United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
R. Wood United States District Judge.
Terri Anderson, Shaun Bass, Royce Brown-Reed, Marcus Hardy,
Sarah Johnson, and Anna McBee's motion to dismiss  is
denied. Status hearing set for 4/19/2017 at 9:00 AM. See
accompanying Statement for details.
Thomas Degrado, a prisoner in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is
currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center, has
brought this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Degrado alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent
to his serious medical needs. Specifically, Degrado claims
that he injured his wrist several times in August 2011 while
he was imprisoned at Stateville Correctional Center
(“Stateville”), but that he received
unsatisfactory medical attention resulting in debilitating
pain and physical deformity. Defendants Terri Anderson, Shaun
Bass, Royce Brown-Reed, Marcus Hardy, Sarah Johnson, and Anna
McBee (collectively, “IDOC Defendants”) have
moved this Court to dismiss the claims against them pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 74.)
The Court denies the motion for the reasons that follow.
Court takes the following facts from Degrado's Amended
Complaint. (Dkt. No. 69.) When analyzing a this motion, made
under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must “construe [the
complaint] in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs,
accepting as true all well-pleaded facts alleged and drawing
all permissible inferences in their favor.” Fortres
Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entm't Inc., 763 F.3d
696, 700 (7th Cir. 2014).
August 1, 2011, Degrado tripped and fell on his left hand and
wrist. (Am. Compl. ¶ 16, Dkt. No. 69.) Degrado requested
to be sent to the infirmary but was sent back to his unit
instead. (Id. ¶ 18.) In the next couple of
days, swelling deformed Degrado's hand and wrist, causing
him such pain that he vomited. (Id. ¶ 19.)
Nonetheless, he was not admitted to the infirmary, but rather
was sent back to his own cell. (Id.) Thereafter,
Degrado did not see a doctor until August 8, 2011.
(Id. ¶¶ 20-24.) The doctor told him that
his wrist was simply dislocated- not broken-although an X-ray
taken four days later indicated that his wrist was in fact
broken. (Id. ¶¶ 25-26.) On August 12,
Degrado fell and again landed on his injured left wrist.
(Id. ¶ 27.) His request to go to the health
care unit was denied. (Id. ¶ 28.) On or about
November 1, 2011, Degrado was sent to an orthopedic
specialist outside the prison, who diagnosed him with a
fractured and improperly reunited wrist. (Id. ¶
Degrado's second request to go to the medical unit was
denied, in late August 2011, Degrado filed his first
grievance under Stateville's grievance procedure.
(Id. ¶ 29.) This grievance was denied. Then, on
October 26, 2011, Degrado wrote Defendant Marcus Hardy,
Stateville's Chief Administrative Officer, to explain
that his pain had not stopped and that he had not seen an
orthopedist. (Id. ¶ 32.) In addition, Degrado
had other “conversations [with and] letters and
grievances filed or delivered to” Hardy among others.
(Id. ¶ 39.) But Hardy “refused to grant
[Degrado] emergency medical treatment or properly treat [his]
broken left wrist.” (Id. ¶ 28.) Degrado
also directed letters and other communications to Royce
Brown-Reed, Chief Administrator of Stateville's Health
Unit “responsible for the care and humane treatment of
inmates.” (Id. ¶ 47.)
Degrado's grievances did not get him his desired medical
relief, leading to his claims against the IDOC Defendants. As
noted, the Amended Complaint sets forth that Hardy and
Brown-Reed were aware of Degrado's grievances about his
medical condition and care and failed to take any action,
leading to his prolonged pain and injury. In a similar vein,
the Amended Complaint alleges that Bass and McBee were
grievance officers “responsible for the proper
administration and care of the inmates at Stateville”
and knew of Degrado's complaints about his medical
treatment, but denied and disregarded those complaints.
(Id. ¶¶ 40, 51-53.) Finally, the Amended
Complaint alleges that Anderson and Johnson, members of
Stateville's Administrative Review Board, reviewed
Degrado's grievances and denied them, thereby also
causing him prolonged pain and injury. (Id.
¶¶ 29, 54-57.)
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, “a complaint must
contain sufficient factual allegations, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). This pleading standard does not
necessarily require a complaint to contain detailed factual
allegations. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Rather,
“[a] claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Adams v. City of
Indianapolis, 742 F.3d 720, 728 (7th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
“person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State” deprives
another “person within the jurisdiction of [the United
States] . . . of any [constitutional] rights . . . shall be
liable to the party injured . . . .” 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Prisoners enjoy a constitutional right not to be
subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. Const. amend.
VIII. That right includes “a right to adequate medical
care.” See Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435,
439 (7th Cir. 2010). To state a claim for constitutionally
deficient medical care, a plaintiff “must demonstrate
two elements: (1) an objectively serious medical condition;
and (2) an official's deliberate indifference to that
condition.” Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742,
750 (7th Cir. 2011).
objective seriousness of Degrado's medical condition is
not at issue here. Rather, the IDOC Defendants move to
dismiss Degrado's claim on the grounds that he has failed
to allege facts sufficient to allow the Court reasonably to
infer that they were deliberately indifferent. The IDOC
Defendants also argue that they are entitled to qualified
immunity for any of their alleged constitutional violations.
The Court considers these arguments in turn.