United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
R. SWEENEY II JUDGE
October 17, 2017, Plaintiff Jeffery L. Capler, Jr., filed
this civil action alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights
were violated by the defendants while he was incarcerated at
the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. Specifically, Mr.
Capler alleges that the defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs by delaying proper
medical attention and medication for the
“excruciating” pain in his left shoulder, arm,
and hand between June 29, 2017, and September 22, 2017.
Defendants Anne Conner, Regenia Robinson, and Samuel Byrd,
M.D.,  seek resolution of the claims alleged
against them through summary judgment. Mr. Capler, with the
assistance of court recruited counsel, has
responded. For the reasons explained below, the
defendants' motion for summary judgment, dkt , is
Summary Judgment 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 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.
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. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
Conner is a registered nurse licensed to practice medicine in
the State of Indiana. She is currently employed as a nurse at
the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana.
Prior to April 1, 2017, Ms. Conner was employed in this
capacity by Corizon, LLC. Following April 1, 2017, she has
held this position as an employee of Wexford of Indiana, LLC.
Dkt. 54-2, ¶ 1-2.
Ms. Conner's time as a nurse at the Wabash Valley
Correctional Facility, she had an opportunity to see and
interact with a patient by the name of Jeffery Capler.
Id. at ¶ 3.
nurse at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, there are a
number of obligations and duties that Ms. Conner had to
perform each day, and they would change throughout the years,
or based upon the needs of the facility. One of the roles
that Ms. Conner would perform at the Wabash Valley
Correctional Facility was to complete nurse sick call and
triage patients who were in need of medical care.
Id. at ¶ 4.
at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility are instructed to
submit written health care request forms for all non-emergent
medical needs. Those written requests for health care are
received by nursing staff onsite, and patients are scheduled
to be seen by a nurse on nurse sick call. Ms. Conner would
often be the nurse assigned to see patients who had submitted
health care request forms. Id. at ¶ 5.
records reflect that on June 29, 2017, Mr. Capler submitted a
Request for Health Care, which stated, “Im having this
pain & funny feeling in my left arm from my shoulder on
down my shoulder feels as if it not in the place. I need it
looked at please.” Dkt. 1-1 at p. 3; Dkt. 54-2, ¶
3, 2017, Mr. Capler was seen by Ms. Conner as part of her
assigned nurse sick call. At that time, Mr. Capler
specifically informed Ms. Conner that his left arm would
twitch and sometimes go numb. She checked his vitals, which
were all normal, and he reported a history of a car accident
in 2013. While he complained of discomfort, Ms. Conner noted
that he had full range of motion of his arm, and that there
were no signs of any weakness. Mr. Capler was aware of the
ability to purchase medications onsite through the
institutional commissary. Given his complaint, and that there
were no objective signs of any weakness or limited range of
motion, Ms. Conner provided Mr. Capler an instructional sheet
regarding arm/hand exercises as well as shoulder exercises,
and pursuant to nursing protocol, instructed him to perform
these exercises for 6-8 weeks. She further instructed him
that if at any time his symptoms were not improved, to submit
another health care request for an evaluation. Dkt. 54-2,
August 19, 2017, Mr. Capler submitted a second Request for
Health Care, which stated,
I'm still having this pain & funny feeling in my left
arm & hand it still going num nothing has changed since
the last request I put in about on 6-29-17 in I did all of
them exercises on the sheet that was given to me may I please
get someone to see whats going on.
Dkt. 1-1 at p. 4.
Capler was seen by Ms. Conner again on August 23, 2017, as
part of nurse sick call. Mr. Capler reported that he had
“something” going on with his upper gums, and he
also reported pain and numbness that he believed had worsened
since his prior nurse sick call visit in July. Ms. Conner
checked his vital signs, which were again normal, and Mr.
Capler again noted the history of a car accident, this time
in 2012. Given that he was reporting his symptoms were worse,
Ms. Conner ordered an evaluation by a practitioner onsite.
Dkt. 54-2 at ¶ 7.
September 10, 2017, Mr. Capler submitted a third Request for
Health Care, which stated, “This is request #3 about my
left shoulder & arm & hand having pain & going
num. The f[ir]st requ[es]t I put in about it was 6-29-17
& the second [request] was 8-19-17 I had did all the
exercises that was giving to me & nothing has changed it
is now 9-10-17 & I still haven't received any medical
attention & I would like to [know] why? When she
scheduled for me to see a doctor.” Dkt. 1-1 at p. 5.
September 13, 2017, Ms. Conner noted that Mr. Capler was
scheduled with the doctor. She further noted that she had
previously seen him on August 23, 2017, and that he had
already been scheduled for an evaluation by a doctor,
pursuant to her order on August 23, 2017. Dkt. 54-2 at ¶
September 18, 2017, Mr. Capler submitted a fourth Request for
Health Care, which stated, “I am having this
excruciating pain in my shoulder, arm, hand on my left side I
was told that I had to wait to see the doctor but [until]
then can I get ...