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Webb v. Bender

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

March 27, 2017

JAMES WEBB, Plaintiff,
MARK BENDER, et al. Defendants.


          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         I. Background

         Plaintiff James Webb (“Mr. Webb”) is a state prisoner currently confined at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (“Wabash”). Mr. Webb filed his complaint on September 12, 2016, alleging that defendants Nurse Mark Bender, Dr. Neil J. Martin, and Nurse Kimberly A. Hobson were deliberately indifferent to his broken hand in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He alleges that Nurse Bender put a cast on his right broken hand on October 3, 2014, at the direction of Dr. Martin without his hand being examined by a doctor or x-rayed, causing the loss of movement of all four fingers on his right hand and constant pain in that hand.

         The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment seeking resolution of the claims against them on the basis that Mr. Webb failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies. Mr. Webb opposed the motion for summary judgment and the defendants replied.

         For the reasons explained in this Entry, the defendants' motion for summary judgment [dkt. 15] must be granted.

         II. Discussion

         A. Legal Standards

         Summary judgment should be granted “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a 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). A dispute is genuine only if a reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party. Id. 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). The Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the non-movant's favor. Ault v. Speicher, 634 F.3d 942, 945 (7th Cir. 2011).

         “The applicable substantive law will dictate which facts are material.” National Soffit & Escutcheons, Inc., v. Superior Systems, Inc., 98 F.3d 262, 265 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). The substantive law applicable to the motion for summary judgment is the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA'”), which requires that a prisoner exhaust his available administrative remedies before bringing a suit concerning prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002). “[T]he PLRA's exhaustion requirement applies to all inmate suits about prison life, whether they involve general circumstances or particular episodes, and whether they allege excessive force or some other wrong.” Id. at 532 (citation omitted).

         “Proper exhaustion demands compliance with an agency's deadlines and other critical procedural rules because no adjudicative system can function effectively without imposing some orderly structure on the course of its proceedings.” Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90-91 (2006) (footnote omitted); see also Dale v. Lappin, 376 F.3d 652, 655 (7th Cir. 2004) (“In order to properly exhaust, a prisoner must submit inmate complaints and appeals ‘in the place, and at the time, the prison's administrative rules require.'”) (quoting Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002)). “In order to exhaust administrative remedies, a prisoner must take all steps prescribed by the prison's grievance system.” Ford v. Johnson, 362 F.3d 395, 397 (7th Cir. 2004).

         B. Undisputed Facts

         On the basis of the pleadings and the expanded record, and specifically on the portions of that record which comply with the requirements of Rule 56(c), the following facts, construed in the manner most favorable to Mr. Webb as the non-movant, are undisputed for purposes of the motion for summary judgment:

         At all times relevant to his claims in this suit, Mr. Webb was incarcerated at Wabash. The current version of the Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”) Grievance Process went into effect April 5, 2015. The prior version went into effect January 1, 2010. Dkt. 17-1, dkt. 17-2, dkt. 17-3. Mr. Webb was injured on October 3, 2014, while the prior version was in effect. His informal grievance was not submitted until 2015, when the current version became effective.

         The purpose of the Offender Grievance Process is to provide administrative means by which inmates may resolve concerns and complaints related to their conditions of confinement. All offenders are made aware of the Offender Grievance Process during orientation and are provided a copy of the ...

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