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Murray v. Obaisi

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

September 20, 2019

JOHN MURRAY, Plaintiff,
GHALIAH OBAISI. et al., Defendants.



         Defendants' motion for summary judgment [73] is granted. Civil case terminated.


         John Murray is currently serving a sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections for armed robbery and murder. Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against, Dr. Saleh Obaisi, Dr. A Martija, and Physician's Assistant (PA) LaTanya Williams (''Individual Defendants"), and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., alleging that all Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition in violation of his rights protected by the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution. While incarcerated, Plaintiff was diagnosed with a reducible inguinal hernia, received treatment for his condition, and underwent repair surgery in May 2015. Plaintiff, however, alleges that Defendants improperly stalled medical treatment before receiving the hernia repair surgery, and Defendants provided inadequate medical treatment regarding his post-surgery pain. Pending before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment on all claims. For the reasons discussed below, judgment is granted in Defendants' favor.


         The Court takes the relevant facts from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 statements of undisputed material facts and supporting exhibits. Because Plaintiff is the nonmoving party, the Court construes the facts in the light most favorable to him. The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted. "When we cite as undisputed a statement of fact that a party has attempted to dispute, it reflects our determination that the evidence cited in the response does not show that the fact is in genuine dispute." King v. Chapman, 2013 WL 6709623, at *3 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 16, 2013).

         On November 20, 2014, Dr. Obaisi treated Plaintiff during a medical visit and recorded that Plaintiff had symptoms stemming from chronic low back pain and a right inguinal reducible hernia. Dr. Obaisi recorded in his notes that Plaintiff complained only of low back pain, not from hernia pain. During this appointment, Dr. Obaisi prescribed Tylenol #3 and a hernia truss. On December 22, 2014, Plaintiff was taken to urgent care after telling a medical technician that he slipped while walking in the yard and pulled his groin. Dr. Obaisi evaluated Plaintiff and noted that he had a small right inguinal hernia and noted the "hernia reduced." Plaintiff was prescribed a Toradol injection, which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat moderate to severe pain.

         On January 7, 2015, Plaintiff complained to Dr. Obaisi that his hernia had been painful for the last several hours and that the hernia truss was not helping. Dr. Obaisi prescribed another Toradol injection, more Tylenol #3, and scheduled a follow-up appointment within thirty days. Dr. Obaisi also prepared a Medical Special Services Referral Report in which Plaintiff was referred to the University of Illinois Medical Center for a general surgery consultation for his recurrent right inguinal hernia. As medical director, Dr. Obaisi was the proper person to refer Plaintiff for a non-emergent off-site medical consultation with a specialist.

         Within a week, on January 15, 2015, a different doctor, Dr. Martija, evaluated Plaintiffs inguinal hernia. Dr. Martija's notes include a reference that Plaintiff was awaiting a surgical referral to UIC. Dr. Martija administered another Toradol injection. Plaintiff was approved for a general surgery evaluation at UIC on January 22, 2015. UIC scheduled Plaintiffs surgical consultation for April 20, 2015.

         On February 11, 2015, PA Williams evaluated Plaintiff and prescribed a Toradol injection, Tylenol #3, and told Plaintiff to return in one week or sooner if his symptoms worsened. On February 19, 2015, Dr. Obaisi prepared a Medical Special Services Referral and report form for a Anesthesia Pre-Operative Evaluation Clinic evaluation in anticipation of Plaintiff s right inguinal hernia repair surgery. On April 1, 2015, Dr. Obaisi evaluated Plaintiff and noted that Plaintiffs right inguinal hernia was reduced manually. During the visit, Dr. Obaisi administered another Toradol injection and told Plaintiff that he had been approved for the surgical consultation. On April 6, 2015, Dr. Obaisi evaluated Plaintiff related to low back pain. The medical records from Plaintiffs visit do not indicate that Plaintiff complained of pain related to his hernia.

         On April 20, 2015, while at UIC, Plaintiff was evaluated by Dr. Bianco who recommended a right inguinal hernia repair surgery and scheduled it for May 8, 2015. He further recommended an anesthesia evaluation, which was approved for May 6, 2015.

         On May 1, 2015, Plaintiff was approved for an APEC evaluation through the Wexford Collegial Review process. Dr. Obaisi prepared a note that indicated Plaintiff was post medical writ to UIC and that UIC recommended a right inguinal hernia surgery, which was approved by Wexford. On May 6, 2015, Plaintiff was sent to UIC for an APEC evaluation.

         On May 8, 2015, Dr. Bianco performed a right inguinal hernia repair surgery on Plaintiff. After the surgery, Plaintiff was prescribed Acetaminophen-codeine 300 mg- 30 mg oral tablets and docusate sodium 100 mg oral capsules. Plaintiff was transferred to Stateville where he was evaluated by a registered nurse; Dr. Obaisi was notified. Dr. Obaisi ordered Tylenol #3 and Colace for Plaintiff. The next day, Plaintiff was evaluated by Dr. Martija who advised Plaintiff to stay on a clear liquid diet until certain body functions commenced, and then to only eat crackers for a specified period of time. Dr. Martija ordered a medical lay-in for one week, a low bunk and low gallery permit, and a follow-up visit with Dr. Obaisi.

         On May 14, 2015, Dr. Obaisi evaluated Plaintiff and determined that Plaintiffs surgical wounds were healing well. The visit resulted in Dr. Obaisi ordering a single crutch for one week, Naprosyn 300 mg, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication used for pain relief, and Tylenol #3. On May 26, 2015, Dr. Obaisi evaluated Plaintiff and noted that Plaintiff was moving around with a crutch and his puncture wounds from the hernia surgery were healing well. Dr. Obaisi ordered Tylenol #3, continued use of the crutch, and a follow-up appointment in one month.

         Dr. Obaisi evaluated Plaintiff on June 30, 2015 and July 30, 2015. During the July visit, Plaintiff complained of groin pain up to his lower abdomen. Dr. Obaisi's notes stated that there was no swelling, no masses, and that Plaintiffs bowels sounded normal. Dr. Obaisi further noted that there were no masses or abnormalities ...

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