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Willis v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 5, 2014

WAYNE WILLIS, No. N42118, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., AIMEE LANG, [1] and HEATHER MCGEE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STACI M. YANDLE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Wayne Willis, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an alleged denial of medical care. This is actually the second time Willis has brought this suit. His first case, Willis v. Wexford, et al., Case No. 13-cv-701-MJR (S.D. Ill. filed Jul. 15, 2013), was dismissed without prejudice-apparently so that Plaintiff could exhaust administrative remedies, as required under 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a).

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 "no reasonable person could suppose to have any merit." 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).

The Complaint

In his complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff Willis alleges that beginning July 27, 2012, and continuing through at least September 13, 2012, he experienced what he believed to be severe kidney pain, but due to the policies of health care provider Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Nurse Aimee Lang and Nurse Heather McGee ignored his repeated requests for medical care and pain relief-which Plaintiff characterizes as deliberate indifference. It was Wexford's policy that an inmate had to be seen by a nurse three times during a 30-day period before the inmate could be seen by a doctor. In addition, Wexford responded to only one of Plaintiff's written requests for care, responding that Plaintiff had received clinically appropriate treatment.

Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees and costs from the defendants in their official and individual capacities.

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into two counts. The parties and the Court shall use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as to their merit.

Count 1: Beginning July 27, 2012, and continuing through at least September 13, 2012, Nurse Amy Lane and Nurse Heather McGee were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff Willis's serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth and Amendment; and
Count 2: Health care provider Wexford Health Sources, Inc., enforced a policy and practice amounting to deliberate indifference to Plaintiff Willis's serious medical ...

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