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JONES v. NATESHA

July 12, 2001

BRIAN JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. R. K. NATESHA, DR. SOOD, DR. ZHANG, DR. A. TILDEN, DR. EVARISTO AGUINALDO AND DR. JOSEPH K. SMITH DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James H. Alesia, Judge

  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Currently before the court are defendants Dr. R. K. Natesha's and Dr. Sood's motions to dismiss plaintiff's amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) ("Rule 12(b)(6)"). For the following reasons, the court denies both motions.*fn1

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Brian Jones ("Jones"), an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center, brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("§ 1983") against individual Stateville Correctional Center and Joliet Correctional Center medical personnel. The amended complaint alleges the following facts which for purposes of ruling on this motion the court must accept as true. See Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).

Jones is a resident of Illinois and is currently incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center. All defendants were, at all relevant times, licensed medical doctors in the state of Illinois and employed, either full time or on a contractual basis, as correctional center physicians by the Illinois Department of Corrections at Stateville Correctional Center and/or Joliet Correctional Center.

In August or September 1998, Jones first complained of hemorrhoids and was treated by defendants Dr. R. K. Natesha ("Natesha"), Dr. Sood ("Sood"), and/or Dr. Zhang ("Zhang"). On October 21, 1998, Natesha, Sood, or Zhang performed hemorrhoid surgery on Jones. For a year following the October 1998 surgery, Jones complained to Natesha, Sood, and Zhang of extreme pain, discomfort, and/or bleeding near the operative area.*fn2 Natesha, Sood, and Zhang continued treating Jones in the same manner for over one year following the October 1998 surgery.

On or about October 5, 1999, Jones was transferred to Joliet Correctional Center where he immediately and repeatedly notified defendants Dr. A. Tilden ("Tilden"), Dr. Evaristo Aguinaldo ("Aguinaldo"), and Dr. Joseph K. Smith ("Smith") of his post-operative complications and treatment. Jones remained at Joliet Correctional Center for approximately three months under the care of Tilden, Aguinaldo, and Smith. While under their care, he continued to experience the same pain, discomfort, and bleeding he experienced just after the October 1998 operation.

On December 16, 1999, Natesha performed a second hemorrhoid operation on Jones. Approximately two weeks after the December 1999 surgery, Jones began to experience the same pain, discomfort, and bleeding he experienced after the October 1998 surgery. He immediately reported this pain to Natesha, Tilden, Aguinaldo, and Smith. They "refused to properly treat the extreme pain, discomfort, and bleeding that Plaintiff reported." (Am. Compl. at ¶ 23.)

On June 1, 2000, a third operation was performed on Jones "by one or more of the Defendants or at the direction/supervision of one or more of the Defendants." (Id. at ¶ 24.) Plaintiff believes he is suffering from internal bleeding resulting from the June 2000 operation. He has informed all defendants of his concern of internal bleeding.

Jones has filed a one-count amended complaint alleging that each defendant violated his constitutional right to reasonable medical care and treatment. He is suing all the defendants in their individual capacities and alleges that they all acted in the course and scope of their employment and under color of state law.

Natesha and Sood have each filed motions to dismiss Jones's amended complaint. Defendants' motions, taken together, argue that Jones's amended complaint should be dismissed because (1) the allegations in Jones's complaint do not establish that the defendants' actions were undertaken pursuant to color of state law, and (2) Jones fails to state a cause of action under § 1983 because, while Jones may have disagreed with the defendants' diagnosis and treatment, this does not amount to a constitutional violation for deliberate indifference.*fn3

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard for deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)

The purpose of a motion to dismiss is to test the sufficiency of the complaint, not to decide the merits. Gibson v. Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). When deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. FED. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). See Summary v. Am. Gen. Fin., Inc., 246 F.3d 1065, 1067 (7th Cir. 2000). If, when viewed in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court must dismiss the case. Gomez v. Illinois State Bd. of Educ., 811 F.2d 1030, 1039 (7th Cir. 1987). Dismissal is proper only if it is clear from the complaint that no set of facts consistent with its allegations would entitle the plaintiff to relief Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984). The federal rules do not require detailed factual pleadings. FED. R. Civ. P. 8 (a)(2). Rather, federal notice pleading requires only that the plaintiff "set out in her complaint a short and plain statement of the claim that will provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim." Scott v. City of Chicago, 195 F.3d 950, 951 (7th Cir. 1999). A complaint meets these requirements when it provides fair notice of the nature of plaintiff's claim and ...


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