United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se, pursues a § 1983 action against
Wexford Corporation, Dr. Thomas Baker, Dr. Eli Goodman and
Dr. Marvin Powers for deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. The case is before the Court for a merit
review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In reviewing the
Complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true,
liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor.
Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649-51 (7th Cir.
2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are
insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to “state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face.”
Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th
Cir. 2013)(citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
While the pleading standard does not require “detailed
factual allegations”, it requires “more than an
accusation.” Wilson v. Ryker, 451 Fed.Appx.
588, 589 (7th Cir. 2011) quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
alleges that on November 11, 2014, Dr. Powers at the Vienna
Correctional Center diagnosed him with a lipoma (fatty
tumor). Plaintiff alleges that since then, the lipoma has
grown dramatically and is now the size of a baseball.
Plaintiff does not identify the location of the lipoma but
claims it causes him pain and puts pressure on his carotid
artery. As a result, the Court assumes that the lipoma is on
one side or the other of Plaintiff's neck. It appears
that Plaintiff was subsequently transferred to the
Jacksonville Correctional Center where he was seen by Drs.,
Baker and Goodman. Plaintiff claims that all three
physicians; Dr. Powers, Dr. Baker and Dr. Goodman, have
failed to adequately treat him. He believes that the mass,
diagnosed as a benign lipoma, could be cancerous as he has
allegedly not had an adequate diagnostic work-up. He requests
injunctive relief, that the Court order that he undergo
surgery to remove the lipoma. He also requests compensatory
and punitive damages against all Defendants.
well established that deliberate indifference to the serious
medical needs of prisoners violates the Eighth Amendment.
Snipes v DeTella, 95 F.3d 586, 590 (7th Cir 1996),
citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. at 104, 97 S.Ct.
285 (1976). A claim does not rise to the level of an Eighth
Amendment issue, however, unless the punishment is
“deliberate or otherwise reckless in the criminal law
sense, which means that the defendant must have committed an
act so dangerous that his knowledge of the risk can be
inferred or that the defendant actually knew of an impending
harm easily preventable.” Antonelli v.
Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422, 1427 (7th Cir. 1996). Mere
negligence or even gross negligence does not constitute
deliberate indifference. Id. at 590. (Citations
omitted). A prisoner's dissatisfaction with a
doctor's prescribed course of treatment does not give
rise to a constitutional claim unless the medical treatment
is “so blatantly inappropriate as to evidence
intentional mistreatment likely to seriously aggravate the
prisoner's condition.” Snipes at 591,
citing Thomas v. Pate, 493 F.2d 151, 158 (7th Cir.
1974); Cannon v. Thomas, 419 U.S. 813 (1974).
Plaintiff states a claim against Drs. Baker and Goodman for
the alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs. It is unclear, however, whether Dr. Powers treated
Plaintiff after the initial diagnosis so as to be liable for
deliberate indifference as the lipoma grew. As it is not
clear, Dr. Powers will remain in this case pending a more
fully developed record.
clearly does not direct any allegations to Wexford or claim
that Wexford had a policy which caused him injury. See
Jackson v. Illinois Medi-Care, Inc., 300 F.3d 760, 766
(7th Cir. 2002) (private corporations acting under the color
of state law are treated as municipalities for purposes of
liability under § 1983); Woodward v. Correctional
Medical Services of Illinois, Inc., 368 F.3d 917, 927
(7th Cir. 2004) (in order to be held liable under §
1983, “a municipal policy or practice must be the
direct cause or moving force behind the constitutional
violation”). Since Plaintiff has failed to allege any
Wexford policy or practice that resulted in a constitutional
violation, Wexford is DISMISSED.
case shall proceed solely on the claims of deliberate
indifference by Drs. Powers, Baker and Goodman. Any claims
not identified will not be included in the case, except in
the Court's discretion upon motion by a party for good
cause shown, or by leave of court pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 15. Defendant Wexford is DISMISSED.
this case raises issues as to the extent of the medical
treatment which was provided Plaintiff, Defendants are
requested, within 15 days of returning signed waivers, to
provide to the Court, under seal, any of Plaintiff's
medical records which might be relevant to this inquiry.
Plaintiff files  and , requesting that counsel be
appointed for him. Plaintiff claims that he has
unsuccessfully attempted to obtain counsel on his own, but
provides no verification. In considering Plaintiff's
Motion, the Court asks: (1) has the indigent Plaintiff made a
reasonable attempt to obtain counsel or been effectively
precluded from doing so; and if so, (2) given the difficulty
of the case, does the plaintiff appear competent to litigate
it himself? Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654-55
(7th Cir. 2007), citing Farmer v. Haas, 990 F.2d
319, 322 (7th Cir. 1993). Here, Plaintiff has not
demonstrated that he made a reasonable attempt to obtain
counsel or that he has been effectively precluded from doing
so. In the event Plaintiff renews his motion for appointment
of counsel, he should list the attorneys to whom he wrote and
include copies of letters sent to, or received from, those
attorneys.  and  are DENIED. Plaintiff's Motion for
Status  is rendered MOOT by this order.
Plaintiff files , a Motion for Default Judgment. The
Court, however, has just issued its merit review order and
waivers have not yet issued. As a result, defendants are not
in default and  is DENIED. Plaintiff files , requesting
that the Clerk send him copies of all pleadings filed his
case. To date, the only pleading filed his Plaintiffs
complaint. It is Plaintiff's obligation to keep copies of
everything files with this Court.  is DENIED.
Clerk is directed to send to each Defendant pursuant to this
District's internal procedures: 1) a Notice of Lawsuit
and Request for Waiver of Service; 2) a Waiver of Service; 3)
a copy of the Complaint; and 4) a copy of this Order.
6. If a
Defendant fails to sign and return a Waiver of Service to the
Clerk within 30 days after the Waiver is sent, the Court will
take appropriate steps to effect formal service on that
Defendant and will require that Defendant pay the full costs
of formal service pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4(d)(2). If a Defendant no longer works at the address
provided by Plaintiff, the entity for which Defendant worked
at the time identified in the Complaint shall provide to the
Clerk Defendant's current work address, or, if not known,
Defendant's forwarding address. This information will be
used only for purposes of effecting service. Documentation of
forwarding addresses will be maintained only by the Clerk and
shall not be maintained in the public docket nor disclosed by
Defendants shall file an answer within the prescribed by
Local Rule. A Motion to Dismiss is not an answer. The answer
it to include all defenses appropriate under the Federal
Rules. The answer and subsequent ...