United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE
Drae Harris, a prisoner incarcerated in the Wabash Valley
Correctional Facility, commenced this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on January 21, 2016. He
alleged that defendants Dr. Mandip Bartles, Nurse R.
Robinson, and Dr. Neal Martin, all responsible for providing
health care at the prison, were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs. Plaintiff and defendants have each
submitted motions for summary judgment. For the following
reasons defendants' motion for summary judgment, dkt.
, is denied, and plaintiff's motion
for summary judgment, dkt. , is also
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(a). The movant bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
of its motion, and identifying those portions of designated
evidence that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986). After “a properly supported
motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party must
set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986) (quotation marks and
factual issue is material only if resolving the factual issue
might change the outcome of the case under the governing law.
See Clifton v. Schafer, 969 F.2d 278, 281 (7th Cir.
1992). A factual issue is genuine only if there is sufficient
evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict in favor
of the non-moving party on the evidence presented. See
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In deciding a motion for
summary judgment, the court “may not ‘assess the
credibility of witnesses, choose between competing reasonable
inferences, or balance the relative weight of conflicting
evidence.'” Bassett v. I.C. Sys., Inc.,
715 F.Supp.2d 803, 808 (N.D. Ill. 2010) (quoting Stokes v.
Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chi., 599 F.3d 617, 619
(7th Cir. 2010)). Instead, it must view all the evidence in
the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party and resolve all factual disputes in favor of the
non-moving party. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
existence of cross-motions for summary judgment does not,
however, imply that there are no genuine issues of material
fact.” R.J. Corman Derailment Servs., LLC v.
Int'l Union of Operating Engineers, 335 F.3d 643,
647 (7th Cir. 2003). Specifically, “[p]arties have
different burdens of proof with respect to particular facts;
different legal theories will have an effect on which facts
are material; and the process of taking the facts in the
light most favorable to the non-movant, first for one side
and then for the other, may highlight the point that neither
side has enough to prevail without a trial.”
Id. at 648.
following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the
standards set forth above. That is, this statement of facts
is not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary
judgment standard requires, the undisputed facts and the
disputed evidence are presented in the light reasonably most
favorable to the non-moving party with respect to each
party's motion for summary judgment. See Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150
(2000). In most instances, the evidence is simply
contradictory. The facts are taken from the affidavits
submitted by the parties, with some contextual details
supplied by the assertions in the pleadings.
2, 2015, plaintiff fell during a recreation period and his
right hand was stepped on, breaking it. Dkt. 2, p. 3. The
parties agree that on that date - June 2 - plaintiff
submitted a health care request form to be seen for
shoulder/arm numbness that he believed was caused by a bump
on his back. Dkt. 30-1, p. 1; Dkt. 20-1, p. 3. The next day,
on June 3, 2015, plaintiff was seen by Nurse Robinson for the
bump on his back. The parties disagree as to what happened at
that visit. Plaintiff's evidence is that he complained to
Nurse Robinson about the pain in his hand, which was visibly
swollen, and asked to see the doctor. She refused to allow
him to see the doctor and failed to have the hand x-rayed and
did not nothing for his hand pain. Defendants' evidence
is that Nurse Robinson saw plaintiff for the bump on his back
but did not make any record of plaintiff complaining about a
hand injury and she saw no sign of injury.
was next seen by medical personnel when he saw Dr. Byrd on
June 9, 2015, as a follow-up visit to his earlier hemorrhoid
surgery. Plaintiff's evidence is that he complained to
Dr. Byrd about his hand injury, but that Dr. Byrd told him he
could only be seen for one condition per medical visit. Dr.
Byrd told him to put in a request to be seen by the medical
personnel if his hand was not better within two weeks.
Defendants dispute this, providing evidence that Dr. Byrd
discussed a number of issues with plaintiff, but an injury to
his hand was not one of them. See Dkt. 20-1, p. 3 at
¶ 7; dkt. 30-1, p. 2; and dkt. 24-2 (request for health
care form from plaintiff noting that a doctor told him to
request a follow-up if his hand had not improved, dated July
evidence next shows that he saw Dr. Martin on June 18, 2015,
who only addressed the numbness in plaintiff's arm and
told him to submit another health care request form if his
hand did not get better. Dkt. 30-1, p. 2. Dr. Martin's
affidavit states that when he saw plaintiff on that date,
plaintiff never mentioned anything about his hand.
parties agree that plaintiff was seen by Nurse Robinson on
July 16, 2005, for an injury to his right hand.
Plaintiff's description of the meeting is that Nurse
Robinson told him there was no break and told him to squeeze
on a rolled up sock to strengthen his hand. Defendants add
that Nurse Robinson was able to manipulate a full range of
motion in plaintiff's right fifth finger, found the grip
on the right hand to be slightly less than in the left hand,
and saw no evidence of fracture. Nurse Robinson prescribed
ice and cool compresses for any pain or swelling and gave him
instructions for using a rolled up sock for exercises to
strengthen the hand. She also told plaintiff to request
further health care if his symptoms did not get better or
worsened. Dkt. 30-1, p. 2; dkt. 20-1, p. 5.
30, 2015, plaintiff submitted a request for health care
complaining of pain and a lack of strength in his right hand.
Plaintiff says he was never seen for this request;
defendants' evidence is that because he was already
scheduled for a chronic care visit for August 18, he would ...