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10-2012 Ortiz v. Webster

Civil Rights
Prisons; medical needs; deliberate indifference

Where a jury could infer that a prison doctor declined to provide surgery he believed was necessary, summary judgment should not have been granted to the doctor on the prisoner’s deliberate indifference claim.
“The problem with Dr. Webster’s inaction, then, is not that he chose the wrong side in a medical debate. He ignored his own opinion, undisputed in this record, that within two years of 2003 Ortiz required either further evaluation of his vision acuity or surgery. Physicians cannot escape liability simply by ‘refusing to verify underlying facts’ regarding the potential need for treatment. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 843 n.8; see Leavitt v. Corr. Med. Servs., Inc., No. 10-1432, 2011 WL 2557009, at *10-11 (1st Cir. June 29, 2011). Because the evidence would permit a jury to conclude that Dr. Webster’s inaction substantially and unreasonably delayed necessary treatment, Ortiz has done enough to survive summary judgment on his claim of deliberate indifference. Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435, 441 (7th Cir. 2010); Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 625 (7th Cir. 2010); Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 779 (7th Cir. 2008); Jones v. Simek, 193 F.3d 85, 490-91 (7th Cir. 1999).”

Reversed and Remanded.

10-2012 Ortiz v. Webster

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, McKinney, J., Bauer, J.

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