Court Grants Summary Judgment Against Jail Inmate Claiming Unsatisfactory Treatment of MRSA

June 27, 2018

Earlier this month, Judge Sue Myerscough granted summary judgment in the Central District of Illinois in favor of all defendants in Longstreet v. Huffines.  In that case, a jail inmate (Marcus Longstreet) claimed that the jail’s physician’s assistant and head nurse had not treated him for MRSA and that they had also prescribed unnecessary medications for other medical conditions. While acknowledging that MRSA was a potentially serious staph infection which defendants would be obligated to treat, Longstreet had a long history of skin problems, which both preceded his visit to the county jail and which followed him after he was subsequently transferred out of the jail. The court held that the jail’s physician’s assistant had treated Longstreet conservatively over the 16-month period when Longstreet was incarcerated in Kankakee County. During that time, the physician’s assistant had prescribed creams and antibiotics to treat the inmate’s rashes and boils. Although lab work had not been ordered during Longstreet’s incarceration to confirm the presence of MRSA, the physician’s assistant had prescribed antibiotics which would treat a skin infection such as MRSA. Longstreet was also treated (reasonably the court held) during that time for other medical problems, including abdominal problems and high blood pressure. The court was also highly critical of the inmate, noting that he had changed his allegations in response to summary judgment, noting that an inmate may not contradict his deposition testimony in an attempt to create an issue of material fact to force a trial. The court also granted summary judgment to the jail’s head nurse, noting that nurses at the jail were only responsible for taking vital signs and dispensing medications that were prescribed by the jail’s physician assistant or medical director. Mike Condon and Jason Rose represented the defendants in the case.

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