United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
RADSHEEN W. SHEPHERD, No. R-12862, Petitioner
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., MICHAEL D. SCOTT, VIPIN SHAH, PAUL LOUIS SHICKER, CHRISTINE BROWN, JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, UNKNOWN PARTY Jane Doe and John Doe Doctors/Nurses at Vienna and Pinckneyville, and IDOC Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge
Radsheen W. Shepherd, an inmate in Pinckneyville Correctional
Center (“Pinckneyville”), brings this action for
deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff contends officials at Vienna
Correctional Center (“Vienna”) (where Plaintiff
was formerly incarcerated) and Pinckneyville have denied
Plaintiff treatment for his hernia by refusing to approve
surgical repair for the same. Plaintiff further contends his
requests for surgical treatment are being denied as part of a
policy or procedure implemented by Wexford and IDOC intended
to save money. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff
sues Wexford Health Sources, Inc., (corporate healthcare
provider), Michael D. Scott (Pinckneyville physician), Vipin
Shah (Pinckneyville physician), Paul Louis Shicker (IDOC
medical director), Christine Brown (Wexford health care
administrator), Jacqueline Lashbrook (former Pinckneyville
warden), IDOC, and numerous unknown nurses and doctors
(“Jane Doe and John Doe Doctors/Nurses at Vienna and
to the Complaint, Plaintiff sues all Defendants in their
individual capacities. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages,
declaratory relief, and any other relief deemed appropriate.
(Doc. 8-1, p. 9). Plaintiff's Complaint does not
expressly seek injunctive relief. However, on March 6, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a pleading titled “Closing
Statements.” (Doc. 14). This pleading reiterates facts
alleged in the Complaint and asks the Court to order
Pinckneyville to surgically repair his hernia. Id.
Plaintiff is advised that the Court does not accept piecemeal
pleadings. Plaintiff's Complaint must stand on its own.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's “Closing Statements”
pleading shall be stricken. Nonetheless, considering the
facts alleged in the Complaint, specifically Plaintiff's
repeated claims that his hernia requires surgical repair, the
Court construes Plaintiff's Complaint as including a
request for injunctive relief at the close of the case.
has also filed a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order
and/or Preliminary Injunction. (Doc. 16). As is discussed
more fully below, the Motion for a Temporary Restraining
Order shall be DENIED without prejudice. The
Motion for a Preliminary Injunction shall be referred to the
Magistrate Judge for review as soon as practicable.
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
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.
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
suffers from an inguinal hernia that causes constant
excruciating pain. (Doc. 8, pp. 3-4). The hernia is located
in Plaintiff's pubic region. (Doc. 8-1, p. 5).
Plaintiff's hernia is large and constantly causes sharp
pains that interfere with Plaintiff's sleep, urination,
bowel movements, and lifting “regular” objects.
(Doc. 8-1, pp. 5-6). Plaintiff contends his condition is
worsening and his pain is increasing. (Doc. 8-1, p. 5).
generally alleges that, for more than 3 years, doctors at
Vienna and Pinckneyville have denied Plaintiff's repeated
requests for surgical treatment. (Doc. 8-1, pp. 3-4). Rather
than allowing Plaintiff's hernia to be surgically
repaired, Defendants have prescribed mild/ineffective pain
medication and ill-fitting/ineffective hernia belts. (Doc.
8-1, p. 4; Doc. 8, p. 4). Additionally, Defendants have
recommended that Plaintiff exercise and lose weight and, at
times, have authorized Plaintiff to utilize a low bunk/low
gallery permit. Plaintiff contends surgical treatment has
been denied in furtherance of a policy implemented by Wexford
and/or IDOC intended to save money. (Doc. 8-1, pp. 3-4).
Plaintiff alleges several Defendants have informed him that
IDOC does not surgically treat hernias because it is too
expensive and Plaintiff will have to wait until he is
released from IDOC custody, in August 2017, to have surgery.
(Doc. 8, p. 4).
each Defendant, Plaintiff brings the following specific
Party (Jane Doe and John Doe Doctors/Nurses at Vienna and
March 6, 2015 and April 14, 2015, while incarcerated at
Vienna, Plaintiff was examined by various unknown nurses and
doctors. During these visits, Plaintiff's
hernia was measured at 12.5 centimeters. (Doc. 8-1, p. 10).
According to the Complaint, each nurse or doctor provided
inadequate medical treatment (mild pain medication and/or a
hernia belt that was the wrong type/size) and indicated that
Plaintiff would never be approved for surgical repair.
Id. Instead, Defendants indicated Plaintiff would
have to pursue surgery after he is released from IDOC
December 28, 2015 and June 18, 2016, while incarcerated at
Pinckneyville, Plaintiff was examined by various unknown
nurses and doctors. During these visits, Plaintiff's
hernia was examined. (Doc. 8-1, pp. 12 -14). Additionally,
Plaintiff was measured for and received a hernia belt. (Doc.
8-1, pp. 13-14). On May 9, 2009, an unknown nurse informed
Plaintiff that his hernia belt was not working. During a
medical visit on December 28, 2015, an unknown nurse observed
that Plaintiff's hernia was getting larger. (Doc. 8-1, p.
12). Plaintiff inquired about surgery and was told that IDOC
will not operate on any hernia. Id.
incarcerated at Pinckneyville, Shah examined the Plaintiff on
at least two occasions (May 15, 2015 (Doc. 8-1 p. 11) and
August 3, 2015 (Doc. 8-1, p. 12)). During these visits,
Plaintiff relayed complaints regarding his hernia and severe
pain. (Doc. 8-1, pp. 11-12). Shah issued a low bunk permit
and directed Plaintiff to lose weight and drink more water.
Id. Shah also indicated that IDOC does not provide
surgical repair for hernias and does not care about
Plaintiff's pain. Id. Shah told Plaintiff the
only way he will receive surgery is when he is released from
incarcerated at Pinckneyville, Scott examined Plaintiff on
several occasions (January 29, 2016 (Doc. 8-1, p. 12), May
12, 2016 (Doc. 8-1, p. 14), June 7, 2016 (Doc. 8-1, p. 15),
June 24, 2016 (Doc. 8-1, p. 16), June 27, 2016 (Doc. 8-1, pp.
16-17)). During these visits, Plaintiff complained about his
hernia and repeatedly requested surgical treatment. (Doc.
8-1, pp. 12-16). During one visit, Plaintiff complained that
his hernia would not go back inside. (Doc. 8- 1, p. 16).
Scott indicated that IDOC would never approve surgical
treatment and that the only treatment available was mild pain
medication and a hernia belt. (Doc. 8-1, pp. 12-16). The pain
medication was inadequate and the hernia belt Plaintiff
received was inadequate because it was the wrong size and
type. (Doc. 8-1, p. 5). On or about June 27, 2016, Scott
informed Plaintiff that his request for surgical repair had
been formally denied. (Doc. 8-1, p. 16). When Plaintiff asked
why the surgery was denied, Scott said: “Because of the
State budget IDOC will not give you hernia surgery. Like I
told you before, you will have to wait until 2017, when you
go home.” (Doc. 8-1, pp. 16-17).
about November 11, 2016, while incarcerated at Pinckneyville,
Plaintiff wrote an offender request letter to Lashbrook.
(Doc. 8-1, p. 22). In the letter, Plaintiff relayed
complaints about his hernia and lack of treatment related to
the same. Id. Plaintiff also asked to be seen by an
outside specialist, alleged that IDOC and Wexford were
implementing an ...