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John Piggott v. Dr. Parthasarathi Ghosh


August 30, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge



If the random assignment to this Court of 42 U.S.C. §1983 ("Section 1983") lawsuits by Illinois prisoners echoes the totality of such filings in this judicial district (as seems likely), the volume of such actions charging Dr. Parthasarathi Ghosh with constitutional violations under the Estelle v. Gamble rubric would appear to bespeak a litigation cottage industry. And if even a fraction of those actions have merit (a subject on which this Court expresses no views), Dr. Ghosh would seem to be a walking malpractice action. Indeed, irrespective of the merit or lack of merit in such charges, the amount of lawyers' time devoted to defending Dr. Ghosh against such charges (to say nothing of any amounts paid in settlement or in adjudicated damages, again subjects on which this Court has no factual information) could well eclipse the amount paid to him by the State of Illinois for his services.

Here the self-prepared Complaint filed by Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville") inmate John Piggott ("Piggott") has brought extraordinarily serious charges against Dr. Ghosh and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., far more than sufficient to survive the preliminary screening called for by 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a).*fn1 Accordingly this Court (1) grants Piggott in forma pauperis status in the sense prescribed by Section 1915, under which he must pay the $350 filing fee in installments rather than in advance, (2) appoints counsel from this District Court's trial bar to represent Piggott pro bono publico and (3) issues its customary initial scheduling order, including the setting of an initial status hearing time and date.

As for the filing fee, Piggott's tendered printout of transactions in his trust account in Stateville discloses average monthly deposits for the six month period immediately preceding filing of the lawsuit (see Section 1915(b)(1)(A)) amounting to $21.41.*fn2 Under Section 1915(b)(1) the initial partial payment on account of the filing fee is 20% of that figure, or $4.28, and the Stateville trust fund officer is ordered to collect that amount from Piggott's trust fund account and to pay it directly to the Clerk of Court ("Clerk"):

Office of the Clerk

United States District Court 219 South Dearborn Street Chicago IL 60604 Attention: Fiscal Department Both that initial payment and all future payments called for in this memorandum order shall clearly identify Piggott's name and the 11 C 5957 case number assigned to this action. To implement these requirements, the Clerk shall send a copy of this memorandum order to the Stateville trust fund officer.

After such initial payment, the trust fund officer at Stateville (or at any other correctional facility where Piggott may hereafter be confined) is authorized to collect monthly payments from Piggott's trust fund account in an amount equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account. Monthly payments collected from the trust fund account shall be forwarded to the Clerk each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the full $350 filing fee is paid.

Next, Piggott's appointed pro bono counsel is:

Robert E. Lewin, Esq.

Law Offices of Robert E. Lewin 1450 East American Lane - Suite 1400 Schaumburg, IL 60173 That appointed counsel is ordered to monitor the service of process on defendants or, better still, to arrange for such service himself*fn3 so that both sides will be represented at the initial status hearing.

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