United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ANTHONY W. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
CORIZON HEALTH, MICHAEL E. PERSON, APN/NP BARBARA A. BRUBAKER, M.D. CHRISTOPHER S. NELSON, NP/RN DEBRA L. PERKINS, KATRINA CLARKSON as Personal Representative of the Estate of John B. Clarkson, M.D., STEVEN CLARKSON as Personal Representative of the Estate of John B. Clarkson, M.D., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF AN EXPERT, AND DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
JANE MAGNTTS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE
Anthony W. Taylor is a prison inmate in the custody of the
Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC). Mr. Taylor suffers
from chronic kidney disease (CKD), which he contends has
worsened due to Defendants' deliberate indifference to
his serious medical needs. He filed this 42 U.S.C. §
1983 action against Michael E. Person, M.D.; Barbara A.
Brubaker, N.P.; Christopher S. Nelson, M.D.; Debra L.
Perkins, N.P.; and the Estate of John B. Clarkson, M.D., by
his personal representatives Katrina Clarkson and Steven
Clarkson, (the Individual Defendants) and Corizon, LLC,
(Corizon) a company that had contracted with the IDOC to
provide medical services to Indiana inmates. The Individual
Defendants are medical professionals and employees of
Corizon. Dr. Clarkson died before this action was filed, and
Mr. Taylor elected to proceed against his estate. The estate
appears through Dr. Clarkson's personal representatives,
Katrina Clarkson and Steven Clarkson.
Taylor, the Individual Defendants, and Defendant Corizon each
move for summary judgment contending there is no genuine
issue of material fact and they are each entitled to judgment
on plaintiff's claims. These cross-motions have been
fully briefed and are ready for decision.
Taylor contends that his CKD has worsened because of
Corizon's inadequate system for treating offenders. He
also contends that the Individual Defendants have denied him
medication and timely evaluation of his medical conditions,
and that Corizon has failed to properly “administrate
medical services, ” failed to adequately staff its
obligation to provide medical services, and failed to
effectively supervise the provision of medical services.
Without articulating specific dates, Mr. Taylor contends that
he has long complained of pain in his right abdomen, swollen
lumps under his skin, including in his feet and groin area,
boils under his arms, needlelike pain in his hands, and other
pain. He contends that an x-ray revealed a mass of some kind
in his abdomen. To this date, he alleges, the mass has not
been identified, and his various painful conditions - which
he attributes to the CKD - have not been treated or
contend that some of Mr. Taylor's claims are barred by
the Indiana statute of limitations for injury lawsuits, that
the two Individual Defendants named in this lawsuit were not
deliberately indifferent to Mr. Taylor's serious medical
needs, and that there is no evidence that Corizon's
policies were deliberately indifferent to Mr. Taylor's
serious medical needs. Mr. Taylor also contends he is
entitled to summary judgment. He has submitted several
filings in opposition to Defendants' motion and in
support of his own motion.
discussing the record, the Court notes the summary judgment
Summary Judgment Legal Standard
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As Rule 56 makes clear, whether a party asserts that a
fact is undisputed or genuinely disputed, the party must
support the asserted fact by citing to particular parts of
the record, including depositions, documents, or affidavits.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party can also support a fact by
showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence
or presence of a genuine dispute or that the adverse party
cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or declarations must be
made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be
admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant is
competent to testify on matters stated. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact in opposition to
a movant's factual assertion can result in the
movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially in the grant of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2016). “A
genuine dispute as to any material fact exists ‘if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.'” Daugherty v.
Page, 906 F.3d 606, 609-10 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence
it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its
version of the events. Gekas v. Vasilades, 814 F.3d
890, 896 (7th Cir. 2016). The moving party is entitled to
summary judgment if no reasonable fact-finder could return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson v. Miller,
570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). 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.
Skiba v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co., 884 F.3d 708, 717
(7th Cir. 2018). It cannot weigh evidence or make credibility
determinations on summary judgment because those tasks are
left to the fact-finder. Miller v. Gonzalez, 761
F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court need only consider
the cited materials, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals has repeatedly assured the district
courts that they are not required to “scour every inch
of the record” for evidence that is potentially
relevant to the summary judgment motion before them.
Grant v. Trustees of Indiana University, 870 F.3d
562, 573-74 (7th Cir. 2017). Any doubt as to the existence of
a genuine issue for trial is resolved against the moving
party. Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan, 614 F.3d 684,
691 (7th Cir. 2010).
reviewing cross-motions for summary judgment, all reasonable
inferences are drawn in favor of the party against whom the
motion at issue was made. Valenti v. Lawson, 889
F.3d 427, 429 (7th Cir. 2018) (citing Tripp v.
Scholz, 872 F.3d 857, 862 (7th Cir. 2017)). The
existence of cross-motions for summary judgment does not
imply that there are no genuine issues of material fact.
R.J. Corman Derailment Servs., LLC v. Int'l Union of
Operating Engineers, Local Union 150, AFL-CIO, 335 F.3d
643, 647 (7th Cir. 2003).
once a movant for summary judgment has presented evidence
showing entitlement to judgment and no genuine issue of
material fact, the non-movant cannot simply rely on the
allegations in the complaint. The non-movant must come
forward with evidence to counter the movant's showing.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
The Summary Judgment Record
moved for summary judgment on August 16, 2018. Dkt. 48. Their
motion is supported by the sworn declarations of Defendants
Dr. Nelson, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Perkins, NP Brubaker, Dr.
Person, and an expert witness Dr. Ippel. Also submitted are
the relevant medical records of Mr. Taylor, authenticated by
Dr. Ippel in his declaration. Dkts. 49-3 & 49-2.
Taylor filed a response in opposition to Defendants'
motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 69. In considering Mr.
Taylor's opposition to Defendants' motion, the Court
will also consider the allegations made in Mr. Taylor's
verified complaint as equivalent to an affidavit.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1746; Devbrow v.
Gallegos, 735 F.3d 584 (7th Cir. 2013); Hart v.
Hairston, 343 F.3d 762, 765 (7th Cir. 1996).
he responded in opposition to Defendants' motion for
summary judgment, Mr. Taylor filed a verified motion for
summary judgment. Dkt. 61. The brief in support of his motion
contains arguments in opposition to Defendants' motion.
Dkt. 62. Mr. Taylor submitted separate filings entitled
“Statement of Disputed Factual Issues” and
“Statement of Undisputed Facts.” Dkts. 63 &
64. Neither filing contains assertions of fact relevant to
the viable issues in this lawsuit. Mr. Taylor also submitted
his medical records and verified their authenticity under
oath. Dkt. 66. These records are largely duplicative of the
medical records submitted by Defendants.
discussing the relevant facts distilled from the summary
judgment record, the Court first notes that this lawsuit was
filed on July 13, 2017. Actions brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 are governed by the state laws in the district in
which the claims are brought. Serino v. Hensley, 735
F.3d 588, 590 (7th Cir. 2013). In Indiana, the applicable
statute of limitations period is two years. See Richards
v. Mitcheff, 696 F.3d 635, 637 (7th Cir. 2012); Ind.
Code § 34-11-2-4. Therefore, in assessing the facts, the
Court is most concerned with the allegations against the
Defendants for claims occurring in the two-year period
between July 13, 2015 and July 13, 2017.
Facts of the Case
following factual background is set forth pursuant to the
standard discussed above in Section II in connection with
parties' Motions for Summary Judgment. The facts stated
are not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary
judgment standard requires, the undisputed facts and the
disputed evidence are presented in the light most favorable
to “the party against whom the motion under
consideration is made.” Premcor USA, Inc. v.
American Home Assurance Co., 400 F.3d 523, 526-27 (7th
Chronic Kidney Disease
parties agree that Mr. Taylor suffers from CKD and that it is
a serious medical need. CKD results in a gradual loss of
kidney function over time. Dr. Bruce Ippel's declaration
states that the treatment of the disease primarily involves
monitoring the disease and reducing complications to slow the
disease's progression. There is no specific medication to
treat CKD, but medications to control complications such as
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anemia, and edema are
useful to slow the progression. Maintaining a healthy
lifestyle also helps slow the progression of CKD. Exercising,
restricting salt intake, and avoiding over-the-counter
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are recommended
for someone with CKD. Mr. Taylor was diagnosed with CKD on
January 7, 2012.
measures of kidney function are the estimated glomerular
filtration rate (eGFR) and the creatinine level. A normal
level of creatinine in adult males is between 0.6 and 1.2
milligrams per deciliter. CKD is measured in five stages. A
patient with stage three CKD, like Mr. Taylor, may have an
eGFR measuring between 30 and 59.
The Medical Records
medical records submitted by Mr. Taylor and Defendants show
the following course of treatment sought by Mr. Taylor and
provided by the Individual Defendants. In light of Mr.
Taylor's arguments, the Court will discuss some of the
medical records before July 13, 2015, and after the filing of
this lawsuit on July 13, 2017.
March 2, 2015, Mr. Taylor's eGFR level was tested at 58
and his creatinine at 1.52. The creatinine level was a slight
improvement over the results from previous tests. In July
2015, Mr. Taylor's eGFR and creatinine levels were
“stable.” In December 2015, Mr. Taylor's eGFR
and creatinine levels were 51 and 1.71, respectively, and in
July 2016, the levels were ...