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Mann v. Shah

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 15, 2017

ROBERT MANN, No. M04569, Plaintiff,


          ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge

         Plaintiff Robert Mann, formerly an inmate in Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on April 3, 2017, while still incarcerated. The following day, Plaintiff was released on parole. Plaintiff contends officials at Pinckneyville denied him treatment for a torn rotator cuff. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff sues Wexford Health Sources, Inc., (corporate healthcare provider), Vipin Shah (physician), Michael Scott (physician), Dan Vacel (orthopedist), Tracy Peek (nurse), Christine L. Brown (healthcare administrator), John Doe (physician) and Jane Doe (nurse). According to the Complaint, Plaintiff sues all Defendants in their individual capacities, and he is seeking 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 suffers from a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. (Doc. 1, p. 7). This injury was diagnosed by medical staff at the Lake County Jail in April or June 2015. (Doc. 1, p. 12). The injury causes severe and ongoing pain. (Doc. 1, pp. 8, 10). At the time of filing, Plaintiff continued to suffer from the shoulder injury and associated pain. (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         Plaintiff generally alleges that, after being transferred to Pinckneyville in August 2015, he repeatedly sought treatment for his shoulder injury. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-11). He submitted numerous sick-call requests. Id. According to the Complaint, “many” of his sick-call requests were ignored. (Doc. 1, pp. 7, 11, 13). When Plaintiff was able to meet with medical staff, he contends he received inadequate and/or ineffective treatment. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-11). It appears that medical staff treated Plaintiff's injury with physical therapy and ibuprofen - treatments Plaintiff contends were ineffective. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-11; Doc. 1-1, pp. 2-28). Plaintiff repeatedly complained about his ongoing pain and repeatedly requested surgery, treatment from an outside specialist, and an MRI. Id. Plaintiff also complained that if surgery was delayed for too long, his injury could become permanent. Id. When his requests were denied, Plaintiff filed grievances detailing his injury and ongoing pain, his need for medical treatment, and the inadequacies of his current treatment. (Doc. 1, pp. 11-12; Doc. 1-1, pp. 16-28).

         Many of the allegations included in the Complaint regarding Plaintiff's inadequate medical care are not directed at any specific defendant. (See e.g., (Doc. 1, p. 10) (alleging that Plaintiff made dozens of requests for an MRI but all were denied by the Pinckneyville Healthcare Department); (Doc. 1, p. 10) (alleging Plaintiff filled out numerous sick call requests to make “them” aware of his ongoing medical issues); (Doc. 1, p. 10) (Plaintiff made between 20 and 30 requests to the Pinckneyville Healthcare Department)). Similarly, some of the factual allegations that are directed at specific defendants are conclusory and not supported by any specific facts. (See e.g. (Doc. 1, p. 11) (alleging that Pinckneyville Medical staff and Wexford Health Source Inc., including Dr. Doe, Nurse Doe, and Jane Does, failed to diagnose Plaintiff's medical condition but failing to provide any facts regarding Plaintiffs interactions with these individuals)). However, Plaintiff also attaches relevant grievances that provide a detailed history of Plaintiff s alleged inadequate medical care.

         The Court notes the following factual allegations that are associated with one or more defendants:

• Plaintiff was in segregation for approximately one month in August 2015. During this time, Plaintiff repeatedly submitted sick call requests and “many” were ignored. Shah, Vacel, and an unidentified nurse (Defendant Jane Doe) refused to assist Plaintiff and told Plaintiff he could not be treated until he was released from segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
• Plaintiff had a sick-call visit with Peek, a nurse, on February 22, 2017. Peek did not follow routine examination procedures. Peek offered Plaintiff ibuprofen and informed him he would not be seeing a physician because Scott, one of Plaintiff s physicians, no longer worked at the prison. Peek did not examine Plaintiffs shoulder or respond to Plaintiffs ...

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