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Merriwetherr v. Wexford Medical Sources

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 5, 2002



          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL District Judge

         Plaintiff Emanuel Merriwether, an inmate in Pickneyville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests damages, as well as an emergency temporary restraining order (TRO) and a preliminary injunction to require the Defendants to send Plaintiff to an outside hospital or specialist. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening - The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         An action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross “the line between possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges that Wexford, Baldwin, Lashbrook, Brown, and Love conspired to violate Plaintiff's rights by instituting a policy to refuse to provide adequate health care and disclosing his medical information to security at his institution. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff alleges that Wexford, Baldwin, Lashbrook, Brown, and Love retaliated against him for filing grievances and requesting daily health care visits by instituting such policies. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         Plaintiff was admitted to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) on January 8, 2016 at the Northern Reception Center (“NRC”). (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff immediately began receiving treatment for his vascular ulcers. (Doc. 1, p. 6). However, Razi refused to provide several of Plaintiff's treatments, and told Plaintiff that it is Wexford's policy not to provide certain expensive treatments. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff alleges that he saw a memorandum listing treatments that Wexford would not provide due to cost. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff alleges that he saw certain medications on that list that were later discontinued at Pickneyville. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff sent Lashbrook an emergency grievance sometime after June 2016 that was never returned to him. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         On February 25, 2016, Nurse Jaime and Shirley discussed Plaintiff's medical information together. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Shirley, a security supervisor, directed Jaime to read Plaintiff's medical records to him. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Later when Jaime stepped out of the room, Shirley began paging through Plaintiff's medical records. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff asked Shirley to stop, and he responded, “I do what the hell I wanna do. This is no fucking secret. We know you're a piece of shit.” (Doc. 1, p. 7). Another officer, Walla, came to the door, and Shirley told her about Plaintiff's medical records. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Shirley said, “this dumb ass has been treating his wound over 13 years, it's right over there in the file.” (Doc. 1, p. 7). Walla walked off leaving Plaintiff alone with Shirley, who continued to read his medical files. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         Plaintiff claims his wounds are becoming larger with time and frequently infected. (Doc. 1, p. 8). There is a discussion about amputating his legs. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff alleges that his dressings have gone unchanged, causing his wounds to fester and become infected. (Doc. 1, p. 8). All of the grievances that Plaintiff has filed to Baldwin, Love, Lashbrook and Brown have been denied because Plaintiff “complains too much.” (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff suffers from severe headaches, severely infected wounds, depression, and blood clots. (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         Although it is not clear from the body of the Complaint, based on grievances Plaintiff has attached, it appears that the method of his dressing changes was changed sometime around March 2016 and that Plaintiff disapproved of the changes. (Doc. 1, p. 22-40).


         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into five counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a ...

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