United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING DANA MILLER’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
relevant times, plaintiff Charles Gooch was an Indiana
prisoner incarcerated at the the Correctional Industrial
Facility (CIF). Mr. Gooch filed this civil rights action on
April 3, 2017. Dkt. No. 1. This action was consolidated with
another action, 1:17-cv-2217-RLY-MPB, on March 12, 2018. Dkt.
41. His third amended complaint, tendered on May 7, 2018,
dkt. 48, and filed on June 8, 2018, is the operative
pleading. Dkt. 52. Dana Miller, physical therapist, is one of
eight defendants. Mr. Gooch seeks compensatory and punitive
damages and injunctive relief in the form of diagnostics and
Miller has moved for summary judgment. Dkt. 89. Briefing was
extended to allow the Court to recruit counsel to assist Mr.
Gooch. Counsel was recruited on May 2, 2019, and August 15,
2019. Dkt. 137; dkt. 152. The Court greatly appreciates
recruited counsel’s assistance with this case. Mr.
Gooch responded, dkt. 149, and Ms. Miller replied, dkt. 154.
For the reasons explained in this Entry, Ms. Miller’s
motion for summary judgment, filed on February 13, 2019, must
Summary Judgment Standard
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.
Barbera v. Pearson Education, Inc., 906 F.3d 621,
628 (7th Cir. 2018). The Court cannot weigh evidence or make
credibility determinations on summary judgment because those
tasks are left to the fact-finder. Johnson v. Advocate
Health and Hospitals Corp. 892 F.3d 887, 893 (7th Cir.
following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the
standards 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. Gooch 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
Miller has been a physical therapist for over 25 years. Dkt.
91-1 at 1, ¶ 3. Ms. Miller has worked for RepuCare, a
medical staffing company, since 2003. Id. at ¶
4. RepuCare assigns Ms. Miller to provide physical therapy
services at various facilities. Id. at ¶ 5.
During Mr. Gooch’s incarceration at CIF, RepuCare
contracted with Corizon Health Care (Corizon) and Wexford of
Indiana, LLC (Wexford). Id. at ¶¶ 4-6.
Since 2007, CIF has been one of Ms. Miller’s assigned
facilities. Id. at ¶ 5. Ms. Miller has never
been employed by Corizon or Wexford. Id. at ¶
early 2015, Ms. Miller evaluated weakness Ms. Gooch had in
his left leg and recommended he get an ankle-foot orthosis
(AFO). Dkt. 91-2 at 14, 18 (Gooch Dep.) at 89:4-19, 109:8-9.
An AFO is an L-shaped brace with a short end that slides
under the foot to hold it up. Dkt. 91-2 at 3, 5 at 25:13-19,
41:2-16. Ms. Miller recommended an AFO for Mr. Gooch because
he did not have good control of his left foot and knee. Dkt.
150-3, no. 2 at 4. An AFO is intended to assist with
ambulation related to foot drop. Dkt. 150-4, no. 10 at 4. An
AFO can raise the front of the foot and prevent the knee from
hyperextending backward. Dkt. 150-3, no. 5 at 4.
Gooch received his first AFO, a plastic version, in 2015.
Dkt. 91-2 at 14, 17 at 89:16-19, 108:2-13. After about six
months, the plastic AFO wore out and became weak. Dkt. 91-2
at 17 at 108:1-13. Mr. Gooch complained about the plastic AFO
to Dr. Person, a physician at the prison. Dkt. 91-2 at 18 at
109:8-21. Dr. Person ordered a custom-fitted AFO to replace
the plastic one. Id. An orthotist molded Mr.
Gooch’s foot and made the custom AFO in mid-2015. Dkt.
91-2 at 18 at 109:2-5. The new AFO had hinges behind the
ankle that prevented Mr. Gooch’s left foot from
dropping when he walked. Dkt. 91-2 at 8-9 at 60:18-61:19.
Gooch is dependent on his AFO to prevent his knee from
extending backwards and to prevent stress on his knee. Dkt.
150-1 at ¶ 22. When Mr. Gooch attempts to walk without
his AFO, he strains to keep his balance and he has twisted
his ankle and knee without his AFO. Dkt. 150-1 at ¶ 23.
August 31, 2016, Mr. Gooch fell down some steps and injured
his knee. Dkt. 150-1 at ¶ 5. This fall was not due to
his AFO. Dkt. 91-2 at 10 at 65:8-9. He slipped on water on