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Ingersoll v. Shah

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 18, 2016

ROBERT INGERSOLL, # M-39625, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. SHAH and WEXFORD MEDICAL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REAGAN

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court:

         Plaintiff Robert Ingersoll, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Doctor Shah and Wexford Medical (Doc. 1). Plaintiff allegedly suffers from rheumatoid arthritis (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 7-11). In his complaint, Plaintiff claims that these defendants have denied him adequate medical care for this condition at Robinson. As a result, he has endured years of persistent and debilitating pain (id.). In connection with this claim, Plaintiff now seeks monetary damages against both defendants (id. at 6).

         Merits Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

         This case is before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 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.

         The Complaint

         According to the complaint and corresponding exhibits, Plaintiff suffers from rheumatoid arthritis (Doc. 1, pp. 5-11). The condition causes inflammation and pain in Plaintiff's joints. Until he transferred to Robinson in October 2013, Plaintiff was under the care of Doctor Lockhart, [1] who treated his condition with cortisone injections and pain relievers. Doctor Lockhart initially prescribed Plaintiff 800 milligrams of ibuprofen.[2] However, he reduced this dose to 600 milligrams after the ibuprofen “made [Plaintiff's] blood thin” (id. at 7). At some point in time, the doctor replaced the ibuprofen with twelve Tylenol pills[3] per day (id.).

         After transferring to Robinson, Plaintiff was allegedly denied adequate medical care for his condition (id. at 5, 8). Plaintiff told Doctor Shah that the Tylenol was not effectively controlling his pain (id. at 7). Further, the constant pain prevented him from participating in daily activities and from sleeping at night. Plaintiff requested some other form of treatment (id. at 8). The doctor denied his request.

         Doctor Shah refused to administer cortisone shots (id. at 5). When Plaintiff requested treatment at an outside hospital, Doctor Shah denied his request (id.). For several months in early 2016, the doctor also refused to issue Plaintiff any Tylenol (id. at 9). When Plaintiff complained, the doctor authorized a single “blister pack” of thirty Tylenol. However, Doctor Shah reduced the dose to 325 milligrams, even after Plaintiff made it clear that the higher dose was ineffective (id. at 7-9).

         Not surprisingly, Plaintiff's pain persisted. In fact, the pain in his back, hips, legs, and knees became so bad that Plaintiff was unable to sit in the dayroom, go to the gym, or exercise in the prison yard (id.). He also had difficulty sleeping at night.

         Plaintiff now sues Doctor Shah and Wexford Medical for denying him adequate medical care for his rheumatoid arthritis and associated pain (id. at 5, 7-11). In connection with this claim, he seeks monetary damages to compensate him for “months and years of pain [and] suffering” (id. at 6).

         Discussion

         To 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 a single count:

Count 1: Defendants responded to Plaintiff's rheumatoid arthritis and associated pain with deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of this ...


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