United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.
William Lyles, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the alleged
violations of his Eighth Amendment rights at Menard (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff claims that he was denied adequate medical care for
a shoulder injury in 2015 (Doc. 1, pp. 1-12; Doc. 1-1, pp.
1-12). According to the complaint, he was repeatedly charged
co-pays for appointments with unqualified medical providers,
who failed to perform basic diagnostic testing or provide
adequate treatment for his injury. Plaintiff maintains that
he was denied appropriate care because of several cost-saving
policies, customs, or practices at the prison. According to
Plaintiff, the prison's healthcare unit is intentionally
understaffed, inmates are routinely overcharged co-pays, and
necessary diagnostic tests and treatments are avoided because
of cost concerns (id.).
connection with this claim, Plaintiff now sues the following
defendants: Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
(“Wexford”), Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), John Doe
(unknown IDOC director), Louis Schicker (IDOC medical
director), Arthur Funk (IDOC regional medical director),
Kimberly Butler (prison warden), Doctor Trost (prison medical
director), Gail Walls (health care unit administrator), and
Nurse Stephanie (prison medical technician). Plaintiff seeks
monetary damages and proper medical treatment for his
injuries (Doc. 1-1, p. 11).
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). The complaint
survives preliminary review under this standard.
to the complaint,  Plaintiff injured his shoulder while
playing basketball at Menard in June 2015 (Doc. 1, pp. 9-12;
Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-12). He submitted a sick call slip and,
before meeting with a medical professional, paid a $5.00
co-pay. A medical technician, named Nurse Stephanie, examined
him on June 25, 2015. Plaintiff told Nurse Stephanie that he
was suffering from “excruciating
pain” (Doc. 1, p. 12). He rated the pain a
“9” out of “10, ” with
“10” being the most intense (id.).
Despite his complaints, Nurse Stephanie would not refer
Plaintiff to a doctor for further treatment (id.;
Doc. 1-1, p. 4). Unqualified to diagnose or treat
Plaintiff's shoulder injury, Nurse Stephanie offered him
little more than nonprescription pain medication.
endured several more rounds of sick call slips, co-pays, and
appointments in the month that followed (Doc. 1, p. 12).
During this time, he suffered from “constant
pain” (id.). He was unable to perform basic
tasks, such as brushing his teeth, washing his body, and
dressing himself. He reported this to Nurse Stephanie.
Plaintiff also told her that his shoulder was getting worse.
After four or five rounds of appointments, Plaintiff was
finally referred to a prison doctor on July 7, 2015
(id.; Doc. 1-1, p. 4).
call passes were repeatedly cancelled because the prison
doctor could not accommodate an appointment with him (Doc.
1-1, p. 2). When Plaintiff finally met with the doctor, he
received a recommendation for an MRI to properly diagnose his
injury. By all indications, the test was never scheduled.
When Plaintiff eventually requested an update regarding the
status of this test, Nurse Walls told him that “he
wasn't put in for a[n] MRI” (id.).
meantime, Plaintiff complained of unremitting pain to the
prison's medical technicians, nurses, and doctor (Doc.
1-1, p. 1). The Tylenol, ibuprofen, and naproxen he was given
for pain proved to be ineffective. Plaintiff wrote letters to
Doctor Trost, Director Schicker, Director Funk, and Nurse
Walls to request proper medical care (id. at 1, 5,
7). These defendants took no steps to modify Plaintiff's
diagnostic, treatment, or pain management plans (id.
at 7). Plaintiff was instead told that he “would have
to suck it up [and] deal with the pain because Wexford has a
policy” of prohibiting all forms of nonprescription
pain medication (id. at 1).
December 2015, Plaintiff wrote an emergency grievance to
Warden Butler (id.). After reviewing the grievance,
Warden Butler agreed that it presented an emergency
(id. at 7-8). But, for reasons that are not set
forth in the complaint, the warden took no action to ensure
that Plaintiff received medical care (id. at 8-9).
blames his inadequate medical care on several cost-saving
policies, customs, and/or practices at the prison. First, he
alleges that Wexford has not hired a sufficient number of
qualified medical professionals to meet the needs of
Menard's increasing prison population; Governor Rauner,
Director Doe, Director Schicker, and Warden Butler have
allegedly ignored the staffing shortage (Doc. 1, pp. 6-10).
Second, Plaintiff alleges that the prison's policy of
charging inmates co-pays for repeated visits or for chronic
medical conditions frustrates inmates' efforts to obtain
necessary medical care, and Doctor Trost, Director Funk, and
Director Doe condone this policy (Doc. 1-1, pp. 1, 11).
Third, Wexford's policy of delaying or denying more
costly forms of medical care, such as MRIs and prescription
pain medication, has resulted in a denial of Plaintiff's
access to adequate medical care (Doc. 1, p. 10).
now sues the defendants for violating his right to be free
from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment
(Doc. 1-1, p. 11). He seeks monetary damages and injunctive
Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in
this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court deems it
appropriate to organize the claim in Plaintiff's pro
se complaint into the following enumerated counts. 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:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to
medical needs claim against Defendants for denying Plaintiff
adequate medical care for his shoulder injury and related
pain at Menard.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to
medical needs claim against Defendants for conditioning the
provision of medical care on the receipt of medical
discussed in more detail below, Count 1
shall receive further review against Nurse Stephanie, Nurse
Walls, Doctor Trost, Warden Butler, Director Funk, Director
Schicker, and Wexford; this claim shall be dismissed without
prejudice against the IDOC, IDOC director, and Governor
Rauner. In addition, Count 2 shall be
dismissed without prejudice against all of the defendants for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.