison denied Plaintiff's grievance (Id.). On August 15, Plaintiff also filed another standard grievance seeking proper diagnosis and treatment, but Defendant Allard denied the grievance based on Defendant Dennison's response to Plaintiff's emergency grievance (Id.).

         Additionally, on August 23, Plaintiff wrote Defendant Smoot concerning his denial of proper dental treatment because “Dr. Burrell refuse [sic] to see Plaintiff and several C/O's witness [sic] the swelling, bleeding and pain . . ..” (Id.). Defendant Smoot received Plaintiff's letter as indicated by a date stamp (Id.). Plaintiff further contends Defendant Smoot was aware of numerous complaints against Defendant Burrell (Id.). On September 12, after Defendant Dennison denied Plaintiff's third emergency grievance, Defendant Millis denied as duplicative Plaintiff's other related grievances (Doc. 194, p. 10). On October 10 and 27, Plaintiff wrote Defendant Benton concerning his denial or proper dental treatment (Doc. 194, p. 8). Plaintiff also contends Defendant Engler was aware of Plaintiff's need for help because of Plaintiff's grievances from August to October 2016.

         B. Relevant Facts Related to Wexford Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

         At all times relevant, Defendant David was the Shawnee Medical Director and licensed to practice medicine in the State of Illinois (Doc. 183-2). As the Medical Director, Defendant David is “responsible for resolving problems related to patient issues and complaints, but he is typically not involved in responding to or reviewing offender grievances ...


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