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Islas v. Kilaru

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

December 2, 2013

MARIO ISLAS, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. SYAM KILARU et al., Defendants.

ORDER

LINDA R. READE, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

The matter before the court is Defendants Dr. Syam Kilaru, Ron Mullen, Dr. David Richter, Michelle Waddle, Randy Kirchner and Mike Henry's (collectively, "Defendants") "Motion for Summary Judgment" ("Motion") (docket no. 16).

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On November 27, 2012, Plaintiff Mario Islas filed a pro se Complaint (docket no. 3), asserting claims against Dr. Syam Kilaru, a physician at the Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility; Ron Mullen, the warden at the Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility; Dr. David Richter, a physician at the Anamosa State Penitentiary; Michelle Waddle, Islas's counselor at the Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility; Mike Henry, a correctional officer at the Anamosa State Penitentiary; and Randy Kirchner, a Sergeant and grievance officer at the Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility. On December 18, 2012, Islas filed a Supplement to the Complaint (docket no. 4), providing details of the events underlying the Complaint. On January 28, 2013, Defendants filed an Answer to the Complaint (docket no. 8), denying Islas's claims and asserting affirmative defenses.

On June 18, 2013, Defendants filed the Motion, arguing that the court should grant summary judgment in Defendants' favor and dismiss the Complaint. On July 17, 2013, Islas filed a pro se Resistance to the Motion (docket no. 19). On July 30, 2013, Defendants filed a Reply to the Resistance (docket no. 20). On August 19, 2013, Islas filed a Sur-Reply (docket no. 21).[1] In the Motion, Defendants do not request oral argument and the court finds oral argument is unnecessary. The Motion is fully submitted and ready for decision.

III. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate "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). "A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the case." Amini v. City of Minneapolis, 643 F.3d 1068, 1074 (8th Cir. 2011) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 252 (1986)), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 1144 (2012). "[S]elf-serving allegations and denials are insufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact." Anuforo v. Comm'r, 614 F.3d 799, 807 (8th Cir. 2010). "To survive a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must substantiate [its] allegations with sufficient probative evidence [that] would permit a finding in [its] favor based on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy." Barber v. C1 Truck Driver Training, LLC, 656 F.3d 782, 801 (8th Cir. 2011) (second alteration in original) (quoting Putman v. Unity Health Sys., 348 F.3d 732, 733-34 (8th Cir. 2003)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The court must view the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and afford it all reasonable inferences. See Schmidt v. Des Moines Pub. Sch., 655 F.3d 811, 819 (8th Cir. 2011).

IV. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Islas's claims relate to events that occurred while he was confined at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility and the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Islas contends that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs concerning his inguinal hernia. Islas was committed to the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections on November 5, 2004. Islas was incarcerated at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility from April 8, 2010 through June 14, 2011. Islas was then incarcerated at the Anamosa State Penitentiary from June 15, 2011, through January 24, 2012. Islas was then incarcerated at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility from January 25, 2012 through November 1, 2012, at which point he was returned to the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Islas remains at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.

When he was initially committed to the Iowa Department of Corrections, Islas reported that he had a history of an inguinal hernia, which he had repaired in the 1980s. Dr. Richter performed a physical on Islas on November 24, 2004, and noted no hernias. Affidavit of Dr. Richter, Defendants' Appendix ("Defendants' App'x") (docket no. 16-3) at 5. On August 11, 2010, while at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, Dr. Kilaru performed a physical on Islas and noted the presence of a minimal inguinal hernia and placed a work limitation on Islas, providing that he was not to lift more than twenty-five pounds. August 11, 2010 Physical Examination, Defendants' App'x at 12. Dr. Kilaru did not impose a push/pull restriction or any further limitations on Islas at this point.

On June 15, 2011, Islas was transferred to the Anamosa State Penitentiary. On November 23, 2011, he was assigned a job as a cell house orderly. According to Dr. Richter, "[t]his job was proper taking into consideration the... restrictions placed on Islas by Dr. Kilaru" following the August 11, 2010 physical. Affidavit of Dr. Richter, Defendants' App'x at 6.

On January 17, 2012, Islas reported that he had a hernia that was causing him pain. Dr. Richter ordered a Limited Activity Notice, which restricted Islas from working for two days and instructed the nurse to give him Motrin for pain. On January 18, 2012, Islas saw a nurse to recheck the hernia. The nurse found that Islas "ha[d] a bulge and it [was] not reducible." January 18, 2012 Nurse Encounter, Defendants' App'x at 22. On January 19, 2012, Dr. Richter saw Islas again for his hernia and found that Islas's hernia was easily reducible and, thus, surgery to address the hernia was "an elective procedure and not medically necessary." Affidavit of Dr. Richter, Defendants' App'x at 7. However, at this time, Dr. Richter imposed additional limitations upon ...


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