The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harold A. Baker United States District Judge
This cause is before the court for merit review of the plaintiff's amended complaint.
The plaintiff, Michael Henry, originally filed his lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. However, since none of the defendants are events in the plaintiff's complaint were in the Northern District, the case was transferred to the Central District of Illinois.
The court conducted a merit review of the plaintiff's complaint and found that the plaintiff had listed four defendants from three correctional centers: Dr. Osafo from the Illinois River Correctional Center; Dr. Lochard and Dr. Shah from the Jacksonville Correctional Center and Dr. Rankin from the East Moline Correctional Center. The plaintiff claimed he had ongoing problems with his right hip and leg while he has been incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The court found there were several problems with the plaintiff's complaint. First, it appeared that some of the plaintiff's claims might be barred by the two year statute of limitations period. January 26, 2009 Court Order; see also Heard v. Sheahan, 253 F.3d 316, 317-318 (2001). Second, the plaintiff's complaint did not properly put the defendants on notice of the claims against them. The plaintiff did not state what he was accusing the specific defendants of doing or not doing, and did not even mention two of them in the body of his complaint. Therefore, the court struck the plaintiff's complaint as a violation of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and gave the plaintiff additional time to file an amended complaint. The plaintiff has complied.
The court is still required by 28 U.S.C. §1915A to "screen" the plaintiff's complaint, and through such process to identify and dismiss any legally insufficient claim, or the entire action if warranted. A claim is legally insufficient if it "(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. §1915A.
The plaintiff's amended complaint names the same four defendants: Dr. Osafo, Dr. Lochard, Dr. Shah and Dr. Rankin.
The plaintiff says he was at Illinois River Correctional Center from December of 2005 until November of 2006. The plaintiff says he re-injured his right leg and hip while walking up stairs to his cell in December of 2005. The plaintiff says he saw Dr. Osafo and told him that he heard something snap or break. The doctor prescribed Ibuprofen and ordered X-rays.
Dr. Osafo told the plaintiff that the X-rays showed he had degenerative arthritis and he would be "in pain for the rest of my life." (Amd. Comp, p. 5). The plaintiff asked to be referred to an outside facility and his request was denied. The plaintiff says no other treatment was offered. The plaintiff says his pain steadily increased and he developed a limp.
The plaintiff says he as at Jacksonville Correctional Center from November of 2006 to September of 2008. The plaintiff says he was first treated by Dr. Lochard who ordered additional X-rays. Dr. Lochard told the plaintiff he was in need of a hip replacement, but he would not authorize the surgery at that point because the plaintiff was not wheelchair bound. Dr. Lochard told the plaintiff that his "hip had deteriorated dramatically and would deteriorate even faster in the near future." (Amd. Comp., p. 6).
The plaintiff says he began requesting a hip replacement in March of 2007, but he was told that it was not approved because he was young and still mobile. Instead, Dr. Lochard ordered a shoe lift and prescribed Ibuprofen. The plaintiff says his right leg was a full inch shorter than his left leg.
The plaintiff was treated by Dr. Shah at Jacksonville Correctional Center in November of 2007. The plaintiff says he again requested hip replacement surgery, but it was denied. Dr. Shah suggested that the plaintiff begin jogging and continued to prescribe Ibuprofen. In March of 2008, Dr. Shah took another X-ray and noted that there was no change from the previous year, but the plaintiff's right leg was shorter. Dr. Shah said he was going to recommend that the plaintiff see an orthopedist, but the request was denied because the plaintiff had already been ...