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Taylor v. Hodge

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 9, 2015

MARC HODGE, Defendant.



Now pending before the Court is the Amended Complaint submitted by Plaintiff, Douglas W. Taylor, on April 11, 2014 (Doc. 28).


Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on February 3, 2014, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he has been deprived medical care beginning in June 2012 with respect to migraines, headaches, and pressure in his eyes while incarcerated at the Lawrence Correctional Center ("Lawrence"). In an Order dated February 26, 2014 (Doc. 5), Plaintiff's claims were screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915A, and he was permitted to proceed on one count for injunctive relief-that he be seen by an optometrist-against Defendant Marc Hodge, the Warden of Lawrence. Plaintiff was informed that if he seeks monetary damages with respect to an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference, he must file an amended complaint naming a particular person who deprived him of his constitutional rights.

Plaintiff's additional claim, that his statutory rights pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act (RA), 29 U.S.C. § 794, et seq., was dismissed with prejudice because Plaintiff failed to indicate that he was a qualified individual with a disability who was discriminated against on account of that disability. Thus, Plaintiff only proceeds on one count for injunctive relief against Marc Hodge, the Warden of Lawrence, and he has been directed to file an amended complaint naming an individual if he seeks money damages.

Plaintiff now seeks to amend his complaint in order to reinstate his ADA and RA claims. In his motion, he states that he has suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the past 13 years for which he is prescribed psychotropic medication. He states that this condition affects his ability to sleep, talk, concentrate, work, and communicate. Plaintiff claims that because of his eye pain and migraines, he is limited in the activities that he can do at the jail, such as eat, go to the gym, and participate in group therapy. Further, Plaintiff claims that his PTSD constitutes a disabling condition that would satisfy the ADA and RA (designated as Count 2 previously).

Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint also seeks to add seven new defendants: the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (Wexford), Phil Martin, Nancy Padgett, Dr. Hohenberry, Brandon Reis, and S.A. Godinez. Plaintiff alleges that his medical conditions cause him to vomit, lose sleep, and sometimes faint from the pain. He further indicates that these conditions affect his ability to participate in activities at the jail including group therapy related to his PTSD. He alleges that the "Health Care Unit" is aware of his conditions and complaints. He first sought care for his migraines and eye pain on June 7, 2012, by requesting to be seen by an optometrist. Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Coe, who is not listed as a Defendant, a year later on June 4, 2013, September 11, 2013, and September 19, 2013. Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Coe ordered that he be seen by an optometrist; however, as of the date of the proposed amended complaint, Plaintiff has not been examined by an optometrist.

Plaintiff alleges that Wexford violated his rights under the ADA and the RA by failing to treat his medical needs, acted with deliberate indifference for failing to act on Dr. Coe's orders to see an optometrist and for failing to ensure that he be seen by a specialist, and has been "grossly negligent" in supervising its employees (designated as Count 3). Plaintiff also takes issue with Wexford's staffing: "2200 inmates, the optometrist only visits once per week for 10 hours is unexceptable [sic]." Further, Plaintiff notes that for 22 months he has requested multiple times to see an optometrist through Wexford's own procedures to no avail.

Plaintiff alleges that Director Godinez and Warden Hodge have essentially failed to adequately supervise the employees at Lawrence and have allowed unconstitutional practices to continue (designated as Count 4). Plaintiff states that they are aware of the problems because he has sent many letters to "Springfield, IL" complaining of these issues. Plaintiff also claims that the IDOC violated the ADA and the RA by failing to allow access to services and group therapy, which Plaintiff cannot attend due to his eye condition (designated as Count 5).

Plaintiff alleges that Phil Martin, the Healthcare Administrator at Lawrence, was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and failed to adequately supervise his employees (designated as Count 6). Plaintiff does not allege that Martin was personally involved in his medical treatments. Plaintiff alleges that Brandon Reis serves as the Clinical Services Counselor and that his duties include screening grievances filed against the Healthcare Unit. Plaintiff alleges that Reis knew of his grievances and should have acted to resolve Plaintiff's issues with the Healthcare Unit (designated as Count 7). Plaintiff further alleges that Nancy Padgett, a Staff Assistant, responded to one of his grievances and failed to ensure that he was seen by an optometrist (designated as Count 8).

Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Hohenberry, the optometrist assigned to Lawrence, was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs by ignoring his requests to be seen for 22 months. Plaintiff indicates that when he was called to see Dr. Hohenberry on October 22, 2013, the Doctor stated "oh that cry baby, he can wait" and affirmatively refused to examine Plaintiff (designated as Count 1). There is no indication in the proposed amended complaint that Plaintiff has been seen by the optometrist.


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1) permits the Plaintiff to file an amended complaint "as a matter of course" within 21 days of service or the filing of an Answer. Plaintiff filed his amended complaint along with a motion prior to the filing of an answer. On January 8, 2015, the motion to amend was found to be moot, and this matter was stayed pending a screening of the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Section 1915A requires the Court to conduct a threshold review to determine whether Plaintiff has presented cognizable claims and whether any part of the pleading should be dismissed for failure to state a claim.

In light of the allegations made in the proposed amended complaint, Plaintiff has stated the following cognizable claims, which shall be ...

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