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Teague v. Corrections Corporation of America

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

May 2, 2019



          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Senior Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Dexter Ramone Teague, a former inmate, alleges that the defendant, John Noll, was deliberately indifferent to Mr. Teague's serious medical condition when Mr. Noll failed to give Mr. Teague an injection of methotrexate to treat his rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”). He further alleges that defendant Corrections Corporation of America (“CCA”) maintained a policy that denied methotrexate to inmates at Marion County Jail II in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dkt. 38.

         The defendants moved for summary judgment. Mr. Teague responded with a motion to dismiss summary judgment. Because that filing is a response to the defendants' motion for summary judgment, the clerk is directed to administratively terminate the motion at dkt. 52. For the reasons explained below, the defendant's motion for summary judgment, dkt 49, is granted.


         Standard of Review

         A 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 the current version of 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. 56(e).

         In 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 (1986)).

         On 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. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.


         Material Facts

         Because the Court must view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the non-movant's favor, the following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but are construed in favor of Mr. Teague for the purposes of resolving the pending motion for summary judgment.

         At the time of the incident at issue in this action, Mr. Teague was incarcerated at Marion County Jail II in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is run by CCA. Defendant John Noll is a nurse practitioner at the jail. Before arriving at Marion County Jail II, Mr. Teague had been incarcerated at the St. Joseph County Jail in South Bend, Indiana. While in the St. Joseph County Jail, Mr. Teague was prescribed methotrexate pills to treat his RA. He later began receiving methotrexate injections when the pills were no longer effective. The injections only provided temporary relief from his RA symptoms, but Mr. Teague wanted to continue receiving them nevertheless.

         Mr. Teague arrived at Marion County Jail II (“Jail II”) on June 9, 2016. During the intake process, he informed the staff that he had RA and that his medical records would confirm his treatment plan. When he was placed in a housing unit, and still was not receiving methotrexate, he submitted a medical request form. In response, an unidentified nurse told him that the jail did not give inmates methotrexate. Instead, he was prescribed Tylenol and folic acid. Without the methotrexate injections, his RA symptoms worsened. On July 7, 2016, Mr. Teague was seen by defendant John Noll. Mr. Teague described his situation and Nurse Noll offered to give Mr. Teague an injection of methotrexate. Mr. Teague said he was worried that receiving an injection after several weeks without the drug might cause serious side effects because he originally had to build the amount he received over a period of time. Nurse Noll agreed that there might be some risk to receiving the methotrexate injection ...

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