White v. Woods, No. 21-2291 (7th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
White injured his knee while incarcerated and playing basketball at an Illinois prison in June 2015. From the date of his injury through November 2017, White complained about knee pain to various prison nurses and doctors, including Nurse Practitioner Woods and Doctor David, who met White’s complaints with “conservative” treatment. White did not receive an MRI for his knee until December 2017. The MRI revealed that White had a serious knee injury that required surgery.
White filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against Woods, David, and the prison’s healthcare provider, Wexford, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed White’s claims. The Seventh Circuit vacated in part. The district court improperly granted Woods and David summary judgment on White’s deliberate indifference claims; the evidence viewed in the light most favorable to White shows a factual dispute. A jury could find that Woods’s decisions not to perform a complete examination on White and not to refer White to David, for an MRI or anything else, for nearly seven weeks were deliberately indifferent. A jury could conclude that he unreasonably delayed necessary treatment for White’s knee injury by continuing a conservative care regimen.