United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of
Magistrate Judge Gilbert C. Sison (Doc. 190), in which he
recommends the undersigned grant the motions for summary
judgment filed by Defendants (Docs. 106, 109, 129). Plaintiff
Richard Bilik filed a timely objection to the Report and
Recommendation (Doc. 198). For the reasons set forth below,
the Court adopts the recommendation of Judge Sison and grants
Richard Bilik is an inmate in the Illinois Department of
Corrections. Prior to his incarceration, Bilik experienced
headaches and debilitating migraines a few times a week,
which he attributes to head trauma from practicing Taekwondo
when he was younger and two car accidents where he went
through the windshield (Doc. 110-1 at pp. 23-24). Bilik would
take eight or ten Motrin to help with the pain (Id.
at p. 24).
was incarcerated for a period of time prior to 2009, during
which a doctor prescribed Tramadol for his migraines
(Id.). Bilik testified that Tramadol, a narcotic
opioid pain reliever, was effective in alleviating his
migraine pain (Id.). In 2012, Bilik claims he was
assaulted in the Cook County Jail, which caused a traumatic
brain injury and nerve damage (Id. at p. 25). Bilik
was prescribed ibuprofen, Tramadol, and Neurontin
(gabapentin) for his pain (Id.). Neurontin is an
anticonvulsant drug also used off-label for various
conditions including the treatment of neuropathic pain (Doc.
107-2 at p. 2).
again entered the IDOC on October 5, 2012, and was placed in
Lawrence Correctional Center on October 19, 2012. On June 12,
2013, Bilik had a physical therapy evaluation for his lower
was transferred to Menard Correctional Center on June 14,
2013 (Doc. 130-1 at p. 15). Upon arriving at Menard, Bilik
completed an intake medical screening, including an
evaluation with a registered nurse (Doc. 107-1 at p. 1). The
nurse noted Bilik's chronic conditions included
panic/anxiety disorder, neuropathic pain, migraines, high
cholesterol, and allergies (Id.). She also noted he
was on a number of medications for those conditions,
including Claritin, Neurontin, Naproxen, Effexor, Depakote,
Celexa, and Lipid Omega-3 Fatty Acid (Id.). During
this evaluation, Bilik reported complaints of left leg pain,
but did not appear to be in any distress (Id.). The
nurse scheduled Bilik for a routine follow up with sick call
Dr. Robert Shearing, the medical director at Menard from
October 15, 2012, through November 16, 2013, performed
Bilik's intake medical screening via telephone and
renewed Bilik's prescriptions for Omega-3 Fatty Acid,
Effexor, Depakote, and Celexa. He also referred Bilik to a
mental health practitioner for further evaluation and to
address his psychiatric prescription needs. Dr. Shearing
discontinued the Claritin, Neurontin, and Naproxen pending
further evaluation by a physician or nurse practitioner and
ordered Bilik scheduled on the MD sick call line
(Id. at p. 2; Doc. 107-2).
Shearing explained via affidavit that, when an inmate arrives
at a new correctional facility, medications prescribed at
prior correctional centers are not automatically renewed or
continued (Doc. 107-2). This is because certain medications
are known for abuse in the correctional context; thus, they
are only re-prescribed after the medical director, physician,
or nurse practitioner has evaluated the transferring inmate
(Id.). This would include Neurontin, which has a
highly adverse side effect profile, including sedative and
hypnotic qualities (Id.). This procedure also
ensures the medication and dosage remain appropriate for the
patient and that it is not being abused or misused
(Id.). Inmates also are instructed that the sick
call process is available to them if they feel they need
medications other than those prescribed for them and that
over-the-counter pain medications are available at commissary
21, 2013, Bilik went to Nurse Sick Call, where he was
evaluated for complaints of right arm and shoulder pain (Doc.
107-1 at p. 3). Bilik received a prescription for
acetaminophen and was referred for further evaluation with a
medical doctor (Id.).
27, 2013, Bilik was evaluated by Mental Health and received
prescriptions for Effexor, Celexa, and Buspar, which is an
anti-anxiety medication (Doc. 107-1 at p. 4). Bilik reported
receiving Depakote for complaints of migraine headaches and
was instructed this prescription would be issued by Medical
Department at Menard, if necessary (Id.; Doc.
was scheduled to see a doctor on June 28, 2013, but he was
not examined due to lack of time (Doc. 107-2). He was
rescheduled for July 3, 2013, but security did not bring him
to the Health Care Unit for his appointment (Id.).
Bilik finally was examined by Dr. Shearing on July 15, 2013
(Doc. 107-2). Bilik complained about back, neck, arm, and leg
pain, which he attributed to the assault by police in 2012
(Id.). He also complained of migraine headaches
every day with nausea, light sensitivity, and sound
sensitivity, and demanded various medications to address his
complaints (Id.). Dr. Shearing attested that he
performed various physical tests that could have indicated
causes for Bilik's reported pain, but all tests were
negative or came back within normal limits (Id.).
Dr. Shearing's assessment was that Bilik was magnifying
his symptoms and exhibiting drug-seeking behavior
(Id.). He informed Bilik that if he truly had daily
headaches, long-term overuse of analgesics was making the
problem worse rather than better (Id.). Dr. Shearing
attested that the use of pain medication over long periods of
time can trigger rebound headaches in increasing severity
over time; however, the headaches can be eliminated when a
patient stops taking the regularly used medication
on Dr. Shearing's evaluation, he reduced Bilik's
analgesic regimen to a total of 500 mg Naproxen to address
all of his self-reported ailments (Id.). He also
discontinued Bilik's prescriptions for Neurontin and
Depakote, as he found them unnecessary to treat Bilik's
subjective complaints and believed they were causing Bilik to
suffer more frequent rebound headaches (Id.). He did
renew Bilik's Claritin prescription (Id.).
August 27, 2013, Bilik saw Defendant Dr. Fe Fuentes for
allergy-related complaints (Id.). She prescribed him
a nasal decongestant spray (Id.). Fe Fuentes was a
physician at Menard Correctional Center between June 2, 2008
and July 17, 2015.
September 25, 2013, Bilik was evaluated by a medical
technician and requested a renewal of his nasal decongestant
spray and Claritin prescriptions (Id.). He also
requested a renewal of his Naproxen prescription for back
pain (Id.). The technician referred Bilik for an
evaluation with a medical doctor (Id.).
Shearing saw Bilik on September 30, 2013, at which point
Bilik complained of chronic nasal congestion, back pain, and
neck pain (Id.). Dr. Shearing noted that Bilik's
physical exam and x-rays were normal (Id.). Dr.
Shearing discontinued Bilik's prescription for the nasal
spray and issued new prescriptions for Mobic, a non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drug used to treat swelling and pain, as
well as Claritin (Id.). He also directed Bilik to
return in three weeks for another evaluation (Id.).
than two weeks later, Bilik presented at Nurse Sick Call
where he was evaluated by a medical technician for back pain
(Id.). The medical technician referred Bilik for an
evaluation with a medical doctor or nurse practitioner
October 18, 2013, Bilik was examined by Defendant Michael
Moldenhauer, a registered nurse practitioner who has worked
at Menard since January 15, 2013. Bilik complained of pain in
his upper, mid, and lower back, as well as right arm pain
(Id.). Moldenhauer referred Bilik to Dr. Shearing
for further evaluation (Id.).
November 4, 2013, Bilik saw Dr. Shearing, reported back pain,
and demanded a prescription for Tramadol (Id.). Dr.
Shearing again noted that Bilik's exams and tests were
normal and that Bilik exhibited clear drug-seeking behavior
(Id.). Dr. Shearing did not prescribe Tramadol, but
rather recommended that Bilik continue his current treatment
plan and follow up as necessary (Id.). That was the
last time Dr. Shearing evaluated Bilik (Id.).
December 23, 2013, Bilik saw a medical technician in the
Health Care Unit and complained that his back always hurt and
the Mobic was not working (Doc. 12-2 at p. 82). He also
complained about his headaches and told the nurse that he
previously took Neurontin, Depakote, and Tramadol, which were
effective at treating the pain (Id. at pp. 82-83).
The medical technician referred Bilik to the doctor,
prescribed ibuprofen 200 mg, and told Bilik to begin gentle
strengthening exercises (Id.)
Dr. John Trost, who became the Medical Director of Menard on
November 25, 2013, saw Bilik on January 10, 2014, for renewal
of lipid medication and complaints of back pain (Doc. 110-2).
Dr. Trost prescribed Naproxen and Elavil, a tricyclic
antidepressant which can also effectively relieve nerve pain
(Id.). He ordered a lipid panel, thyroid test,
Naproxen 500 milligrams twice a day for three months, and
Elavil 10 milligrams daily (Id.). He also evaluated
Bilik for his request of low bunk and low gallery permits,
but determined they were not necessary at that time
April 8, 2014, Dr. Trost again saw Bilik for complaints of
low back pain (Id.). Dr. Trost observed Bilik had a
steady gait and diagnosed chronic low back pain
(Id.). He prescribed Naproxen 500 milligrams twice a
day for three months (Id.).
August 14, 2014, Bilik saw a nurse in the Health Care Unit
and requested a “renewal” of his prescriptions
for Naproxen, Depakote, Elavil, Tramadol, and Neurontin
(Id.; Doc. 12-2 at p. 92). The nurse referred Bilik
to see a physician (Id.). On August 20, 2014, Dr.
Trost ordered Naproxen and Nortriptyline 25 milligrams, a
tricyclic antidepressant that can also effectively relieve
nerve pain (Id.; Doc. 12-2 at p. 93). Dr. Trost
attested that his plan at that time was to defer the renewal
of Depakote to the mental health provider (Id.).
September 5, 2014, Bilik received a letter from Mrs. McElvain
in the Mental Health Unit enclosing chronic pain control
techniques and visualization strategies (Doc. 12-2 at pp.
72-75). The letter encouraged Bilik to pick one of the
strategies and practice a minimum of 30 minutes a day, three
times a week (Id.).
October 25, 2014, Bilik saw a nurse in the Health Care Unit
and complained of severe constant pain in his entire back
(Doc. 110-3 at p. 49). He reported having taken Naproxen,
Neurontin, and Tramadol in the past, which were effective for
the pain (Id.). He also reported numbness in his
right arm (Id.). Bilik was referred to the physician
for the prescription ...