United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTHEW F. KENNELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Matthew Parisi, a former inmate at Stateville Correctional
Center, has sued members of the prison's medical staff,
employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC),
and the corporation providing healthcare services to the
prison under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging they violated
his Eighth Amendment rights. The defendants have moved for
summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, the Court
grants the defendants' motions.
following facts are undisputed except where otherwise noted.
Parisi was an inmate at Stateville between August 2012 and
June 2015. During that time, he experienced health issues
relating to hypertension, or high blood pressure;
hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol; and diabetes. It is
undisputed that Parisi did not receive two prescribed
medications between mid-February through April 18, 2013. He
also contends that he did not receive medications between
around April 22, 2013 and March 10, 2014 and from around
December 2014 through at least February 3, 2015.
Health Sources Inc. is a private corporation that provides
healthcare services to inmates at IDOC prisons pursuant to a
contract with the State of Illinois. Wexford employs the
doctors, nurses, and physician's assistants who work in
the healthcare unit at Stateville. A vendor, Boswell
Pharmacy, provides pharmacy services to inmates at
Stateville. The IDOC employs the prison's wardens,
correctional counselors, and grievance officers.
as early as August 21, 2012, Parisi saw medical clinicians at
Stateville's health center to discuss and monitor his
high blood pressure and cholesterol. On that date, a
clinician prescribed Parisi with a six-month supply of a
prescription medication, Lopid, and a vitamin supplement,
niacin, to treat his cholesterol.
November 29, 2012, Parisi had an appointment with Dr.
Aguinaldo, an employee of Wexford who is not an individual
defendant in this case. Dr. Aguinaldo ordered Lopid and niacin
for Parisi, but, on the order form, he did not indicate the
duration for which he was prescribing the medications.
Without the duration, the prescription order was invalid, and
Boswell Pharmacy did not fill it. It is unclear whether any
employees of Wexford or the IDOC knew the order was invalid;
there is no evidence showing that any of the individual
February 2013, Parisi stopped receiving his Lopid medications
and niacin supplements because the initial prescription from
August 2012 had expired. Although the November 2012
prescription from Dr. Aguinaldo should have been in effect,
Parisi never got medications from that prescription order
because of its invalidity. On April 9, 2013, Parisi filed an
emergency grievance stating that he had not received his
medications since February.
the grievance was pending, on April 18, 2013, Parisi had an
appointment with Dr. Ann Davis, a defendant in this case and
an employee of Wexford. It is undisputed that Parisi had not
been receiving his medications since mid-February. Dr. Davis
did not know why Parisi had stopped receiving his
medications, but she restarted his orders for Lopid and
niacin and issued additional orders for baby aspirin and fish
oil. She found that Parisi's blood pressure was mildly
elevated and that his triglyceride level was 448.
Triglycerides and cholesterol are lipids, or fatty
substances, found in a person's blood. High triglyceride
and high cholesterol levels may increase a person's risk
of a heart attack, stroke, or other serious medical
conditions. The parties dispute whether a triglyceride level
of 448 is so high as to require treatment.
day, Parisi filed another emergency grievance asking to
receive his medication as prescribed. The prison's
then-warden, Michael Lemke, did not personally review
Parisi's April 9, 2013 or April 18, 2013 grievances.
Parisi resubmitted the grievances to Anna McBee, a
correctional counselor and grievance officer at Stateville,
who forwarded them to the health care unit for review. McBee
issued reports recommending that the IDOC take no action on
the grievances because Parisi appeared to be receiving
appropriate medical care, and she included responses from a
health care unit administrator in one report and from a nurse
in the other. Parisi appealed the denials, and the IDOC's
Administrative Review Board denied the appeals. It is
undisputed that the IDOC's then-Director Salvador Godinez
did not review the grievances and had no personal knowledge
23, 2013, Parisi had another appointment with Dr. Davis. She
noted that his blood pressure and cholesterol levels were
lower, and his triglyceride level had fallen to 171. She
increased the amount of Lopid prescribed to Parisi. The
parties dispute whether Dr. Davis issued an order for Parisi
to undergo a A1C test, used to measure blood glucose levels
in order to diagnose and monitor diabetes, and whether he
underwent that test. Parisi had another appointment with Dr.
Davis on December 20, 2013, at which she increased the
dosages for his niacin supplement and his prescription for
fiber lax, a laxative.
March 28, 2014, Parisi filed a grievance stating that he had
not received his medications between March 10 and March 19,
2014 and that he was still not receiving his prescribed fish
oil. Wexford asserts that, according to the medical records,
Parisi received his medications during this timeframe. Unlike
the two previous grievances, Parisi did not file this one as
an emergency. The warden at the time, Tarry Williams, did not
personally review the grievance. McBee again forwarded the
grievance to the health care unit, issued a report
recommending that the IDOC take no action because Parisi
appeared to be receiving appropriate medical care, and
included the health care unit's response in her report.
Parisi appealed the grievance denial, and the IDOC's
Administrative Review Board denied the appeal. It is
undisputed that the IDOC's then-acting Director Donald
Stolworthy did not personally review the grievance and had no
personal knowledge of it.
April 8, 2014, Parisi had an appointment with Claude Owikoti,
who is a physician's assistant, a defendant in this case,
and an employee of Wexford. Owikoti found that Parisi's
blood pressure was in a normal range and his triglyceride
level was 181. The parties agree that Parisi told Owikoti
that he was not receiving his fish oil, although they dispute
whether Parisi was, in fact, receiving it. Owikoti prescribed
aspirin, niacin, lopid, fiber lax, and fish oil for
Parisi's hyperlipidemia. On July 23, 2014, Parisi had an
appointment with a nurse at Stateville, who prescribed
niacin, Lopid, fiber lax, and fish oil.
August 30, 2014, he wrote a letter to Dr. Saleh Obaisi,
Stateville's medical director at the time, a defendant in
this case, and an employee of Wexford. Although the
parties did not submit the letter as evidence before the
Court, Parisi testified that he wrote that he had not been
receiving his medications as prescribed. There is no evidence
regarding whether Obaisi received, read, or responded to the
November 10, 2014, Parisi saw Dr. Obaisi regarding a muscle
spasm, and Dr. Obaisi prescribed steroids to treat it. It is
undisputed that this was the first time Parisi met with Dr.
Obaisi. There is no evidence regarding whether Parisi
mentioned any lapses in the provision of his medications
during this appointment.
December 9, 2014, Parisi had an appointment with Dr. Alma
Martija, a named defendant in this case and an employee of
Wexford. She noted that his blood pressure was normal and
that his triglyceride level was 684. It is undisputed that
Parisi told Dr. Martija that he was not receiving his
prescribed Zocor (a statin used to treat cholesterol),
aspirin, and Lopid, although the parties dispute whether
Parisi was, in fact, receiving these medications. Dr. Martija
issued prescriptions for these medications, as well as for
fish oil, fiber lax, and aspirin. She also noted that Parisi
had diabetes, and she issued an order for him to undergo A1C
tests every three months for one year. The parties dispute
whether Wexford's clinicians had previously conducted A1C
tests on Parisi.
December 24, 2014, Parisi had another appointment with Dr.
Obaisi. Parisi reported to Dr. Obaisi that he had suffered
from a pounding headache for four or five days, and Dr.
Obaisi found that that Parisi had tachycardia, or an elevated
heart rate. Parisi also had a high blood pressure reading.
Parisi testified that he showed symptoms of a heart attack
and that Dr. Obaisi felt he had blood flow issues, but the
parties dispute whether he showed such symptoms or Dr. Obaisi
believed he had such problems. It is undisputed, however,
that Parisi did not suffer from a heart attack and that Dr.
Obaisi told him that a vitamin supplement he was taking,
niacin, likely caused the headache and the tachycardia. Dr.
Obaisi discontinued the order for Parisi to take niacin,
switched him to Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat chest
pain and hypertension, and placed him on a medication called
Glipizide to treat his diabetes.
February 3, 2015, Parisi filed an emergency grievance stating
that on many occasions, he had not received medications on
time and that, as of February 3, all of his medications had
lapsed or would soon lapse. Wexford again asserts that,
according to the medical records, Parisi received his
medications during this timeframe. Warden Williams personally
did not review the grievance. Parisi resubmitted the
grievance to McBee, who again forwarded the grievance to the
health care unit, issued a report recommending that the IDOC
take no action, and included the unit's response in her
report. On appeal, the IDOC's Administrative Review Board
denied this grievance on December 1, 2015. It is undisputed
that the IDOC's then-Director John Baldwin did not review
the grievance and had no personal knowledge of it.
February 10, 2015, Dr. Martija saw Parisi regarding his blood
sugar and cholesterol. She testified that Parisi's
cholesterol profile had improved, "his Niacin [had been]
discontinued due to his reports of headache and
tachycardia," and he reported to her "that he was
feeling much better." Martija's Decl., Ex. C. to
Wexford's L.R. 56.1 Stmt., dkt. no. 79-1, at 143 ¶
6. Parisi had another appointment with Dr. Martija on April
22, 2015, at which she found that his cholesterol level had
increased. There is no indication in the record that he
reported to Dr. Martija at either of those appointments that
he was not receiving his medication as prescribed.
had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Martija on February 26,
2015. She indicated that he had Type II diabetes, continued
his prescriptions to treat his diabetes, and assigned him ...