United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Todd Gosha brought this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Dr. Mary Chavez and
Nurse Regina Robinson based on the allegation that he
received inadequate treatment for his hernia and the
defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs. Dkt. No. 2. Presently pending before the Court
is defendants' motion for summary judgment. Mr. Gosha has
not opposed the motion for summary judgment. For the reasons
explained below, the motion for summary judgment, Dkt. No.
26, is granted.
Summary Judgment Legal 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.
See 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,
477 U.S. at 248. 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).
Gosha failed to respond to the defendants' motion for
summary judgment, and the deadline for doing so has long
passed. The consequence is that Mr. Gosha has conceded the
defendants' version of the events. See Smith v.
Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003)
(“[F]ailure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by
the local rules results in an admission.”);
see S.D. Ind. Local Rule 56-1 (“A party
opposing a summary judgment motion must . . . file and serve
a response brief and any evidence . . . that the party relies
on to oppose the motion. The response must . . . identif[y]
the potentially determinative facts and factual disputes that
the party contends demonstrate a dispute of fact precluding
summary judgment.”). Because Mr. Gosha failed to
respond to the defendants' motion, and thus failed to
comply with the Court's Local Rules regarding summary
judgment, the Court will not consider allegations in Mr.
Gosha's complaint as evidence opposing the motion for
summary judgment. Although pro se filings are
construed liberally, pro se litigants such as Mr.
Gosha are not exempt from procedural rules. See Pearle
Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 2008)
(noting that “pro se litigants are not excused from
compliance with procedural rules”); Members v.
Paige, 140 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 1998) (stating that
procedural rules “apply to uncounseled litigants and
must be enforced”). This does not alter the standard
for assessing a Rule 56 motion, but it does “reduc[e]
the pool” from which the facts and inferences relative
to such a motion may be drawn. Smith v. Severn, 129
F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).
following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the
standard 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 Mr. Gosha as the non-moving party with respect to the
motion for summary judgment. See Reeves v. Sanderson
Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).
Mr. Gosha's Deposition Testimony
Gosha has been an inmate incarcerated at the Wabash Valley
Correctional Facility (“WVCF”) since November
2015. Dkt. No. 28-3 at 9. Mr. Gosha testified that he sued
Dr. Chavez because she refused to order surgery for him even
though he repeatedly complained about his hernia, the blood
in his urine, and his swollen testicles. Id. at
19-20. He admits that he has not seen Dr. Chavez since April
2017. Id. at 20. Mr. Gosha further testified that he
is suing Nurse Robinson because he was told by John
Littlejohn, the assistant superintendent, that Nurse Robinson
was in a position of authority and because Mr. Gosha had
written her about his problems. Id. at 24-26. Mr.
Gosha admits that he never saw Nurse Robinson. Id.
Gosha testified that he has been having problems with
constipation and blood in his stool since 2016. Id.
at 29-30. He further testified that when he first saw Dr.
Chavez, she prescribed him a fiber pill that made the
constipation better and helped him “flow.”
Id. at 32. He testified that at a second visit with
Dr. Chavez, she ordered more medication for him, but that he
did not take it consistently because he was concerned about
the instructions on the medication regarding not to take the
pills with other medications. Id. at 34. At a later
visit with Dr. Chavez, Dr. Chavez diagnosed him with hernia
and suggested that he get surgery. Id. at 34-36. Mr.
Gosha testified that he was later provided a hernia belt by
Dr. Byrd, but that the hernia belt was uncomfortable.
Id. at 38. Mr. Gosha further admits that he has not
complained to medical staff of any pain or problem with his
hernia since at least September 2017 because he had decided
that he would have the hernia addressed after he was released
from prison. Id. at 41-42.
Chavez is a physician licensed to practice medicine in the
State of Indiana. Dkt. No. 28-1 at 1. During the majority of
2016 and in 2017 until May 10, 2017, Dr. Chavez was employed
as a physician at WVCF. Id. On May 10, 2017, she
voluntarily left her position at the facility to obtain
employment elsewhere. Dr. Chavez is no longer practicing
medicine at the WVCF, or in the State of Indiana.
Robinson is a nurse licensed to practice in the State of
Indiana. Dkt. No. 28-2 at 1. During all times relevant to Mr.
Gosha's Complaint, Nurse Robinson was employed as the
Director of Nursing at WVCF. Prior to April 1, 2017 she held
this position as an employee of Corizon, LLC. From April 1,
2017, up until September 2018, Nurse Robinson held this
position as an employee of Wexford of Indiana, LLC.
Id. Nurse Robinson recently voluntarily resigned her
position as the Director of Nursing at WVCF and currently
holds other employment as a nurse in the State of Indiana.
Id. As part of Nurse Robinson's role as the
Director of Nursing at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility,
she would often oversee the nursing staff at the facility and
respond to letters and grievances that were forwarded to the
health care unit by inmates at the facility. Id.