Petties v. Carter, No. 14-2674 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Illinois prisoner Petties was climbing stairs when he felt a “pop” and extreme pain in his ankle. At the prison infirmary, the examining physician prescribed Vicodin and crutches and a week of “lay-in.” The medical director, Dr. Carter, noted in the file that Petties had suffered an “Achilles tendon rupture” and modified the instructions, directing that Petties be scheduled for an MRI and orthopedic examination as an “urgent” matter. Prison lockdowns resulted in cancelation of three appointments. Eight weeks passed before he received an orthopedic boot. Petties claimed that a year later, he still experienced “serious pain, soreness, and stiffness” in his ankle. Petties argued that Carter was deliberately indifferent by failing to immobilize his ankle with a boot or cast immediately and that a physician he saw later was deliberately indifference in not ordering physical therapy despite a recommendation. The Seventh Circuit initially affirmed summary judgment in favor of the doctors, but on rehearing, en banc, reversed. Even if a doctor denies knowing that he was exposing a plaintiff to a substantial risk of serious harm, evidence from which a reasonable jury could infer a doctor knew he was providing deficient treatment is sufficient to survive summary judgment. Petties produced sufficient evidence for a jury to conclude that the doctors knew the care they were providing was insufficient.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on July 30, 2015.