United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING CORIZON'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT ON AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE OF EXHAUSTION
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Anthony Williams, a former offender incarcerated within the
Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”), filed
this lawsuit on April 7, 2017, when he was still an inmate at
New Castle Correctional Facility (“New Castle”).
Mr. Williams sued GEO Group (“GEO”) (the
corporation that runs New Castle) and Corizon Correctional
Medical Corporation (“Corizon”) (the company
contracted to provide medical care to inmates during the
relevant time period). Mr. Williams alleged that Corizon and
GEO have a practice of delaying medical care (including pain
medication) for serious medical needs and as a result his
broken knee bone went undiagnosed for an excessive amount of
time and he was only provided an ace bandage, crutches and
aspirin for pain. Mr. Williams first injured his knee on
January 8, 2017, and reinjured it on January 11, 2017.
seeks resolution of this action through summary judgment.
Corizon asserts that it is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law because Mr. Williams failed to exhaust his available
administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a),
before filing this lawsuit. Mr. Williams never responded to
Corizon's dispositive motion, but instead filed a Cross
Motion for Summary Judgment on October 19, 2017. (Doc. 38.)
reasons explained below, Corizon's motion for summary
judgment, Dkt. No. 28, is granted and Mr.
Williams's cross-motion for summary judgment, Dkt. No.
38, is denied as to Corizon.
Standard of Review
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). “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 moving party has met its burden, the non-movant may not
rest upon mere allegations. Instead, “[t]o successfully
oppose a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party
must come forward with specific facts demonstrating that
there is a genuine issue for trial.” Trask-Morton
v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., 534 F.3d 672, 677 (7th Cir.
2008). “The non-movant will successfully oppose summary
judgment only when it presents definite, competent evidence
to rebut the motion.” Vukadinovich v. Bd. of Sch.
Trs., 278 F.3d 693, 699 (7th Cir. 2002) (internal
quotation and citation omitted).
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 standard set forth above, the following facts are
Offender Grievance Process
inmate incarcerated with the IDOC, the Offender Grievance
Process has been available to Mr. Williams. The intent 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 to
the IDOC and at the facilities. Further, copies of the
Offender Grievance Process and its administrative procedures
are placed in various locations in IDOC facilities for ready
access by the offenders.
IDOC recognizes only one grievance process. The complete
grievance process consists of three stages: (i) an informal
attempt to solve a problem or address a concern, which can be
followed by (ii) the submission of a written formal grievance
outlining the problem or concern and other supporting
information, and the response to that submission, which can
be followed by (iii) a written appeal of the response to a
higher authority and the response to that appeal.
the grievance procedures, an offender is required to attempt
to resolve a complaint informally before filing a formal
grievance. If an inmate is unable to resolve his complaint
informally, he may file a Formal Grievance form. Once an
adequate grievance form is received, the Grievance Specialist
logs the grievance into the Offender Grievance Response
System (“OGRE”) which assigns it a case number
and provides a receipt for the grievance to the offender. An
offender must file a Level I formal grievance within ...