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Goldsmith v. Correct Care Solutions

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

July 10, 2014

ROBERT GOLDSMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

MATTHEW F. KENNELLY, District Judge.

Defendants Barbara Miller, Amanda Barrios, and Dr. Jan Stampley have moved to dismiss plaintiff Robert Goldsmith's claims against them pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, the Court denies defendants' motions.

Facts

The Court takes the following recitation of the facts from Goldsmith's amended complaint.

Goldsmith arrived at the Will County jail on May 8, 2011. At the time, Goldsmith was taking several psychotropic medications and Ambien, a sedative. Correct Care Solutions provided contract medical services for the jail. Goldsmith notified "Nurse Holly" (later identified as Holly Panfill) and "Nurse John" (later identified as John Petrocelli) that he needed his prescription medications. It is unclear from the complaint whether the two nurses were Correct Care employees or jail employees. The nurses told Goldsmith it would take time to review his psychiatric records, although the records were faxed to the jail the same day. Goldsmith informed the staff that he had withdrawal symptoms and that to avoid this he would need to be weaned off the medication. Despite this, Goldsmith was not given any psychotropic medication for next three weeks. During that period, he experienced hallucinations, sweats, chills, chronic sleeplessness, headaches, rapid weight loss, and nausea. After three and a half weeks had gone by, the medical staff offered Goldsmith a different medication, Zoloft. This medication exaggerated his symptoms, and Goldsmith stopped taking it after three or four days due to the side effects it caused.

Around May 30, 2011, Dr. Jan Stampley, the jail psychiatrist, saw Goldsmith and informed him his medications were not available at the jail. Dr. Stampley states in his reply brief that he works as an independent contractor for the jail and has never worked for Correct Care Solutions. See Def. Stampley's Reply at 3. At that point, Goldsmith decided not to take any medication because the majority of his symptoms had subsided.

On May 15, 2012, Goldsmith filed a pro se lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Correct Care Solutions, Panfill, and Petrocelli, alleging that they were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. On May 23, 2012, Judge John Nordberg, to whom the case was then assigned, dismissed the claim against Correct Care upon initial review under 28 U.S.C. §1915A. Judge Nordberg noted that section 1983 does not permit liability to be based on respondeat superior, and he concluded that Goldsmith had not made allegations sufficient to suggest that the constitutional deprivations had occurred pursuant to a policy of Correct Care, as required to establish the company's liability. See Order of May 23, 2012 at 2.

On August 1, 2013, Goldsmith amended his original complaint to add three new defendants: Dr. Stampley, Barb Miller, and Amanda Barrios (though he referred to her at the time as "Amanda (last name unknown)." Goldsmith identified Miller as the "medical department manager" at the jail, though it appears that in fact she is or was a Correct Care employee and the supervisor of the two nurses Goldsmith had named. See Def. Miller's Reply at 5. Barrios, it appears, is an employee of the Will County Health Department. See Def. Barrios' Mot. to Dismiss ¶ 5.

Discussion

All three of the defendants who were named for the first time in the amended complaint have moved to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). They argue that Goldsmith's claims against them are barred by the statute of limitations. Stampley also argues that Goldsmith's claims against him are deficient because they do not indicate the presence of a physician-patient duty and because Goldsmith failed to exhaust jail grievance procedures before filing suit.

1. Statute of limitations

The statute of limitations is an affirmative defense, and typically it is inappropriate to dismiss a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) on the basis of an affirmative defense. Doe v. GTE Corp., 347 F.3d 655, 657 (7th Cir. 2003). A plaintiff is not required to "plead around" potential affirmative defenses, so his failure to do so does not subject his complaint to dismissal. Id. Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) may be appropriate, however, if the complaint sets forth facts that establish the affirmative defense. United States v. Lewis, 411 F.3d 838, 842 (7th Cir. 2005).

A two-year limitation period applies to section 1983 claims arising in Illinois. Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 672 (7th Cir. 2006). The alleged injury occurred in May 2011, and thus the limitation period expired in May 2013 unless equitable tolling applies or the statute can be extended on some other basis. Goldsmith first ...


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