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Shaw v. Obaisi

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

February 12, 2015

MAURICE SHAW, Plaintiff,



Plaintiff Maurice Shaw is currently incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"). He filed his Amended Complaint on April 8, 2014, alleging defendants have been, and are currently, deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need related to a shoulder injury. Defendants Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford"), Saleh Obaisi, M.D., and Arthur Funk, M.D. move to dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) arguing that: (1) defendant Obaisi was not working at Stateville at the time of the Plaintiff's allegations and further that it is improper to sue him in his official capacity since his employer Wexford is also a party; (2) Shaw has not alleged sufficient facts in his Amended Complaint to state a deliberate indifference cause of action against defendants Funk, Wexford, and Obaisi; and (3) that Shaw has failed to exhaust administrative remedies and is therefore precluded from pursuing his lawsuit. Defendants Michael Lemke, Royce Brown-Reed, Louis Shicker, Shaun Bass, and Marcus Hardy have adopted and joined the portions of the motion to dismiss that relate to the deliberate indifference and exhaustion of administrative remedies claims. For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion to dismiss is denied as to all individual-capacity claims and Wexford, but granted as to the official capacity claim against defendant Obaisi.


Shaw alleges in his Amended Complaint that after injuring his right shoulder in October 2010, he sought but did not receive medical treatment in 2010 or 2011. When the pain increased in early 2012, Shaw saw Dr. Imhotep Carter, the former Stateville Medical Director, on February 6, 2012, and was diagnosed with reduced strength in his right shoulder and a probable torn rotator cuff. Dr. Carter wrote an order for Shaw to receive an MRI and orthopedic treatment at the University of Illinois at Chicago ("UIC") and also prescribed Naproxen. Four months later, on June 11, 2012, Shaw received an MRI from Dr. Asheesh Gupta at UIC confirming his torn rotator cuff. He still had not received medication for his injury. After the MRI, Dr. Gupta prescribed physical therapy 2-3 times per week for four months and a follow-up appointment. Dkt. 9-6. The record shows the treatment plan recommended by Doctors Carter and Gupta.

Shaw filed his first medical grievance about one month after seeing Dr. Gupta, on July 3, 2012, because he had yet to receive the prescribed medication or physical therapy for his shoulder injury. On September 12, 2012, defendant Bass (grievance officer) denied the grievance, reporting that there were no medical orders for physical therapy in the file. Shaw appealed this denial to the Administrative Review Board ("ARB") on July 9, 2013. The ARB denied the appeal on August 8, 2013, because Shaw's appeal was not submitted within the timeframe "outlined in Department Rule 504" and because Shaw "waited" nine months "to follow up on a grievance from September 2012." Dkt 9-10.

On March 25, 2013, Shaw filed an emergency grievance requesting immediate medical treatment and financial compensation for the medical staff's failure to provide him with treatment. Dkt. 9-11. The ARB subsequently denied this grievance on May 19, 2013, again finding the grievance was untimely and directing Shaw to address current medical issues with healthcare staff. Dkt 9-11.

Despite the denial, Shaw saw a physician's assistant ("PA") on March 26, 2013, the day after he filed his emergency grievance. The PA noted Shaw's shoulder pain, reduced strength, and torn rotator cuff. The PA also submitted documentation for Shaw to undergo physical therapy "ASAP, " ordered a prescription of Naproxen, and scheduled an appointment for Shaw to see defendant Obaisi. Dkt 9, ¶ 48. On April 16, 2013, Defendant Dr. Obaisi saw Shaw but did not dispense any medication or new orders for physical therapy. Shaw also alleges that defendant Obaisi told him to "quit whining and complaining" about not receiving treatment and medication. Dkt 9, ¶ 49.

After this visit, Shaw submitted a series of letters to defendants Shicker, Funk, and Brown-Reed outlining his injury and unfulfilled prescription for physical therapy and requesting they intervene to get him the prescribed medical treatment. Dkts 9-14, 9-15, and 9-16. He then filed a third grievance on June 12, 2013, seeking treatment, medication, and a permit allowing him to be placed in handcuffs that lock in the front of his body rather than behind his back ("front handcuff permit"). On September 7, 2013, Shaw sent a letter to the ARB stating that the grievance officer failed to respond to his June 12, 2013 grievance within the required 60 day time frame, which rendered administrative remedies "unavailable" to him, and caused him to "appeal" the grievance in order to have his grievance addressed on the merits. Dkt 9-13. The ARB issued a written response to this appeal on October 28, 2013, which told Shaw that he would "need to wait for the Grievance Office to respond." Dkt 9-13.

Shaw then filed a fourth grievance on a July 19, 2013, again requesting physical therapy and another grievance on August 1, 2013, requesting physical therapy, a front handcuff permit, and medication stronger than Naproxen.

Shaw began receiving physical therapy on August 15, 2013, fourteen months after it was prescribed by the UIC orthopedist. He received physical therapy for the next several months, except during periods of lock down. In January 2014, Shaw again saw the orthopedic specialist at UIC, who prescribed an additional six to eight weeks of physical therapy followed by an MRI. Shaw alleges that as of April 8, 2014, when he filed his Amended Complaint, he had not received that MRI or any additional physical therapy. In his supplemental affidavit in response to the motion to dismiss, Shaw alleges that he has submitted additional grievances dated February 13, 2014, March 10, 2014, April 9, 2014, May 14, 2014, and June 2014 that have not been answered.


To withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the allegations in a complaint must set forth a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Smith v. Medical Benefit Administrators, Inc., 639 F.3d 277, 281 (7th Cir. 2011). Rule 8 does not require detailed, particularized factual allegations. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The factual allegations, however, must be enough to raise a plausible right to relief that is more than mere speculation. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569 n. 14 (2007). When considering a motion to dismiss, a court accepts all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and views them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008); Pisciotta v. Old. Nat. Bancorp, 488 F.3d 629, 633 (7th Cir. 2007).


Exhaustion of Administrative ...

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