United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Gregory Conway, who is currently incarcerated in Lawrence
Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. According to the
Complaint, Plaintiff suffered from and sought treatment for
abdominal pain for an extended period of time during his
incarceration in Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”). He maintains that the
defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs
related thereto, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc.
1). Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief
mandating his transfer to Dixon or Centralia Correctional
Center. (Doc. 1, p. 24). 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
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; certain claims in this action are subject
to summary dismissal.
to the Complaint, on May 21, 2015, Plaintiff began having
stomach and chest pains. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Nearly a year later,
on May 6, 2016, Plaintiff went to Pinckneyville's Health
Care Unit and was examined by Nurse Practitioner Angel
Rector. Id. On June 6, 2016, Plaintiff was diagnosed
with Helicobacter Pylori infection, which Rector explained is
contracted from exposure to feces. (Doc. 1, pp. 8-9).
Plaintiff was given the four different medications used to
treat Helicobacter Pylori infections, and he took them as
prescribed. (Doc. 1, p. 9).
days of taking the medicine, Plaintiff began having severe
stomach pains. Id. He sent a request slip to health
care and saw a medical technician on July 10, 2016 who told
him that he was scheduled to see the doctor. (Doc. 1, p. 10).
On July 14, 2016, Plaintiff received a call pass to see Dr.
Scott to be tested for the infection and to be prescribed
something for the pain that he was experiencing because of
the medication. Id. Upon entering the examination
room, Dr. Scott asked Plaintiff what he wanted from the visit
and told him he was aware that the Attorney General's
office had received a copy of Plaintiff's medical records
because he had filed a lawsuit. Id. He then told
Plaintiff, in stronger words, that he was “sick and
tired” of prisoner's filing lawsuits and that he
did not care about Plaintiff or his lawsuits. (Doc. 1, p.
11). He then demanded that Plaintiff leave the examination
room and when Plaintiff asked him why, Dr. Scott loudly told
Plaintiff to get out. Id. As Plaintiff was leaving,
Dr. Scott screamed that he “was going to give
[Plaintiff] some medication” but that now he was
“not giving [him] shit.” Id. Plaintiff
claims these actions by Dr. Scott constituted retaliation in
violation of the First Amendment in response to the lawsuits
filed by Plaintiff and deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's medical needs. (Doc. 1, p. 12).
further alleges that on October 14, 2016, he was suffering
from severe stomach pains that resulted in diarrhea and
vomiting. Id. He submitted a request to health care
that day and saw Medical Technician Neff on October 16, 2016.
Id. Neff gave Plaintiff a Pepto tablet to treat his
symptoms, but the symptoms continued. (Doc. 1, p. 12-13). On
October 17, 2016, Plaintiff sent requests to health care
explaining that he was suffering from stomach pains, diarrhea
and vomiting. (Doc. 1, p. 13). The next day, he was called to
sick call by Medical Technician Ms. Elder. Id. He
informed Elder of his Helicobacter Pylori infection diagnosis
in June 2016 and told her about his current stomach pain,
diarrhea and vomiting symptoms. Id. Elder told
Plaintiff to drink water and further stated that they would
not give him anything for stomach pains. Id.
Plaintiff claims that these actions by Elder constitute
deliberate indifference to his medical needs and cruel and
unusual punishment. (Doc. 1, pp. 13-14).
October 19, 2016, Plaintiff saw Medical Technician Ms.
William and informed her of his previous infection. (Doc. 1,
p. 14). He explained his symptoms to her including vomiting,
stomach pains and diarrhea after eating on October 14, 2016.
(Doc. 1, pp. 14-15). He asked her for medication for his
pain, but William told him that she was under instructions
from her superiors not to give any medication to inmates
complaining about stomach pains from the food. (Doc. 1, p.
15). Plaintiff claims that these actions by Elder constitute
deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Id.
also alleges that Wexford Health Sources, Inc., the Director
of the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) John Baldwin, the IDOC Medical Director
Lewis Shicker, Pinckneyville Warden Jacqueline Lashbrook and
Pinckneyville Healthcare Administrator Christine Brown have a
policy “insinuating” to Neff, Elder and William
that they should utilize the most cost effective medical
treatment possible and provide as little medical treatment as
possible for the inmates. (Doc. 1, p. 16). Plaintiff further
claims that this policy caused him to suffer, as evidenced by
the allegations in the Complaint. Id. He alleges
that Baldwin is on notice of how Wexford's staff performs
it duties because of the civil complaints that have been
filed against it. (Doc. 1, pp. 16-17). Plaintiff also alleges
that Wexford has “continuously ignored this
unauthorized practice by defendant which resulted in
Plaintiff being subjected to unnecessary pain and
suffering.” Id. Plaintiff claims that the
failure of Shicker and Wexford to respond to the systemic
health and safety problems preventing Plaintiff and other
inmates from receiving appropriate care was the moving force
behind the constitutional deprivations suffered by Plaintiff.
(Doc. 1, pp. 17-18). Plaintiff also asserts that Wexford is
the final policy maker of healthcare provisions being
implemented throughout IDOC by its employees and that Shicker
and Brown are responsible for carrying out these policies.
(Doc. 1, p. 18). Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Lashbrook
denied his grievance, stating that it was “not an
emergency for the Plaintiff to receive medical attention
after complaining for 6 months.” (Doc. 1, p. 19).
demands monetary damages as well as permanent injunctive
relief ordering that Plaintiff to be sent to an outside
doctor to be retested for Helicobacter Pylori infection, that
IDOC and Wexford follow the recommendations in the 2014
report from Lippert v. Godinez, and that Plaintiff
to be transferred to Dixon or Centralia Correctional Center.
(Doc. 1, p. 24).
Court finds it proper to divide the claims in the pro
se Complaint into the following counts. The parties and
the Court will use these designations in all pleadings and
orders, unless otherwise directed by the Court.
COUNT 1: Scott violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment
rights by failing to test him for the Helicobacter Pylori
infection and by failing to provide him medication to treat
pain related to his Helicobacter Pylori infection on July 14,
COUNT 2: Scott retaliated against Plaintiff in violation of
the First Amendment by refusing to give Plaintiff medication
to treat his pain and failing to test him for Helicobacter
Pylori infection on July 14, 2016 because Plaintiff ...