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Barrow v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois

March 6, 2015

RONALD BARROW, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., DR. ERIC JOHNSON, DR. CHRISTINE LOCHHEAD, DR. J. TROST, DR. ROBERT SHEARING, GAIL WALLS, DR. BAKER, and WARDEN OF MENARD, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge

This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson entered on January 14, 2015 (Doc. 84). Magistrate Judge Wilkerson recommends that Plaintiff Ronald Barrow's Second Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (Doc. 4) be denied. Barrow filed a timely objection on January 26, 2015 (Doc. 85). For the reasons set forth below, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's Report and Recommendation is adopted in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Ronald Barrow, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"), brought this action alleging constitutional violations against various medical staff at Menard relating to his ocular health. Specifically, Barrow claims that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by failing to provide adequate eye care since 2012, resulting in the complete loss of vision in his right eye and progressive vision loss in his left eye. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson provided an exhaustive review of the factual background leading up to the filing of this action. The Court finds Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's review to be accurate and thorough.

Barrow filed his original Complaint on July 11, 2014, alleging an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim, a medical negligence claim, and also a motion seeking a temporary restraining order (see Doc. 1). In his motion, Barrow seeks to compel Defendants to provide immediate eye treatment, including the removal of scar tissue in his right eye, the removal of a cataract from his left eye, and treatment for his lower back pain (Doc. 4). Barrow's motion (styled Second Motion for Temporary Restraining Order) was severed from his Eighth Amendment and medical negligence claims (Doc. 1). The motion for temporary restraining order is the subject of this action.

CONCLUSIONS OF THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Based upon the evidence before the Court, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson found that Barrow's motion was incorrectly characterized as a temporary restraining order, and that Barrow failed to meet the threshold burden for a preliminary injunction. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson recognized that Barrow's claims of total vision loss in his right eye and increasingly diminished vision in his left were unsubstantiated, and that the wealth of medical records in this matter indicated that Barrow's likelihood of success did not warrant injunctive relief. Additionally, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson denied injunctive relief with respect to Barrow's claim of back pain because it was unrelated to the suit at hand.

DISCUSSION

Where timely objections are filed, this Court must undertake a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago Heights, 824 F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D.Ill. 1993); see also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). The Court may accept, reject, or modify the magistrate judge's recommended decision. Harper, 824 F.Supp. at 788. In making this determination, the Court must first look at all of the evidence contained in the record and give "fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objections have been made." Id., quoting 12 Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 3076.8, at p. 55 (1st Ed. 1973) (1992 Pocket Part). Where neither timely nor specific objections to the Report and Recommendation are made, however, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), this Court need not conduct a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985).

Barrow has lodged a plethora of objections (some thirty-eight numbered paragraphs) to Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's Report and Recommendation--many of which represent general objections or no objection at all. But only specific objections are appropriate for review. Id . With this in mind, the Court has considered all of Barrow's objections and finds the following issues appropriate for review:

1. Whether or not an evidentiary hearing was required;
2. Whether Magistrate Judge Wilkerson relied upon an erroneous or misconstrued factual account;
3. Whether or not Defendant Trost's declaration is reliable; and
4. The characterization of Barrow's motion as a preliminary injunction versus a temporary restraining order and whether ...

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