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Moore v. Abernathy

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

January 15, 2015

NORVELL T. MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICERS MELVIN ABERNATHY, GERARDO ALVAREZ, CHRISTOPHER ASMESQUITA, CARLOS BAKER, WALTER BAKER, DAMON BROWN, CO L. CRIM, DORSEY DOUGLAS, KRISTINA GONZALEZ, MICHAEL GRELA, JOSE GUTIERREZ, MARK HESTER, CO L. HAWK, BENJAMIN HOUSTON, DAINIUS JUZENAS, JAMES LEGGETT, D. LUCAS, ERIC LINK, CO A. MARKEE, J. PARRISH CCII, NATHANIEL PEACOCK, GREGORY REDD, E. RICE, CO S. RUFFIN, MAGRETTE SANDERS, MARTY SCOTT, CO VAN DIVER (a/k/a SHERRY McCRAY), SERGEANT DEMETRIUS WARR, SERGEANT A. WICHRACKI, along with DEB MOFFETT-COLLINS RN, GARY DROP, ADRIAN DOWNS-MILLER, DANIELLE ERICKSON, ALETHA HARPER, AMANDA IFEZUE, CHRISTINA LUCE, SILVIA MAHONE, JACQUELINE MITCHELL, DONNA MORRIS, ATHENA ROSSITER, MARY DIANE SCHWARZ, DR. J. STAMPLEY, DR. HE YUAN, AND FRANCES WEBB, [1] Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN Z. LEE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Norvell T. Moore, a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center, has sued Defendants for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for intentional infliction of emotional distress under state law. Defendants Deborah Moffett-Collins, Mary Diane Schwarz, and Danielle Erickson have moved to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth herein, the Court grants in part and denies in part the motion.

Facts[2]

From July 30, 2010 to November 24, 2010, Plaintiff was incarcerated in Joliet, Illinois at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), which is operated by the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"). 3d Am. Compl. ¶ 5. He is currently housed at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, Illinois. Id.

Plaintiff suffers from chronic back pain and nerve damage caused by bulging disks in his spine as well as severe atrophy in his right leg. Id. ¶¶ 11-14. When Plaintiff arrived at Stateville, Plaintiff met with Registered Nurse Deborah Moffett-Collins, a Wexford employee, for a screening interview. Id. ¶ 17. Moffett-Collins prescribed Plaintiff with medication, including Robalin, Motrin, and Prednisone. Id. Plaintiff was told that the prescriptions Moffett-Collins noted upon intake would be filled in "a couple of days, " but that did not occur. Id.

During the screening interview, Moffett-Collins noted that Plaintiff had experienced numbness, had fallen down, and had been hospitalized twice while a detainee at Cook County Department of Corrections ("CCDOC"). Id. ¶ 18. Moffett-Collins assessed Plaintiff as being in "need of a l[ower] bunk" and "crutches, " accommodations which he received at CCDOC. Id. Moffett-Collins assured Plaintiff that he would receive a lower-bunk and ground-floor permit, but instead he was assigned to a top bunk in a cell on a floor that required him to use the stairs. Id. Plaintiff also mentioned upon intake that he had blood in his stool and he had trouble urinating. Id. ¶ 19. Moffett-Collins took note of these symptoms, but Plaintiff received no treatment for them while at Stateville. Id.

Plaintiff collapsed to the ground due to intense pain in his back and right leg on August 1, 2010. Id. ¶ 20. Plaintiff asked for medical attention, and three hours later, a Wexford employee came to Plaintiff's cell and told him there was "nothing he [could] do." Id. On August 2, 2010, Plaintiff again requested medical assistance for his ongoing pain in his back and right leg during the 3:00 p.m. shift and the 11:00 p.m. shift. Id. ¶ 22. Moffett-Collins came to speak with Plaintiff and told him "she couldn't do anything." Id.

It was not until August 18, 2010, that anyone examined Plaintiff in response to his request for medical attention. Id. ¶ 44. Mary Diane Schwarz, a physician's assistant employed by Wexford, examined Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff informed Schwarz that his legs were giving out and that he was suffering from a severe back and hip injury that had been left untreated since the initial screening interview despite his repeated efforts to receive medical attention. Id. ¶ 45. Schwarz informed Plaintiff: "That isn't our problem. That should have been taken care of by Cook County." Id. Schwartz then threatened to deprive Plaintiff of his crutches "because he didn't have drop foot." Id. After being examined by Schwarz, Plaintiff received no treatment for his back or leg. Id. ¶ 47.

That day, Plaintiff appeared before Cook County Circuit Judge Sharon Sullivan for an arraignment hearing. Id. ¶ 46. Judge Sullivan ordered that IDOC examine and treat Plaintiff, but, despite Judge Sullivan's order, IDOC failed to do so. Id. ¶ 47.

The only treatment Plaintiff consistently received while at Stateville was Remeron, an anti-depressant medication, which was prescribed by Dr. He Yuan on August 29, 2010. Id. ¶ 64. Wexford employee Danielle Erickson approved the continuance of his receiving Remeron in September 2010. Id. Erickson never offered meaningful treatment to Plaintiff for his right leg and lower back injuries. Id.

Plaintiff was transferred from Stateville on November 24, 2010. Id. ¶ 63. As of that date, no physician had examined or treated him for his back or leg conditions. Id.

Legal Standard

When evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), federal courts must accept as true all well-pleaded facts alleged in the complaint and construe all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nev., N.A., 507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006)). In order to state a valid claim, a plaintiff's complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A plaintiff is not required to allege "detailed factual allegations, " but must plead facts that, when "accepted as true... state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

In order to determine whether a complaint meets the Twombly plausibility standard, the "reviewing court draw[s] on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 678. Where the factual allegations are well-pleaded, the Court assumes them to be true and determines whether those facts give rise to a plausible entitlement to relief. Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible when its factual content allows the Court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the actions alleged. Id. at 678. Plausibility however "does not imply that the district ...


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