United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
RYAN L. ESLICK, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD HEALTH CARE, LLC, D. DEWINGER Dr., SCOTT LEVINE Dr., EASTER-ROSE Dr., R. PERRY Dr., Defendants.
ENTRY GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY
OF FINAL JUDGMENT
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Ryan L. Eslick is an Indiana prison inmate confined at the
Westville Correctional Facility. The Court screened his
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and determined
that Eighth Amendment medical claims shall proceed against
defendants Wexford of Indiana, Dr. Deanna Dwenger, Dr. Scott
Levine, Dr. Cimone Easter-Rose, and Dr. Roger Perry. These
five defendants collectively move for summary judgment on
their affirmative defense that Mr. Eslick failed to exhaust
his available administrative remedies. Mr. Eslick did not
respond to the defendants’ motion and the time for
doing so has passed.
reasons explained below, the defendants’ unopposed
motion for summary judgment, dkt.  is
granted. Mr. Eslick’s claims are
dismissed without prejudice and final judgment shall enter
consistent with this Order.
Eslick brought his claims against four doctors and their
employer, Wexford of Indiana LLC, the company contracted by
Indiana to provide medical services to inmates throughout the
state prison system. He contended that on January 1, 4, &
5, 2019, while in the Pendleton Correctional Facility, he
sought mental health treatment for having suicidal ideations.
Having not received treatment he attempted suicide on January
23 and February 4, 2019. The individual defendants allegedly
told him there was nothing they could do. Sixteen days after
his last suicide attempt, Mr. Eslick brought this action
alleging the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs. Dkt. 1.
defendants answered and asserted the affirmative defense of
Mr. Eslick’s failure to exhaust his available
administrative remedies. Dkt. 18. The Court stayed the action
except for discovery on the exhaustion issue. Dkt. 20.
Following brief discovery efforts, the defendants moved for
summary judgment contending that Mr. Eslick did not file a
grievance concerning the allegations in his complaint. They
argue that Mr. Eslick’s claims are therefore barred by
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42
U.S.C. § 1997e, requirement that a prisoner first
exhaust his available administrative remedies before filing a
the following facts, unopposed by Mr. Eslick and supported by
admissible evidence, are accepted as true:
times relevant to his claims, Mr. Eslick was incarcerated at
the Pendleton Correctional Facility (PCF). The Indiana
Department of Correction (IDOC) has an administrative remedy
system that was in effect at all times relevant to this case.
Dkt. 26, p. 3., ¶ 8. The administrative remedy process
allows an inmate to seek formal review of a complaint related
to any aspect of his imprisonment. All inmates arriving at
PCF are provided Admission and Orientation paperwork that
includes an explanation of this grievance system, and the
grievance procedures are available in the law libraries.
Id. To exhaust administrative remedies, the inmate
follows a three-step process. Id., ¶¶
9-10. The first step is to make an informal grievance about
the issue. If the informal grievance is not successful, the
inmate files a formal grievance with the PCF Grievance
Specialist. If the issue is not resolved, the inmate may file
an appeal to the PCF Warden. If the Warden does not resolve
the issue, the inmate may then appeal to the IDOC Grievance
Manager. The inmate’s available administrative remedies
are then exhausted. Id., ¶ 10.
Eslick never submitted a successful grievance during his
entire time at PCF, and never filed a medical grievance that
was returned to him as improper. Id., ¶¶
11-13. Mr. Eslick failed to exhaust his available
administrative remedies concerning his claims against the
defendants. Id., ¶ 14.
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 judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). “Material facts are those that
might affect the outcome of the suit under applicable
substantive law.” Dawson v. Brown, 803 F.3d
829, 833 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).
“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)). The 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. See
Barbera v. Pearson Education, Inc., 906 F.3d 621, 628
(7th Cir. 2018).
defendants’ motion for summary judgment, brief in
support, and Rule 56 notice were served on Mr. Eslick on or
about June 5, 2019. Dkts. 25, 26, & 27. The consequence
of Mr. Eslick’s failure to respond is that he has
conceded the defendants’ version of the facts.
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(b) (“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.”). This does not alter the standard
for assessing a Rule 56(a) motion, but 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).
Prison Litigation ...