United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
CHARLES E. THORNTON, Plaintiff,
JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
("Report") of United States Magistrate Judge Reona
J. Daly (Doc. 236), recommending that Defendants’
Motions for Summary Judgment (Docs. 213 & 217) be granted
and Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 221)
be denied. Plaintiff filed a timely objection (Doc. 237). For
the following reasons, the Report and Recommendation is
Charles Thornton, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this
lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”).
Plaintiff alleges the named defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs by not providing his
prescription medication, Neurontin, from March 7-29, 2017.
2009, Plaintiff was shot through the mouth and the bullet
remains lodged in the back of his neck. When he was released
from the hospital, he was given a prescription for Neurontin
(gabapentin). Plaintiff was incarcerated at Cook County Jail
(“Cook County”) from July 2010 through 2017. He
received Neurontin during his stay at Cook County although
there were several instances when Plaintiff’s
prescription was discontinued or not immediately renewed.
Plaintiff was examined throughout his time at Cook County and
showed no signs or symptoms of distress. At one point, the
prescription was discontinued for several months because
Plaintiff was hoarding his old prescription and giving it to
other prisoners. Plaintiff repeatedly threatened medical
staff with lawsuits if his prescription for
Neurontin/gabapentin was not renewed.
was transferred to Menard in February 2017. Upon arrival, his
prescription was renewed for 30 days. On March 6, 2017, Nurse
House informed Plaintiff that his prescription was getting
ready to run out, and that he needed to request a refill.
Plaintiff requested to see a doctor and get a refill the same
day. Plaintiff was scheduled for the MD call line for March
12, 2017. Due to lack of nursing staff, emergencies and
administrative duties, and doctor availability, Plaintiff
wasn’t seen until March 19, 2017. On that day,
Plaintiff’s prescription was renewed for a three-month
March 21-24, 2017 and again from March 27-31, 2017, Nurse
House did not give Plaintiff the medicine during her med pass
because the pharmacy had not provided the medication. During
the days that the Plaintiff’s medication was
unavailable, Nurse House did not observe symptoms of any
serious medical need. Plaintiff’s medication became
available on March 28, 2017. Plaintiff alleges he experienced
pain in his neck and shoulder during the time he was without
his medication. Plaintiff testified that he experienced pain
while bending over, putting on his shoes, stretching out his
arm, and getting into his top bunk bed. The pain kept
Plaintiff from writing, except for grievances. The pain did
not prevent Plaintiff from going to the chow hall.
Report, Judge Daly finds that the objective findings in
Plaintiff’s medical records do not establish a serious
medical need for pain medication. She also concludes that
none of the named defendants acted with deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff’s alleged medical need, and
therefore, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on
Plaintiff’s deliberate indifference claim.
a timely objection was filed, the undersigned must undertake
a de novo review of the Report. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b);
see also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th
Cir. 1992). De novo review requires the Court to
“give fresh consideration to those issues to which
specific objections have been made” and to make a
decision “based on an independent review of the
evidence and arguments without giving any presumptive weight
to the magistrate judge’s conclusion.” Mendez
v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 661 (7th Cir. 2013). The
Court “may accept, reject or modify the magistrate
judge’s recommended decision.” Id.
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners may
constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth
Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976). Causation of harm is an essential element of a
deliberate indifference to medical needs claim. See
Henderson v. Sheahan, 196 F.3d 839, 848 (7th Cir. 1999).
Thus, a plaintiff must demonstrate both that he has suffered
an ‘actual’ present injury and that there is a
causal connection between that injury and the deprivation of
a constitutionally protected right caused by a defendant.
objection, Plaintiff mainly asserts general objections to the
Report without explanation. Specifically however, he asserts
he provided evidence that shows the defendants in the health
care unit tried to cover up the fact they refused to provide
Plaintiff with his renewed prescription March 21-29, 2017. He
also objects to Judge Daly’s factual finding that his
prescription was discontinued at the Cook County jail;
arguing that he was still able access the medicine on a dose
by dose daily. Plaintiff objects to the finding that he
refused to take his medicine from August 2, 2018-August 8,
2018. He argues that he was only given water, not crushed up
medicine and water. Plaintiff also quotes his deposition
testimony in his objection.
Rule 73.1(b) provides that written objections “shall
specifically identify the portions of the ... recommendations
or reports to which objection is made and the basis for such
objections.” Accordingly, the Court will only review
the specific objections Plaintiff asserts. Regarding being
taken off the Neurontin/gabapentin at the Cook County Jail,
several doctors and nurses notes indicate that
Plaintiff’s prescription was discontinued during his
time at the Cook County Jail. In fact, Plaintiff constantly
threatened lawsuits if the prescription was not filled.
Therefore, this objection is overruled.
filing the instant lawsuit, Plaintiff refused to take
Neurontin from approximately August 2, 2018 through August 8,
2018, because it was crushed and floated in water due to
security concerns with abuse of medication. The medical
records support Judge Daly’s factual finding on this