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Paige v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 12, 2017

CORY PAIGE, Plaintiff,


          MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Cory Paige, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening - The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         An 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). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). 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. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff originally filed suit on July 28, 2016 in Case No. 16-cv-858-SMY-RJD. On December 6, 2016, the Court determined that Plaintiff had brought claims unrelated to one another and severed several counts into the present matter. (Doc. 1).

         Plaintiff alleges that the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), John Doe #1 (Director), and medical director Shicker have known that Menard is understaffed and not meeting its responsibility to provide medical care and access since 2010, when the lawsuit Lippert v. Wexford was filed. (Doc. 2, p. 24). Plaintiff further alleges that Butler turned a blind eye to the deficient medical conditions as the former Warden of Menard. Id. Plaintiff also filed grievances, which were reviewed by the IDOC, Shicker, Doe #1, and Butler regarding Plaintiff's inadequate medical care. (Doc. 2, p. 25). The deficient conditions that Plaintiff complained of are due in part to a policy of Wexford Health Sources, Inc. that allows inmates to be treated inadequately for cost cutting purposes. (Doc. 2, pp. 25-26).

         Out of the blue, from 2012 until 2015 Plaintiff began experiencing migraine-like headaches and vision loss. (Doc. 2, pp. 26, 28). He was given Tylenol and referred to a doctor. Id. The doctor prescribed Plaintiff pain medication, but disregarded the fact that Plaintiff did not have a history of migraines, dizziness, diplopia, or blurry vision. Id. Plaintiff had a follow-up visit 30 day later and made it known that the pain medication he had been prescribed was not working. (Doc. 2, pp. 26-27). Plaintiff also told staff that he was still experiencing dizziness and blurred vision. (Doc. 2, p. 27). Plaintiff alleges that an MRI or CT scan should have been considered at that time. Id.

         Plaintiff continued to put in sick call slips. Id. Eventually, he was referred to John Doe #2 (eye doctor). (Doc. 2, p. 27-28). Despite seeing Doe #2, Plaintiff's vision problems worsened. (Doc. 2, p. 28). He also continued to experience severe headaches and blacked out on a few occasions. Id. Doe #2, Wexford, and Trost persisted in their course of treatment and would not discontinue treatment that was not working or order further testing. Id. Plaintiff was given nothing more than Excedrin for Migraines for his headaches. (Doc. 2, p. 29).

         After 3 years of complaining about headaches and vision loss, Trost and Wexford finally approved an MRI. (Doc. 2, p. 28). The MRI showed that Plaintiff had a tumor in his brain, specifically on his pituitary gland. (Doc. 2, pp. 29-30).

         Plaintiff alleges that the IDOC, John Doe #2 (Director), Shicker, and Butler all knew that Plaintiff was not receiving adequate medical care and turned a blind eye to Plaintiff's complaints about inadequate medical treatment. Id. Trost told Plaintiff during the course of his treatment for his tumor that “we normally don't spend this much money on an inmate.” (Doc. 2, p. 30).

         On April 12, 2016, Plaintiff went to see a specialist at an outside hospital who recommended radiation treatment, which may result in a loss of function on Plaintiff's pituitary gland. (Doc. 2, p. 31). Plaintiff believes the need for radiation may have been eliminated had the tumor been discovered earlier. Id.

         Plaintiff was continually frustrated when he tried to resolve these issues through the ...

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