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Singleton v. Shah

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 23, 2019

AVERY SINGLETON, Plaintiff,
v.
VIPIN SHAH, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Vipin Shah’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. 75). Plaintiff Avery Singleton opposes the motion (Docs. 80, 81). For the reasons set for the below, the Court grants the motion for summary judgment.

         Background

         Singleton, a former inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who was incarcerated in Robinson Correctional Center, filed a pro se lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights (Doc. 1). Specifically, Singleton complains about the medical care he received at Robinson from Defendant Dr. Shah for his back, neck, and knees resulting from an accident while he was a passenger on the Cook County Jail’s transportation bus.

         Following threshold review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, Singleton was permitted to proceed on one claim of Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Dr. Shah for refusing to examine his knees, back, or neck despite his complaints of severe pain. (Doc. 7, ps. 5-7).

         Dr. Shah now moves for summary judgment, arguing that he was not deliberately indifferent to Singleton’s medical needs regarding his back, neck, or knees. Singleton counters that Dr. Shah delayed an adequate examination and should have examined him to find the “root” of his problem.

         Facts

         The following facts are taken from the record and presented in the light most favorable to Singleton, the non-moving party, and all reasonable inferences are drawn in his favor. See Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557, 586 (2009).

         The events at issue in this lawsuit as it relates to Dr. Shah occurred at Robinson from August 2016 to March 2017. According to Singleton’s medical records, he has been diagnosed with lumbago (low back pain) with an onset date of May 31, 2012, and osteoarthritis of the spine and knee with an onset date of June 16, 2015.[1]

         On June 21, 2016, Singleton was involved in a bus accident. As a result of that accident, Singleton alleged he experienced neck, knee, and back pain. On July 8, 2016, Singleton was seen by Physician Assistant Carlos Altez; he complained of neck, knee, and lower back pain as a result of the bus accident.

         During the month of July, Singleton was transferred to Stateville Correctional Center NRC (“Stateville”). On August 3, 2016, Singleton was transferred back to Robinson. Three days later, Singleton reported to a nurse sick call for pain in his neck, knee, and back, as well as other issues.

         Singleton saw Shah on August 16, 2016. Singleton claims Shah asked him questions about his pains. Shah then looked at his medical records, re-prescribed the ibuprofen that Stateville previously prescribed, and requested Singleton’s medical file from Cook County. Shah’s notes from this visit indicate that Singleton’s vitals were normal and he had no acute distress. Singleton was able to walk, sit, stand, and move around with no signs of a medical issue. (Doc. 76-2 at p. 14). Singleton said Shah told him he could not do anything until Shah got the medical records from Cook County Jail.

         Shah next saw Singleton on August 25, 2016, for pain in his right hand and for an ear infection. (Id. at p. 18). During this visit, Singleton asked about the medical records from Cook County Jail. Singleton claimed Shah told Singleton, “The medical records say there was no signs of trauma. So I am not going to see you about those problems.” (Doc. 80, p. 7). Shah examined his hand and ear, prescribed him a low bunk permit as to not put weight on his hand, and continued him on ibuprofen (Doc. 76-2 at p. 18). Shah also told Singleton to lose weight to help alleviate any pressure he is placing on his hand. (Id.).

         On September 2, 2016, Singleton was transferred to Stateville for an upcoming court date. Singleton returned ...


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