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Deliberate Indifference

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//July 8, 2024//

Deliberate Indifference

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//July 8, 2024//

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Rodney Clemons v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

Case No.: 23-1790

Officials: Scudder, St. Eve, and Kirsch, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Deliberate Indifference

Clemons, an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center, filed a lawsuit against Wexford Health Sources, Inc., and two of its physicians, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious foot condition. Clemons had injured his right ankle before his incarceration and experienced persistent pain in his right ankle and foot throughout his time in prison. He argued that the defendants prioritized cost considerations over proper medical judgment.

The case was initially heard in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, ruling that the treatment plan implemented by the physicians was reasonable. The court found no evidence of a widespread pattern of indifference that would suggest a constitutional violation by Wexford.

The appellate court concluded that the medical decisions made by the prison doctors were not so deficient that no minimally competent professional would have made similar choices. Additionally, the court determined that the alleged policy of cost-cutting through limited referrals was not inherently unconstitutional on its face. Moreover, Clemons did not demonstrate a consistent pattern of violations indicating that Wexford was aware of and condoned its employees’ misconduct. Therefore, the court affirmed that Clemons had not proven that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.

Affirmed.

Decided 07/02/24

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