United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge.
Antonio Salgado, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings
this pro se action for alleged violations of his
constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1).
Salgado claims deliberate indifference to his serious medical
condition of chronic chest pain, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. In connection with this claim, Salgado sues
Siddiqui (doctor) for monetary relief.
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). It should be noted
the Court is reviewing the First Amended Complaint. The
initial Complaint (Doc. 1) was dismissed for failure to state
sufficient factual or legal grounds upon which relief could
be granted (Doc. 7).
alleges that in September 2015 he began experiencing severe
chest pain, and noticed a marble-sized lump on the left side
of his chest (Doc. 7 at 3). He sought medical care via sick
call slips, and, after lodging a few requests he was seen by
Defendant Siddiqui (Id.). Salgado alleged that he
had been in pain and seeking medical care for eight weeks at
the time he saw a doctor (Id.). Siddiqui attempted
to probe the lump, but Salgado insisted that it was too
painful to continue the examination (Id.). Salgado
reported that the pain was a nine on a scale of ten
(Id.). Salgado also told Siddiqui that the chest
pain was so severe it caused him trouble moving, swallowing,
sleeping, and participating in daily activities (Id.
at 4). Siddiqui agreed to refer him to see Doctor Trost, but
was unable to verify when the appointment would take place
(Id.). In the interim, Siddiqui refused pain
saw Dr. Trost three weeks after Siddiqui's referral
(Id. at 5). At the appointment with Trost, he
reported no change in the level of pain or discomfort
(Id. at 5-6). Dr. Trost told Salgado not to worry,
as he personally had similar lumps (Id. at 6). Trost
refused pain medication, but instructed Salgado to put in a
new sick call slip if the pain worsened (Id.).
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects
prisoners from cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. Const.,
amend. VIII; see also Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d
435 (7th Cir. 2010). Prison conditions that deprive inmates
of basic human needs, such as inadequate nutrition, health,
or safety, may constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 346 (1981); see
also James v. Milwaukee Cnty., 956 F.2d 696, 699 (7th
Cir. 1992). Prison officials violate the Eighth
Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual
punishment when their conduct demonstrates deliberate
indifference to the serious medical needs of an inmate.
See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976);
Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d 1364, 1369 (7th Cir.
1997). To establish deliberate indifference to a medical
condition, a prisoner must show a condition that is
sufficiently serious (objective component) and that an
official acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind in
failing to address the condition (subjective component).
Id. Whether an injury is serious enough is a very
fact specific inquiry-seriousness may be shown if an ordinary
doctor opined an injury warranted treatment, if an injury
significantly impacted an individual's daily activities,
or if an injury caused chronic or substantial pain, among
other things. Id.
the subjective component, an official “must both be
aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also
draw the inference.” Jackson v. Ill. Medi-Car,
Inc., 300 F.3d 760, 765 (7th Cir. 2002). If an official
reasonably responds to a risk, even if harm was not averted,
deliberate indifference does not exist. Id. A claim
for medical negligence does not amount to deliberate
indifference. Gutierrez, 111 F.3d at 1369. Medical
malpractice, negligence, and even gross negligence does not
equate to deliberate indifference. Johnson v.
Doughty, 433 F.3d 1001, 1013 (7th Cir. 2006). “It
is not enough to show, for instance, that a doctor should
have known that surgery was necessary; rather, the doctor
must know that surgery was necessary and then consciously
disregard that need in order to be held deliberately
context of a deliberate indifference claim, “knowledge
and intent may be pleaded generally (which is to say, in a
conclusory fashion), [and] the lack of detail does not permit
dismissal.” Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592,
594 (7th Cir. 2009). “It is enough to lay out a
plausible grievance. A prisoner's statement that he
repeatedly alerted medical personnel to a serious medical
condition, that they did nothing in response, and that
permanent injury ensued, is enough to state a claim on which
relief may be granted-if it names the persons responsible for
the problem.” Id.
Salgado has identified an injury serious enough to pass
threshold review. He alleges that he suffered from chronic
chest pain, pain so severe that it limited his mobility and
his ability to participate in daily activities. He also
reported an unidentified lump on his left side. See
Gutierrez, 111 F.3d at 1369 (noting that a common cold
or minor asthma attack may not be serious, but that a topical
skin cyst could be serious). Chronic conditions or pain
typically are severe enough to constitute a serious condition
for deliberate indifference purposes. See Id.
Accordingly, the Court will treat Salgado's pain and the
lump in his chest as serious conditions.
to the subjective component, Salgado alleges that Siddiqui
acted in deliberate indifference by refusing to tell him when
he would see Dr. Trost and for refusing pain medication. The
Court is unable to determine at this juncture whether
Siddiqui's actions possibly constituted deliberate
indifference. And, though it is a close call, Salgado has
stated the bare minimum to survive screening on his
deliberate indifference claim. He stated that he suffers from
chronic pain, that he alerted Siddiqui to this pain, and that
Siddiqui refused any treatment other than a referral to Dr.
Trost. The referral took over three weeks to come to
fruition, and in the interim Salgado was left without even
the most basic of remedies such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
These facts do not establish intent or knowledge with
certainty, and discovery may reveal that Siddiqui had valid
reasons for refusing pain medication, but at this juncture,
the Court cannot rule out the possibility that Salgado has
stated a plausible claim for deliberate indifference.
Burks, 555 F.3d at 594. Accordingly, the Complaint
will be allowed to proceed against Defendant Siddiqui to
allow further development of the factual record.
IS ORDERED THAT THE ENTIRE COMPLAINT shall proceed