United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, United States District Judge.
Victor Orozco, who is currently incarcerated in Lawrence
Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1, p. 1).
According to the Complaint, Plaintiff suffered from and
sought treatment for abdominal pain from August 2014 through
at least July 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 26). While at Lawrence,
Plaintiff was diagnosed with “H-pylori” and
“given some treatment” for the condition. (Doc.
1, p. 15). Plaintiff maintains that the “treatment he
received was insufficient and did not stop his severe pain[,
] causing ulcers and [irritable bowel syndrome].”
Id. Plaintiff further asserts that despite his
requests, medical service providers at Lawrence failed to
refer him to an outside specialist for his abdominal pain,
though he was given medication to treat his illness and was
seen by Lawrence medical staff many times. (Doc. 1, pp.
15-16, 18-21, 24). He claims that this conduct amounted to
deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of
the Eighth Amendment.
also claims that a policy of Wexford Health Sources
(“Wexford”) of minimizing costs at the expense of
inmate care and “cheap” medicines supplied by
Boswell Pharmacy Services (“Boswell”) rendered
these entities liable to him under the Eighth Amendment.
(Doc. 1, pp. 25-28). Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and
injunctive relief against the following defendants for
alleged Eighth Amendment violations: Dr. John Coe, James T,
Phill Martin, Jenkins L, R.D. Moore, Beth Tredway, Counselor
Henton, Nurses John and Jane Doe, Wexford and Boswell. (Doc.
1, pp. 2-4).
Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
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).
action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). An action fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not
plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of
entitlement to relief must cross “the line between
possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557.
Conversely, a complaint is plausible on its face “when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true,
see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir.
2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
Plaintiff's Complaint survives preliminary review, in
part, under this standard.
to the Complaint, in late 2014, Plaintiff began suffering
from “extreme pain in his stomach” which was
diagnosed as being the result of “H-pylori”
bacteria in his system. (Doc. 1, pp. 18-19). Even after this
was treated with antibiotics, Plaintiff continued to suffer
from abdominal pain, a burning sensation in his stomach and
irritable bowel syndrome (“IBS”) symptoms.
Id. Plaintiff received medical care for these issues
from various individuals at Lawrence, including Coe and
James, for nearly two years, and the pain only increased in
frequency. (Doc. 1, pp. 14, 19).
to the allegations, Coe acted as Plaintiff's primary
physician during the relevant period, meeting with him,
ordering X-rays, indicating that Plaintiff may have ulcers or
IBS and prescribing various forms of medication to address
Plaintiff's pain, including reflux medicine
(e.g., Zantac), fiber and Imodium for IBS. (Doc. 1,
pp. 16, 19, 21, 23). In the course of his prolonged treatment
of Plaintiff, Coe allegedly failed to test Plaintiff for
ulcers or IBS, which Plaintiff alleges are the after-effects
of H-pylori infections. (Doc. 1, p. 18). Further, though the
medications prescribed did not ease Plaintiff's pain, Coe
continued to prescribe them. (Doc. 1, pp. 23-24). He also
kept Plaintiff on a harmful diet and refused to refer
Plaintiff to an outside specialist when his course of
treatment proved ineffective. (Doc. 1, pp. 39-40). This
chosen course of treatment was allegedly in conformity with a
policy that favors low cost treatments over effective patient
care. (Doc. 1, pp. 31-32).
was also seen by James on several occasions and complained to
him about his pain and course of treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 20).
Although James indicated that his concerns would be
addressed, they never were. (Doc. 1, p. 20). Plaintiff
contends that these defendants, as well as Jenkins and Nurses
John and Jane Doe, acted pursuant to Wexford's policy of
favoring inexpensive treatment over effective treatment for
prisoners. (Doc. 1, p. 31-32).
against Wexford, Plaintiff alleges that it has a policy and
practice of “providing the bare minimum amount of
treatment for inmates in order to reduce Wexford's
cost” and delaying follow-up treatments and referrals
to outside specialists for inmates in need. (Doc. 1, pp.
25-26). In furtherance of this policy and practice, Wexford
allegedly coerced Coe and the medical staff at Lawrence
“to do nothing or very little” in treating
Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Boswell supplied Lawrence with the
medications that allegedly caused Plaintiff to suffer from
further illness as a result of prolonged use. (Doc. 1, pp.
further claims that he filed grievances with Henton, Tredway,
Moore and Martin that were met with little action. Moore and
Tredway ignored grievances that Plaintiff filed with
“the warden” “seeking advice and medical
care.” (Doc. 1, p. 15). Henton received several highly
detailed grievances regarding Plaintiff's medical
condition and treatment but consistently deferred to the
medical staff. (Doc. 1, pp. 58-63, 65-66). Similarly, Martin
received complaints from Plaintiff about his medical
treatment and also deferred to the medical staff. (Doc. 1, p.
Plaintiff refers in his Complaint to the conduct of entities
not named in his caption or his defendant list, including
Stateville and Lawrence Correctional Centers, the
Administrative Review Board, the Illinois Department of
Corrections and Springfield, Illinois. (Doc. 1, pp. 38-44).
When parties are not listed in the caption, this Court will
not treat them as defendants and any claims against them
should be considered dismissed without prejudice.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a) (noting that the title of
the complaint “must name all the parties”);
Myles v. United States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th
Cir. 2005) (holding that to be properly considered a party, a
defendant must be “specif[ied] in the caption”).
now sues 9 named defendants, including 7 Lawrence officials,
Wexford and Boswell and numerous unknown defendants,
identified as Nurses John and Jane Doe. He asserts Eighth
Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claims
against them. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-10). Plaintiff seeks monetary