United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”), brings this pro se civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. All of the
Plaintiff’s claims stem from the same Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment theories of liability for deliberate
indifference to his medical conditions. His claims arise from
time he spent at the Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”) from approximately 2013-May 2016.
Plaintiff alleges deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs by Lawrence medical staff and their employer,
Wexford Medical Source, Inc.. He also alleges deliberate
indifference on behalf of Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) staff and administration for the named
Defendants’ failures to respond to his medical
grievances, to ensure he was receiving appropriate medical
care, or to staff the institution with competent medical
staff. In relation to the claims against medical personnel,
Plaintiff names Defendants Wexford Health Source, Inc., John
Coe (doctor), Tammy Kimmel (nurse), Brooks (nurse) and
Higgins (nurse). In relation to the claims against IDOC
personnel, Plaintiff names John Baldwin (IDOC director),
Stephen Duncan (warden), Richard Moore (assistant warden),
Beth Tredway (assistant warden of programs), Lori Cunningham
(director of nursing) and Phil Martin (medical
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen prisoner
Complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court is required to dismiss any portion
of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). Notably, the Court is
now reviewing the First Amended Complaint, as the initial
Complaint was dismissed for failure to state a coherent and
cognizable claim. (See Doc. 9).
the Plaintiff began seeking medical care from providers at
Lawrence (Doc. 1 at 5-6). He sought treatment for pain in his
abdomen, rectal bleeding, bloody stool, a mass in his
abdomen, and a mass on his testicle (Id.). On August
2, 2014, Plaintiff was seen by a medical provider, and the
notes reflect vomiting and black stool (Id. at 6).
On August 3, 2014, the Plaintiff was seen again, and the
notes reflect that he complained of ongoing pain and showed
medical staff bloody toilet tissue (Id.). Plaintiff
alleges that he continued to visit the medical providers
throughout 2015 and 2016, and that he constantly sought and
requested various testing and treatment, but was denied care.
Plaintiff claims that he has an extensive family history of
cancer, and requested blood cancer tests repeatedly. He
alleges that on one occasion, Dr. Coe told him that Wexford
and Defendant Duncan “get mad at him when he spends
money from the budget on inmates” (Id.).
claims that the denial of treatment constituted cruel and
unusual punishment and deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs (Id.). He alleges that Defendants
Wexford, Coe, Kimmel, Brooks and Higgins acted in furtherance
of a formal or informal policy to delay and minimize medical
treatment provided at Lawrence in order to increase
Wexford’s profitability (Id. at 7). Plaintiff
alleges that, in furtherance of the profitability scheme, the
Defendants actions were intentional, deliberate, and contrary
to sound medical care (Id.).
Plaintiff alleges that the administrators acted with
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by
refusing to act upon grievances he filed regarding his
conditions and failing to otherwise take steps to properly
oversee and administer medical care at Lawrence (Id.
at 8-9). He further alleges that by failing to properly
address his medical grievances or to maintain a functioning
medical care system, these Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to the consequences of their actions and that
they caused delayed treatment and unnecessary suffering
(Id. at 9-11).
seeks injunctive and monetary relief from both the medical
defendants and the administrative defendants (Id. at
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to divide
the pro se Complaint into the following enumerated
claims, the enumeration tracks with that designated by
counsel in the First Amended Complaint. The parties and the
Court will 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 regarding their merit.
1:Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to a serious
medical condition claim against medical provider Wexford and
its care providers at Lawrence; and, Count 2:Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment deliberate indifference and failure to
respond to grievance claims against IDOC administrators for
their handling of Plaintiff’s medical needs and
grievances at Lawrence.
shall be allowed to proceed against Defendants Wexford
Medical Source, Inc. and Dr. Coe. Count 1 shall be dismissed
as to Defendants Kimmel, Brooks and Higgins. Count 2 shall be
dismissed in its entirety against all administrator
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects
prisoners from cruel and unusual punishment. See
U.S. CONST. amend. VIII. The Supreme Court has held that
“deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of
prisoners” may constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); see
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2006) (per curiam).
To state a medical claim under the Eighth Amendment, a
plaintiff must show that his condition “was objectively
serious, ” and that officials acted with the requisite
intent-deliberate indifference-towards that condition.
Sherrod v. Lingle, 223 F.3d 605, 610 (7th Cir.
2000). Put differently, a plaintiff must make a two part
showing-(1) that his condition ...