King v. Newbold, No. 15-1302 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
King, an Illinois prisoner, suffers from a severe case of temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Since 2004 he has been confined at different correctional facilities. He receives some medical care from healthcare personnel employed directly by the state; the rest is overseen by employees of Wexford, a private correctional healthcare company under contract with Illinois. After years of failed treatment for his condition, a complex surgery, and an unsuccessful postsurgical recovery, King sued Wexford and medical professionals alleging that they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Following partial summary judgment and judgment on the pleadings, claims against two doctors remained. More than 30 days after the order granting judgment on the pleadings and more than a year after the partial summary judgment, King obtained a Rule 54(b) judgment on the claims for which summary judgment and judgment on the pleadings were granted, concluding that those claims were ripe for appeal. The Seventh Circuit dismissed that appeal. An untimely Rule 54(b) motion may be granted only if there is a showing of extreme hardship; there was no showing of hardship, let alone extreme hardship.