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Payton v. Talbot

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

November 13, 2019

KEVIN PAYTON, Plaintiff,
v.
PAUL TALBOT Dr., CORIZON MEDICAL, WEXFORD HEALTH SERVICES, WARDEN DUSHAN ZATECKY, Defendants.

          ENTRY GRANTING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II JUDGE

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Kevin Payton, an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility (Pendleton), filed this civil rights action on December 4, 2018. The defendants in this action are Dr. Paul Talbot, Corizon Medical (Corizon), Wexford Health Services (Wexford), and Warden Dushan Zatecky. Mr. Payton alleges that Dr. Paul Talbot, Corizon, and Wexford failed to provide him with timely medical care. He further alleges that Warden Zatecky ordered all medical staff to provide the bare minimum of health care.

         All four defendants have moved for summary judgment seeking resolution of the claims against them on the basis that Mr. Payton failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies before filing this action. Dkt. 25; dkt. 32; dkt. 35. For the reasons explained in this Entry, the defendants' motions for summary judgment must be granted.

         II. Legal Standards

         Summary 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 Educ., Inc., 906 F.3d 621, 628 (7th Cir. 2018).

         The substantive law applicable to the motions for summary judgment is the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA'”), which requires that a prisoner exhaust his available administrative remedies before bringing a suit concerning prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002). “[T]he PLRA's exhaustion requirement applies to all inmate suits about prison life, whether they involve general circumstances or particular episodes, and whether they allege excessive force or some other wrong.” Id. at 532 (citation omitted).

         “Proper exhaustion demands compliance with an agency's deadlines and other critical procedural rules because no adjudicative system can function effectively without imposing some orderly structure on the course of its proceedings.” Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90-91 (2006) (footnote omitted); see also Dole v. Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir. 2006) (“‘To exhaust remedies, a prisoner must file complaints and appeals in the place, and at the time, the prison's administrative rules require.'”) (quoting Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002)).

         “State law establishes the administrative remedies that a state prisoner must exhaust for purposes of the PLRA.” Lanaghan v. Koch, 902 F.3d 683, 687 (7th Cir. 2018). “Because exhaustion is an affirmative defense, the defendants must establish that an administrative remedy was available and that [the plaintiff] failed to pursue it.” Thomas v. Reese, 787 F.3d 845, 847 (7th Cir. 2015); see also Kaba v. Stepp, 458 F.3d 678, 681 (7th Cir. 2006).

         III. Discussion

         A. Undisputed Facts

         In the screening Entry of May 6, 2019, dkt. 14, the Court described Mr. Payton's claims as follows:

Mr. Payton alleges that as a result of Officer Ward attacking him on November 16, 2016, he suffered serious injuries. He alleges he complained to medical staff about his injuries for several weeks but he was denied treatment by the physician and staff. He then wrote a health care request stating that one of his testicles had been kicked up into the inguinal canal, he had a hard erection, and he could not urinate since the attack. Once he was seen by medical, he was sent to a local hospital where it was determined that he required surgery (an orchiectomy) on February 14, 2017. He alleges that Superintendent (now called “Warden”) Zatecky ordered all medical staff to ...

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