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Harris v. Larson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 21, 2016

DARIUS HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
DENNIS LARSON, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, United States District Judge.

         Currently before the Court is a motion to dismiss filed by Defendants Vipin Shah and Lynn Bradbury on January 11, 2016 (Doc. 79). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         Background

         Plaintiff Darius Harris filed his original complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983 on March 6, 2015, alleging that he received inadequate medical care while he was incarcerated at the Western Illinois Correctional Center and Big Muddy River Correctional Center (Doc. 1). The operative complaint in this matter is Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint (Doc. 65).

         Plaintiff alleges that on August 2, 2010, while housed at Western Illinois, he injured his knee and finger while playing basketball. At the time, Plaintiff believed that he had a torn ACL in his knee and a broken finger that required medical treatment. Nurse Bradbury only gave Plaintiff an icepack and Tylenol for his knee, however, and she told Plaintiff to fill out a medical request for nurse sick call, which he did. After nine days of not being seen by medical staff, Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance around August 11, 2010.

         Despite the emergency grievance, Plaintiff still did not see the doctor, Vipin Shah, until August 30, 2010. Dr. Shah told him that because he was being transferred the next day to Stateville Correctional Center, he should seek medical care there. Dr. Shah also refused to provide medication because of the transfer; he told Plaintiff that there would be no point in prescribing medication because Plaintiff would not be able to take it on the transfer bus.

         When Plaintiff returned to Western Illinois twenty days later, he again sought medical care. He was seen on September 20, 2010, and his finger was placed in a splint, but no pain medication was ordered. On September 22, 2010, Dr. Shah ordered an x-ray of his finger; it revealed a small fracture in his finger. Dr. Shah discounted the severity of the injury and Plaintiff's complaint that his finger was now crooked and difficult to straighten. Plaintiff's knee was x-rayed on October 14, 2010; however, the x-ray would not have revealed damage to the ACL, and Plaintiff's request for an MRI was refused by Dr. Shah. Plaintiff received no other care regarding his finger and knee until his transfer to Big Muddy River on March 30, 2011. Plaintiff finally received an MRI of his knee in June 2015, which revealed that Plaintiff had a torn ACL and a torn meniscus (see Doc. 65, p. 37).

         Plaintiff is currently proceeding on the following two counts:[1]

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs related to his knee and finger injury against Defendants Dennis Larson and Vipin Shah beginning in August 2010;
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs related to his knee and finger injury in August 2010 against Defendant Nurse L. Bradbury.

(Docs. 64, 87, 121).

         Defendants seek dismissal of Count 1 against Dr. Shah and Count 2 against Nurse Bradbury arguing that Plaintiff's complaint was filed after the statute of limitations on the claims expired (Doc. 79).

         Discussion

         On a defendant's motion to dismiss, all facts in the complaint are accepted as true. Doss v. Clearwater Title Co., 551 F.3d 634, 639 (7th Cir. 2008). The complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To state a cognizable claim, the complaint must provide enough detail to give defendants fair notice of the nature of the claim and the grounds upon which it rests and to show that relief is plausible. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554-56 (2007). A statute of limitations defense is an affirmative defense that generally would not be brought pursuant to a motion to dismiss. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(c). However, “the statute of limitations may be raised in a motion to dismiss if ‘the allegations of ...


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