United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
ST. EVE United States District Court Judge.
Court denies Defendants' motion to dismiss brought
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). .
Defendants' Answer is due on or before January 20, 2017.
Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures shall be exchanged by January 31,
10, 2016, Plaintiff Robert Williams, by counsel, brought a
one-count First Amended Complaint against Defendants Dr.
Jonathan Kelly (“Dr. Kelly”) and Wexford Health
Source, Inc. (“Wexford”) alleging deprivations of
his Eighth Amendment rights in relation to his medical care
while incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center
(“Stateville”). See 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Before the Court is Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss. For the following reasons, the Court
denies Defendants' motion.
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) challenges the viability of a complaint by arguing
that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted.” Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers,
Inc., 761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014). Under Rule
8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain
statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must “give the defendant
fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (citation
omitted). Under the federal pleading standards, a
plaintiff's “factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, a
“complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d
868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). In
determining the sufficiency of a complaint under the
plausibility standard, courts must “accept all
well-pleaded facts as true and draw reasonable inferences in
the plaintiffs' favor.” Roberts v. City of
Chicago, 817 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2016).
First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he is a
55-year-old male who is currently incarcerated at Pontiac
Correctional Center (“Pontiac”). (R. 17, First
Am. Compl. ¶ 5.) Prior his transfer to Pontiac,
Plaintiff was incarcerated at Stateville segregation unit F
House. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he has been
diagnosed with severe mental illnesses, including
schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, schizoaffective disorder,
and anti-social personality disorder. (Id.
¶¶ 5, 8.) Further, Plaintiff alleges that Wexford
provides health care services, including mental health
services, throughout the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”). (Id. ¶ 6.) Defendant Dr.
Kelly was and is a psychiatrist at Stateville during the
relevant time period. (Id. ¶ 7.)
has been incarcerated since 1998, and, over the course of his
incarceration, IDOC physicians have prescribed him
pharmaceutical drugs including, Risperdal, Geodon, Depakote,
Paxil, Cogentin, and Trilafon. (Id. ¶¶ 9,
10.) For the majority of the years he has been incarcerated,
Plaintiff's mental healthcare doctors prescribed him
Risperdal to treat his schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.
(Id. ¶¶ 11, 12.) According to Plaintiff,
IDOC physicians took him off of Risperdal three to four times
during his incarceration, yet IDOC mental health doctors have
continued to prescribe Risperdal until March 2014.
(Id. ¶¶ 11, 13.) Plaintiff maintains that
none of IDOC's mental health physicians who prescribed
Risperdal advised him of the possible side effects.
(Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiff also asserts that Wexford
has failed to adopt policies and practices requiring mental
health doctors to fully advise their patients, such as
Plaintiff, of the risk of serious side effects of drugs such
as Risperdal. (Id. ¶ 14.)
around January 2013, not long after IDOC transferred
Plaintiff to Stateville, Dr. Kelly prescribed Risperdal to
Plaintiff, but did not advise Plaintiff of the drug's
serious side effects, such as gynecomastia, namely, swollen
male breast tissue and glands. (Id. ¶¶ 7,
14, 16.) Plaintiff further alleges that Dr. Kelly and the
IDOC mental health doctors disregarded the substantial risk
of gynecomastia, and failed to advise him that gynecomastia
was a primary side effect of Risperdal. (Id. ¶
19.) He states that had he known of Risperdal's side
effects, he “would not have agreed to take
Risperdal.” (Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiff states
that he developed gynecomastia during the relevant time
period resulting in significant physical soreness and pain.
(Id. ¶ 22.) Furthermore, Plaintiff maintains
that after Dr. Kelly took him off of Risperdal in March 2014,
Dr. Kelly avoided him and refused to see Plaintiff for his
regular monthly visits. (Id. ¶ 23.) Eventually,
another IDOC doctor treated Plaintiff for his mental health
issues. (Id. ¶ 24.)
prison official may be found in violation of an inmate's
Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment if she acts (or fails to act) with
‘deliberate indifference to [his] serious medical
needs.'” Conley v. Birch, 796 F.3d 742,
746 (7th Cir. 2015) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 104, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976)).
Deliberate indifference claims contain both an objective and
a subjective component, namely, the inmate must have an
objectively serious medical condition and the defendant must
be subjectively aware of and consciously disregard the
inmate's serious medical need. See Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d
811 (1994); Whiting v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.,
839 F.3d 658, 662 (7th Cir. 2016). “An objectively
serious medical condition is one that ‘a physician has
diagnosed as needing treatment” or that is so obviously
serious “that even a lay person would easily recognize
the necessity for a doctor's attention.'”
McDonald v. Hardy, 821 F.3d 882, 888 (7th Cir. 2016)
present motion to dismiss, Defendants do not focus on whether
Plaintiff properly alleged that he suffers from an
objectively serious medical condition. Instead,
Defendants argue Plaintiff's allegations that IDOC
physicians provided medical treatment without his informed
consent do not rise to the level of the subjective component
of deliberate indifference. See, e.g., Smith v.
Peters, No. 95 C 3009, 1995 WL 382953, at *3 (N.D. Ill.
June 23, 1995) (“Medical treatment that is unauthorized
or given without informed consent may be medical malpractice
under state law.”). On the other hand, Plaintiff points
to recent Seventh Circuit case law explaining claims based on
a failure to warn about the side effects of prescription
Some circuits have held that “[p]risoners have a right
to such information as is reasonably necessary to make an
informed decision to accept or reject proposed
treatment.” White v. Napoleon,897 F.2d 103,
113 (3d Cir.1990); see also Pabon v. Wright, 459
F.3d 241, 250 (2d Cir.2006) (same). But “a doctor
should not be required to provide each prisoner-patient with
an exhaustive list of all the possible adverse effects of
each aspect of his treatment. Instead, a doctor simply must
provide a prisoner with such information as a reasonable
patient would find necessary.” Pabon, 459 F.3d
at 250. Otherwise, “after receiving appropriate
treatment that proved to have unpleasant side effects, a
prisoner might claim that he had not received sufficient
information to allow him to decide whether to refuse that
treatment.” Id. Although we have not had
occasion to comment on this precise standard, we have adopted
a general rule that is consistent with these circuits: The
Eighth Amendment protects inmates from ...