United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
JUSTIN E. BYRD, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC. Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW OPINION
MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge.
proceeds pro se from his incarceration in Taylorville
Correctional Center. His Complaint is before the Court for a
merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This section
requires the Court to identify cognizable claims stated by
the Complaint or dismiss claims that are not
cognizable. In reviewing the complaint, the Court
accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing
them in Plaintiff's favor and taking Plaintiff's pro
se status into account. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory
statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be
provided to "'state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S.,
721 F.3d 418, 422 (7thCir. 2013)(quoted cite
Plaintiff's incarceration in Jacksonville Correctional
Center from January 2014 to April 2016, Plaintiff repeatedly
sought medical care for rectal bleeding and bloody stools
which were causing him nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue,
confusion, fever, extreme discomfort, pain, and emotional
distress. (Compl. p. 4.) The prison doctors diagnosed
Plaintiff with hemorrhoids and prescribed suppositories and
hemorrhoid lotion. The hemorrhoid diagnosis was confirmed in
May 2014 when Plaintiff had an upper and lower endoscopy.
However, Plaintiff continued to suffer from rectal bleeding
and the other symptoms throughout his entire time in
Jacksonville Correctional Center.
April 2016, Plaintiff was transferred from Jacksonville to
Taylorville Correctional Center. The next month, a class
instructor asked Plaintiff if he was okay because Plaintiff
looked as “white as a sheet.” Plaintiff replied,
“No, I feel like I am going to pass out.” He was
sent to the health care unit where the nurses diagnosed
Plaintiff with dangerously low blood counts (a hemoglobin of
5.5 with a normal count being 14-15). Plaintiff was
transferred to the hospital where he received three blood
transfusions and emergency surgery. Plaintiff contends that
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., the medical staff at
Jacksonville Correctional Center, and the Warden and
Assistant Warden at Jacksonville Correctional Center were
deliberately indifferent and negligent to Plaintiff's
allegations state a plausible Eighth Amendment claim against
the medical staff at Jacksonville for deliberate indifference
to Plaintiff's serious medical needs. Plaintiff also sues
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., alleging an unconstitutional
policy, which is a stretch on the current allegations.
Plaintiff does not explain what corporate policy or practice
caused the lack of medical care. However, dismissal of
Wexford would be premature.
plausible inference of deliberate indifference arises against
the wardens from these allegations. Wardens, like other
prison officials without medical training, are generally
entitled to rely on the professional expertise of the prison
medical staff. Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 656
(7th Cir. 2005)(“‘If a prisoner is under the care
of medical experts... a nonmedical prison official will
generally be justified in believing that the prisoner is in
capable hands.'”)(quoted cite omitted).
Plaintiff's allegations do not suggest that the wardens
knew about Plaintiff's medical problems or might have
known that the medical attention Plaintiff was receiving was
obviously deficient. King v. Kramer, 680 F.3d 1013,
1018 (7th Cir. 2012)(nonmedical defendants may be liable if
“‘they have a reason to believe (or actual
knowledge) that prison doctors or their assistants are
mistreating (or not treating) a prisoner.'”)(quoted
cite omitted). Plaintiff does not allege that he informed any
of the wardens of the problem while Plaintiff was at
Jacksonville, and the one grievance attached to the complaint
was not filed until August 2016, after Plaintiff had been
transferred to Taylorville Correctional Center.
Plaintiff's malpractice claim, he must attach the
affidavit and report required by 735 ILCS
5/2-622(a)(affidavit of qualified professional stating that
the case has merit must be attached to a complaint alleging
malpractice). The malpractice claim will be dismissed without
prejudice to filing those documents.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court finds that Plaintiff states an Eighth
Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs against Defendants Wexford Health Sources,
Inc., Becky (last name unknown)(Jacksonville Health Care
Administrator), Eli Goodman, Thomas Baker, Nurse M.W.
Sweetin, Nurse K. Boone, Nurse Hallock, and Nurse Pitchford.
This case proceeds solely on the claims identified in this
paragraph at this point. Any additional claims shall not be
included in the case, except at the Court's discretion on
motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
Warden Gerski and the unidentified Assistant Warden of
programs are dismissed, without prejudice.
Plaintiff's malpractice claim is dismissed, without
prejudice to refiling with the affidavit and report required
by 735 ILCS 5/2-622(a).
case is now in the process of service. Plaintiff is advised
to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendants before
filing any motions, in order to give Defendants notice and an
opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed before
Defendants' counsel has filed an appearance will
generally be denied as premature. Plaintiff need not submit
any evidence to the Court at this time, unless otherwise
directed by the Court.
Court will attempt service on Defendants by mailing each
Defendant a waiver of service. Defendants have 60 days from
the date the waiver is sent to file an Answer. If Defendants
have not filed Answers or appeared through counsel within 90
days of the entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion
requesting the status of service. After Defendants have been
served, the Court will enter an order setting discovery and
dispositive motion deadlines.
respect to a Defendant who no longer works at the address
provided by Plaintiff, the entity for whom that Defendant
worked while at that address shall provide to the Clerk said
Defendant's current work address, or, if not known, said
Defendant's forwarding address. This information shall be
used only for effectuating service. Documentation of
forwarding addresses shall ...