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Pagann v. Shah

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 30, 2019

JUAN PAGAN, Plaintiff,
VIPIN SHAH, Defendant.



         I. Introduction and Background

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Vipin Shah's motion for summary judgment (Docs. 49, 50 & 53).[1] Plaintiff Juan Pagan opposes the motion (Doc. 51).[2]Based on the following, the Court grants the motion for summary judgment.

         Pagan, a former inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who was incarcerated in Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), filed a pro se lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights (Doc. 1). The Court dismissed without prejudice Pagan's original Complaint (Doc. 7). Thereafter, he filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 8). Specifically, Pagan's Amended Complaint contains allegations regarding the medical care he received at Robinson from Dr. Shah for injuries sustained to his left foot while playing basketball in the yard.

         Following a threshold review of the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, Pagan was permitted to proceed on the following claim:

Count 1 - Shah was deliberately indifferent to Pagan's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

(Doc. 12, p. 3). In the reviewing the Amended Complaint, the Court summarized the allegations as follows:

On August 28, 2014, Plaintiff played basketball on the yard at Robinson. (Doc. 8, p. 5). He suffered a severe sprain in his left foot. (Doc. 8, p. 5). While he received first aid, he had to wait three days to see a doctor with only an elastic bandage and OTC pain relievers. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Plaintiff saw Defendant Shah, who taught Plaintiff how to avoid putting pressure on his foot. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Shah provided no other treatment at that time. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Shah reviewed the x-ray with Plaintiff on September 12, 2014 and told Plaintiff that his foot was not fractured, only sprained. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Plaintiff alleges that a subsequent x-ray from March 6, 2015 shows a fracture of the second metatarsal. (Doc. 8, p. 5).
Although Shah ordered another x-ray on October 24, 2014, he represented that the x-ray likewise showed no fracture or dislocation. (Doc. 8, p. 5). It also appears that someone issued Plaintiff walking crutches and special boots. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Plaintiff was allowed to keep his job as a porter. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Plaintiff requested an MRI, but was denied. (Doc. 8, p. 6). He also requested to see an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation, but that request was also denied. (Doc. 8, p. 6). Plaintiff cannot walk or stand for long periods of time without pain. (Doc. 8, p. 6). Plaintiff's foot is also unstable, and he alleges that there is a visible crack in his middle toe. (Doc. 8, p. 6). Health care has not addressed Plaintiff's requests for follow up care.

(Doc. 8, p. 6).

         Shah moved for summary judgment arguing that he was not deliberately indifferent to Pagan's medical needs regarding his left foot. Pagan counters that Shah delayed an adequate examination of his left foot. He further alleges that Shah should have sent him to an orthopedic specialist and for an MRI. Pagan further alleges that Shah failed to place him on a work medical restriction.

         II. Facts

         The following facts are taken from the record and presented in the light most favorable to Pagan, 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 and facts at issue in this lawsuit as it relates to Dr. Shah occurred at Robinson from August 2014 to May 2016. On August 28, 2014, Pagan rolled his ankle while playing basketball when another inmate stepped on his foot. Pagan was treated in the healthcare unit within 30 to 45 minutes of his injury. At the healthcare unit, a nurse treated Pagan. During this visit, Pagan reported the pain as throbbing. He further reported that the pain was an 8 out 10 and that his mother had hit him in the same area with a 2x4 as a child. The nurse placed an elastic Ace bandage on the foot to stabilize the swelling, provided cold pack and Tylenol 325 mg for pain, provided Pagan crutches and told Pagan to elevate the foot and to follow-up for medical treatment.

         Pagan returned to the health care unit on August 31, 2014, and again was seen by a nurse. He reported stabbing and pulling pain in his left foot with a pain level of 8 to 9 out of 10. The foot was bruised, swollen, warm to the touch and there was decreased range of motion. The Ace wrap, cold packs, crutches and elevation were continued for management of the swelling. The pain medication was also continued and Pagan was referred to the medical doctor.

         The physician's note from August 31, 2014 indicates a left ankle sprain and a suspected foot contusion. The physician continued Pagan on the crutches and the Ace wrap, prescribed Motrin 600 mg for pain, ...

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