United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Zorislav R. Leyderman, for plaintiff.
Jeffrey Kent Boman, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE;
Charles Gross and Corinne Ivanca, GERAGHTY O'LOUGHLIN
& KENNEY, P.A., for defendants.
Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge
Trujillo brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against defendants Janine Dickenson, Luke Keranen, Tom
Peterson, and Michael Ryan (collectively the “state
defendants”)-four medical professionals who worked at a
correctional facility at which Trujillo was incarcerated-for
allegedly acting with deliberate indifference to
Trujillo's serious medical needs. This matter is before
the Court on the state defendants' motion for summary
judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court denies the
facts are sharply disputed. For purposes of ruling on the
state defendants' summary-judgment motion, however, the
Court must accept Trujillo's version as true, even if the
Court is skeptical about some of what Trujillo has claimed.
See Bennett v. Miles, 603 Fed.Appx. 507, 509 (8th
Cir. 2015) (reversing a district court's grant of summary
judgment when there were “conflicts between the
physicians' evidence” and the inmate's
“attestations regarding his symptoms and complaints
when he saw the physicians”). Briefly, Trujillo's
account is as follows:
17, 2011, Trujillo fractured a bone in his right leg while
playing soccer at the Minnesota correctional facility in
Moose Lake. ECF No. 60-16 at 4. Dickenson (a nurse) examined
Trujillo shortly after he was injured. Trujillo told
Dickenson that he was in “really bad pain” and
thought that he had a broken leg. ECF No. 60-2 at 11-12, 15.
At that point, Trujillo's leg had already swollen so much
that he could not wear pants or put on shoes. ECF No. 60-2 at
Dickenson told Trujillo that he “don't got nothing,
” id. at 15-i.e., that his injury was not
serious-and she sent him away with ACE wrap, crutches, and
some ice, ECF No. 32 at 1. Hours later, Trujillo's leg
had swollen to the size of a soccer ball. ECF No. 60-2 at
symptoms persisted over the next two weeks, through meetings
with Keranen (an athletic trainer) on May 18th, Peterson (a
nurse) on May 20th, and Ryan (a nurse) on May 31st.
See ECF No. 60-16 at 2-3. Trujillo's leg was
severely swollen during this entire time. See ECF
No. 60-2 at 12-13, 17-19. Moreover, Trujillo told each of
these defendants that he was in pain, and all of these
defendants saw that Trujillo could not put normal pressure on
his leg or properly bend his knee. Two months later, after
Trujillo was finally seen by a doctor, Trujillo was diagnosed
with a bone fracture. By then, however, the fracture had
improperly healed, resulting in a deformed leg. Fixing
Trujillo's leg will require painful surgeries and cost
hundreds of thousands of dollars. ECF No. 60-16 at 4-5.
Standard of Review
judgment is warranted “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 over a fact is
“material” only if its resolution might affect
the outcome of the suit under the governing substantive law.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A dispute over a fact is “genuine” only
if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.
When considering a summary-judgment motion, the Court
“must view the evidence and the inferences that may be
reasonably drawn from the evidence in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party.” Winthrop Res.
Corp. v. Eaton Hydraulics, Inc., 361 F.3d 465, 468 (8th
recover on his § 1983 claim, Trujillo must prove
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need-i.e., he
must prove that he had “an objectively serious medical
need and that prison officers knew of the need but
deliberately disregarded it.” Gordon ex rel. Gordon
v. Frank, 454 F.3d 858, 862 (8th Cir. 2006). A serious
medical need is “one that has been diagnosed by a
physician as requiring treatment, or one that is so obvious
that even a layperson would easily recognize the necessity
for a doctor's attention.” Camberos v.
Branstad, 73 F.3d 174, 176 (8th Cir. 1995) (quotation
omitted). “The subjective inquiry must show a mental
state akin to criminal recklessness: disregarding a known
risk to the inmate's health.” Gordon, 454
F.3d at 862. “Whether an inmate's ...