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White v. Talbot

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

December 13, 2019

PAUL TALBOT, Defendant.



         Plaintiff De'Auntaye White, an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility (“PCF”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that defendant Dr. Paul Talbot exhibited deliberate indifference to his back pain in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Dr. Talbot moves for summary judgment on this claim and Mr. White has responded. For the following reasons, Dr. Talbot's motion for summary judgment is granted.

         I. Summary Judgment Standard

         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). 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). 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).

         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 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). 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).

         Mr. White responded to the motion for summary judgment, but he did not submit evidence or identify parts of the record to support his claims. Accordingly, the facts alleged in the motion are deemed admitted so long as support for them exists in the record. See S.D. Ind. Local Rule 56-1 (“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.”); 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”); Brasic v. Heinemanns, Inc., 121 F.3d 281, 285-286 (7th Cir. 1997) (affirming grant of summary judgment where the nonmovant failed to properly offer evidence disputing the movant's version of the facts). This does not alter the summary judgment standard, but it does “[r]educ[e] the pool” from which facts and inferences relative to the motion may be drawn. Smith v. Severn, 129 F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).

         II. Facts

         Mr. White was transferred to PCF on January 12, 2015. Dkt. 54-2, p. 13. He has been incarcerated at the PCF during all relevant times covered in his Complaint. Id.

         Mr. White alleges that he has been complaining of back pain since 2015. Dkt. 1, p. 4; Dkt. 54-2, p. 21-22. But his available medical records indicate that the earliest he complained of back pain was March of 2018. Dkt. 48-2, p 339.

         Dr. Talbot first saw Mr. White for his complaints of back pain on April 18, 2018.[1] Dkt. 48-1, ¶ 8. Dr. Talbot assessed Mr. White's back during this visit. Id. Mr. White stated that he first injured his back in a 2009 motor vehicle accident. Id. Despite Mr. White's complaints of pain, Dr. Talbot noted that he was able to remain active during his incarceration. Id., ¶ 9.

         Dr. Talbot ordered x-rays as a diagnostic tool to assess whether Mr. White had an identifiable injury causing pain. Id., ¶ 10. Dr. Talbot reviewed Mr. White's ability to perform his activities of daily living and Mr. White indicated he could perform such activities. Id., ¶ 9. Finally, to address Mr. White's complaints of pain, Dr. Talbot provided a one-month prescription for Mobic from April 20, 2018 to May 19, 2018. Id., ¶¶ 10-11. Mobic, like Ibuprofen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug often used as a pain reliever. Id., ¶ 11.

         Mr. White purchased 30 tablets of Ibuprofen from commissary in May or June of 2018. Dkt. 54-2, p. 30-31. This was the only time Mr. White purchased a painkiller from commissary. Id., p. 31-32.

         Dr. Talbot next saw Mr. White for his complaints of back pain on May 7, 2018. Dkt. 48-1, ¶ 12. Mr. White had back x-rays taken on April 24, 2018. Id. Dr. Talbot discussed Mr. White's x-ray results, which came back as negative for abnormalities. Id., ¶ 13.

         Dr. Talbot does not believe that further diagnostic testing, including an MRI, is necessary given the results of his assessments and Mr. White's x-ray results. Id., ΒΆ 15. Dr. Talbot also does not believe that Mr. White is a candidate for a back brace given the lack of ...

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