United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MARK A. SHANNON, Plaintiff,
REBECCA TRIVETT, et al., Defendants.
ENTRY DISCUSSING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION AND DIRECTING ENTRY
OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, United States District Court Judge.
reasons explained in this Entry, the defendants' motion
for summary judgment [dkt. 31] is granted and the
plaintiff's motions in opposition to defendants'
summary judgment [dkt. 39] and [dkt. 42] are denied.
plaintiff in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action
is Mark Shannon (“Mr. Shannon”), an inmate who at
all relevant times was confined at the Plainfield
Correctional Facility (“Plainfield”). The
defendants are Rebecca Trivett, LPN (“Nurse
Trivett”), Toni Jordan, LPN (“Nurse
Jordan”), and Dr. Murat Polar (“Dr.
Polar”). In his amended complaint, Mr. Shannon alleges
that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
He seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
defendants seek resolution of the plaintiff's claims
through summary judgment. The plaintiff has responded to the
defendants' motion for summary judgment and the
defendants have replied.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A “material fact” is one that
“might affect the outcome of the suit.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). To survive a motion for summary judgment, the
non-moving party must set forth specific, admissible evidence
showing that there is a material issue for trial. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The Court
views the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that
party's favor. Darst v. Interstate Brands Corp.,
512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It cannot weigh evidence
or make credibility determinations on summary judgment
because those tasks are left to the fact-finder.
O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc., 657 F.3d 625,
630 (7th Cir. 2011).
dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). If no
reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party, then
there is no “genuine” dispute. Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
basis of the pleadings and the portions of the expanded
record that comply with the requirements of Rule 56(c)(1),
construed in a manner most favorable to Mr. Shannon, the
non-movant, the following facts are undisputed for purposes
of the motion for summary judgment:
11, 2014, Mr. Shannon was working in the prison laundry.
While loading laundry, the outer door of a washing machine
slammed down on his hand. Custody staff sent a radio
transmission indicating that there was a medical emergency in
Pen Laundry. Nurse Trivett was in the area so she met him at
the entrance of Pen Laundry. Mr. Shannon was experiencing a
great amount of pain. Nurse Trivett and Mr. Shannon went to
the infirmary. Nurse Trivett's examination revealed that
his right hand was red and swollen. He had some range of
motion; his pulses were normal; there was no bleeding or
broken skin; and no sign of fracture. Nurse Trivett stated in
her notes that Mr. Shannon's right thumb was popping in
and out of place. She did not rule out a possible fracture,
dislocation, or other injury to the hand. Nurse Trivett
entered an order that Mr. Shannon be referred to a medical
provider as soon as possible instead of through routine
scheduling because he needed an x-ray of his right hand.
Nurse Trivett assessed the injury, then prescribed ice
compresses and pain medication. She also entered an order
restricting his activities for five days. She immobilized his
right hand by wrapping it with an ace bandage. Immobilizing
the hand with the bandage inhibited motion of the hand, thus
minimizing pain and discomfort along with preventing
aggravation of the injury, while compensating for swelling.
licensed practical nurse, Nurse Trivett had training and
experience in evaluating sprains, strains and fractures. Her
duties at Plainfield included evaluating and recommending
treatment or further assessment of sprains, strains and
fractures. In situations where Nurse Trivett evaluates a
patient and determines that a physician or outside care is
indicated, she recommends that a physician be called or that
the inmate be transported to a hospital. There is no x-ray
technician on site at Plainfield. A patient must be scheduled
for an off-site radiology visit when an x-ray is recommended.
Shannon was seen again in the facility clinic on July 16,
2014, by medical provider Nurse Practitioner Loice Mukona
(“Nurse Mukona”). Dkt. 32-2, pp. 5-10. An x-ray
was ordered at that time and Nurse Mukona ordered that Mr.
Shannon's hand continue to be kept in an ace- wrap
bandage. Id. at p. 7. Nurse Mukona noted that Mr.
Shannon's right hand was swollen and bruised. She noted
that there was no open wound from his injury, but that he
reported being unable to bend his right thumb.
Shannon alleges that he also saw “Nurse Practitioner
Dana Wilson” in the infirmary on or before July 16,
2014, and she made and applied a splint to his hand and
re-wrapped it with an elastic ace bandage. The only July 2014
medical record referencing a medical provider named NP Dayna
L. Wilson is dated July 31, 2014. Dkt. 32-2, p. 16. That
Chart Update states that Mr. Shannon refused CC labs, and has
no mention of a splint. Id.
Altman, M.D., outside radiologist, reported that an
anteroposterior (front to back) and a lateral view x-ray were
taken of Mr. Shannon's right hand on July 18, 2014. The
findings in the radiology report were as follows:
“There is no acute fracture or dislocation. Joint
spaces appear normal. Soft tissues are unremarkable. No
erosions. There is a chronic healed fracture of the 5th digit
metacarpal.” Dr. Altman's impression was: “No
acute osseous abnormality or significant degenerative
change.” Dkt. 32-2, p. 11.
31, 2014, Mr. Shannon was seen by Nurse Mukona for a
follow-up on the x-ray results. Although the July 18 x-ray
results did not reflect a fracture or dislocation of the
thumb, Mr. Shannon's thumb was still swollen and he was
unable to bend the thumb. Nurse Mukona consulted with Dr.
Polar who suggested that Mr. Shannon might have a tendon
injury and that further follow up was clinically indicated.
Nurse Mukona continued treatment of Mr. Shannon's injury
by immobilizing his right hand with an ace bandage and
splint. She also requested an outside orthopedic consultation
per Dr. Polar's recommendation. Dkt. 32-2, pp. 12-14. On
August 6, 2014, Nurse Mukona saw Mr. Shannon for a chronic
care visit related to other conditions. At that appointment,
Mr. Shannon reported continued pain in his right hand. A
right wrist brace was given to him to use while he was
waiting for his orthopedic visit. Dkt. 32-2, p. 17, 20.
August 13, 2014, another set of x-rays of Mr. Shannon's
right hand was taken in conjunction with his scheduled
outside orthopedist appointment. The findings in the August
13, 2014, radiology report entered by radiologist, Daniel
Altman, M.D., were as follows: “There is a mildly
displaced fracture at the ulnar base of the first digit
metacarpal with extension into the carpometacarpal [CMC]
joint. The smaller triangular fragment is displaced
proximally by approximately 1mm. There is an old healed
fracture of the ...