Goldman Ismail Wins Reversal En Banc Before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

In a 6-to-3 en banc ruling issued on August 23, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed summary judgment and remanded for trial on claims brought by our client, Tyrone Petties. Mr. Petties, an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, sued his treating physicians at Stateville alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical condition, a completely ruptured Achilles tendon. The district court granted summary judgment against Mr. Petties in 2014, and in July 2015, a divided Seventh Circuit panel affirmed that decision. In October 2015, Goldman Ismail successfully petitioned for an extremely rare re-hearing en banc.  The full Court heard argument on December 1, 2015. In a noteworthy opinion, the Seventh Circuit clarified the standard for deliberate indifference under the Eighth Amendment. The Court held that “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 v. Carter et al., No. 14-2674, slip op. at 2 (7th Cir. Aug. 23, 2016). The Court also definitively held for the first time that "qualified immunity does not apply to private medical personnel in prisons." Id. at 18. The opinion, as amended on August 25, is available here. Media coverage here and here. Mr. Petties is represented pro bono by Rami Fakhouri, who will continue the representation upon remand.