United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.
matter is now before the Court for consideration of the First
Amended Complaint (Doc. 23) filed by Plaintiff Clifford
Rowling, an inmate at Big Muddy River Correctional Center
(“Big Muddy”). Plaintiff brings this action for
deprivations of his federal rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 21312, et
seq., and the Rehabilitation Act (“RA”), 29
U.S.C. § 794(a). In his First Amended Complaint, which
he prepared with the assistance of recruited counsel,
Plaintiff alleges that he has been consistently denied
medical, mental health, and psychiatric care at Big Muddy. He
asserts claims against the defendants under the Eighth
Amendment, the ADA and the RA. (Doc. 23, p. 2). Plaintiff
seeks declaratory judgment, monetary damages, and injunctive
relief. (Doc. 23, pp. 18-19).
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
First Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
(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
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. The First Amended Complaint survives
preliminary review under this standard.
to the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff is mentally
impaired and disabled. (Doc. 23, pp. 2-3). He has a
“long history of severe documented mental illness and
psychological problems, disabilities[, ] and
impairments.” (Doc. 23, p. 5). Plaintiff has been
diagnosed with bipolar disorder, paranoia, obsessive
compulsive disorder (“OCD”), suicidal ideations,
delusions, low mood, depression, and attention deficit
disorder (“ADD”), among other things.
Id. All of the defendants named in this action
“were and are” aware of these issues.
Larson, Gerst, and Lifchitz have met with Plaintiff and
evaluated him at Big Muddy on several occasions. (Doc. 23, p.
5). They are aware that Plaintiff's previously prescribed
medications are ineffective. Consequently, he suffers from
numerous adverse side effects that include “weakness,
bad mood swings, migraine headaches, dizziness, lack of
focus, black outs, blurred vision, paranoia, . . . difficulty
sleeping, and drowsiness.” (Doc. 23, p. 6). Plaintiff
also talks to birds and inanimate objects. Id.
numerous occasions, Plaintiff has asked Defendants Larson,
Gerst, and Lifchitz to adjust his medication, in order to
reduce or eliminate the adverse side effects. Despite
multiple requests, however, the defendants have
“continually delayed and refused to make any meaningful
effort to alter or adjust [his] medications.” (Doc. 23,
p. 7). Plaintiff claims that the conduct of these defendants
amounts to deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs, in violation of his rights under the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments. (Doc. 23, pp. 7-8).
Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”), a private
corporation that provides mental health and psychiatric care
to inmates at Big Muddy, also “knew, through its agents
and employees, ” of Plaintiff's mental impairments
and his need for psychiatric treatment. (Doc. 23, pp. 8-10).
Even so, Wexford has denied Plaintiff appropriate care, in
violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment.
Id. Wexford has instituted a number of
“unconstitutional policies, customs, procedures, plans,
and guidelines, to reduce, contain and limit the costs of
medical care” provided to inmates. (Doc. 23, pp.
10-11). The corporation elevates concerns about costs of
services over the quality of services it provides.
Id. These policies and practices are allegedly the
“moving force” behind Plaintiff's denial of
adequate mental health and psychiatric treatment at Big
Muddy. (Doc. 23, p. 11). Plaintiff names Wexford in this
action for denying him appropriate mental health care in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 23, pp. 11-14).
addition, he asserts a claim for money damages under the ADA
and RA. (Doc. 23, pp. 14-17). Plaintiff contends that he has
been subject to discrimination because of his mental illness
and impairments. (Doc. 23, pp. 15-16). Defendants refuse to
accommodate his psychiatric needs, by providing him with
proper medical care. Id. As a result, Plaintiff is
unable to enjoy basic life activities, such as caring for
himself, working, sleeping, learning, or performing manual
tasks. (Doc. 23, pp. 5, 14-16).
now requests declaratory judgment and monetary damages
against the defendants. (Doc. 23, pp. 18-19). He also seeks
mandatory and permanent injunctive relief, in the form of a
court order requiring Warden Garnett, Wexford, and Doctor
Lifchitz to “provide him with the medications and other
psychiatric treatment required to stop those ...