United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
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 Mark
A. Beatty (Doc. 96) recommending that the undersigned deny
Defendant Dan Williams' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc.
88). Williams filed a timely Objection (Doc. 98) and
Plaintiff filed a Response to the Objection (Doc. 99). For
the following reasons, Judge Beatty's Report and
Recommendation is REJECTED.
Rodney Black, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center,
brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
claiming the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs when they denied and/or delayed
providing treatment for his broken thumb during his
incarceration at Saline County Jail ("Saline"),
(Doc. 72). Defendant Dan Williams moved for summary judgment.
Beatty considered the following evidence for his Report:
Black injured his left thumb while wrestling with a friend
two to three weeks prior to being incarcerated at Saline
(Doc. 88-1, p. 22). On April 13, 2015, Black had a
consultation with Dr. Kevin Koth regarding his left thumb
injury and Dr. Koth scheduled thumb surgery for April 18,
2015 (Doc. 88-5). Black missed his surgery date because he
was arrested and booked into Saline on April 17, 2015 (Doc.
88-1, p. 7). During his intake at Saline, Black informed
Sergeant Upchurch that his thumb was broken, that he was in
pain, and that he was scheduled for surgery on April 18, 2015
(Id. at pp. 34-35). Black was incarcerated at Saline
from April 17, 2015 to June 9, 2015.
Williams is a physician's assistant who provided Black
with medical care while he was incarcerated at Saline (Doc.
88-3, pp. 20-27). In his position, Williams provided
in-person medical care one day a week and was on call 24/7
(Doc. 88-3, p. 18). He is not responsible for scheduling
follow up appointments, tests, or surgeries (Doc. 88-3, p.
pp.24-26; Doc. 88-6, 76:21-77:4).
examined Black on April 23, 2015. After examining Black and
reviewing his medical records, Williams put Black's thumb
in a splint, ordered Black to keep the splint on his thumb,
and charted "call Orthopedic surgeon discuss emergent
need for surgery or can it wait. Need orthopedic
surgeon's opinion" (Id. at pp. 20-23). This
was the only time Williams saw Black. That same day, Williams
informed jail administrator, Jill Bennett, that Black's
injury needed to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon so
that the surgeon could opine upon the necessity of surgery.
On April 30, 2015, Williams prescribed Black Tylenol for pain
at his request (Id. at pp. 27-34). Saline records
indicate that Black refused to take the prescribed Tylenol on
April 30, 2015 and May 1, 2015 (Doc. 88-2, pp. 38-39).
testified that Williams did not inform her that Black's
thumb required surgery promptly (Doc. 88-6, p. 14), but
acknowledged that Williams told her that the need existed to
call an orthopedic surgeon regarding Black's thumb
(Id. at pp. 70-72). Bennett, as the jail
administrator, had the authority to decide what intervention
would be implemented. If surgery was necessary, it had to be
referred to an outside surgeon because Saline was not
equipped to undertake such a procedure.
6, 2015, Saline personnel transported Black to Harrisburg
Medical Center ("Harrisburg") for an x-ray and CT
of his left hand (Doc. 88-1, p. 45). The scans confirmed that
Black had a fracture at the base of the first metacarpal but
no bridging callus formation (Doc. 88-3, 37:15-38:13). On May
7, 2015, Bennett called Dr. Koth's office and informed
him of the results (Doc. 88-6, 35:22-36:11). After Dr. Koth
reviewed the results, he noted that Black still required a
closed reduction surgery with possible percutaneous pinning,
and scheduled his surgery for June 9, 2015 (Doc. 88-5). On
June 9, 2015, Dr. Koth attempted to perform the scheduled
surgery but discovered a significant amount of callus at the
fracture, determined surgery was not the best course of
treatment at that time, and placed Black in a cast instead
on this evidence, Judge Beatty concluded that a reasonable
jury could find that Williams was deliberately indifferent to
Black's serious medical needs. He noted that Williams was
aware that Black had a broken thumb on April 23, 2015, that
Williams has extensive experience in the field of orthopedics
and testified it is important that orthopedic injuries be
addressed on a prompt basis, and that Black's surgery was
not scheduled until June 9, 2015 - 53 days after Black
arrived at Saline.
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.
Consistent with these standards, the Court has reviewed Judge
Beatty's Report de novo.
at all relevant times to his claim Black was a pretrial
detainee and not an inmate, his claim arises under the
Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause rather than the
Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause.
See Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 192
L.Ed.2d 416 (2015); Miranda v. County of Lake, 900
F.3d 335, 350-351 (7th Cir. 2018). Under Kingsley
and Miranda, a pretrial detainee need only establish
that the defendant's conduct was objectively unreasonable
- not that the defendant was subjectively aware that it was
unreasonable. Miranda, 900 F.3d at 352-53. This
standard requires courts to focus on the totality of facts
and circumstances faced by the individual alleged to have
provided inadequate medical care and to gauge
objectively-without regard to any subjective belief held by
the individual- whether the response was reasonable.
McCann v. Ogle Cty., Illinois, 909 F.3d 881, 886
(7th Cir. 2018).
objects to Judge Beatty's conclusion that his care of
Black was not objectively reasonable. Specifically, Williams
argues that Black has not established what care he failed to
provide, and that there is nothing in the record indicating
that he "purposefully or knowingly" prolonged the
surgery. Black contends that Williams abandoned his care and
treatment to untrained corrections officers without ...