United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
BILLY MCDADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se, pursues a § 1983 action for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs,
negligence, retaliation and intentional infliction of
emotional distress (“IIED”) at the Hill
Correctional Center (“Hill”). He names Medical
Director Dr. Sood, Health Care Administrator Lindorff,
Nursing Director Brown, Nurses Parrish, Lewis, Pierce, Smith,
Fatanini and Wexford Services, Inc. The case is before the
Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
In reviewing the Complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649-51 (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. United States, 721 F.3d
418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). While the pleading standard does not require
“detailed factual allegations”, it requires
“more than an unadorned,
Wilson v. Ryker, 451 Fed.Appx. 588, 589 (7th Cir.
2011) quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
alleges Plaintiff alleges that on September 8, 2015, he
submitted a sick call slip due to severe pain in the area of
his buttocks. He was seen that day by Dr. Sood who determined
that the pain was caused by a boil, or cyst. Dr. Sood
prescribed an unidentified medication, which was allegedly
unsuccessful in treating the infection. Plaintiff claims that
the cyst regularly discharged blood and pus, which stained
his clothing and bed sheets. He was placed on a medical
shower list to have a daily shower and underwent regular
bandage changes. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Nurses
Parrish, Fatanini, Pierce, Smith and Lewis tried to express
and drain the cyst but were unsuccessful.
complained of the Nurses' allegedly ineffective treatment
to Defendants Lindorff, Brown and Sood. He claims that,
thereafter, Defendants Parrish, Fatanini, Pierce, Smith and
Lewis retaliated against him by taking him off the daily
shower list, and not regularly providing him clean bandages
to keep in his cell. Plaintiff claims that the infection did
not abate due to the Nurses' failure to provide this
claims that he underwent three surgeries, apparently by Dr.
Sood, before the cyst successfully healed. He claims to have
developed an infection after the first surgery, and to have
required a second surgical procedure. Plaintiff claims that
the second surgery, done on February 24, 2016, was
unsuccessful and caused him additional pain and suffering. He
alleges that Defendant Sood failed to properly diagnose and
treat his medical condition.
well established that deliberate indifference to a serious
medical need is actionable as a violation of the Eighth
Amendment. Hayes v. Snyder, 546 F.3d 516, 522 (7th
Cir. 2008). A deliberate indifference must establish
“(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). Deliberate indifference is proven by
demonstrating that a prison official knows of a substantial
risk of harm to an inmate and “either acts or fails to
act in disregard of that risk.” Id. at 751.
Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claims as to
Defendants Sood, Parrish, Fatanini, Pierce, Smith and Lewis
negligence claim as to Dr. Sood, however, fails to state a
constitutional claim. “[I]n order to establish a
violation of the Eighth Amendment, a plaintiff must show that
a prison official was deliberately indifferent to a
substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate. Negligence on
the part of an official does not violate the Constitution,
and it is not enough that he or she should have known of a
risk.” Pierson v. Hartley, 391 F.3d 898, 902
(7th Cir. 2004). This claim is DISMISSED.
Plaintiff's retaliation claim against the Defendant
Nurses, he must allege that he was engaged in some protected
First Amendment activity, that he experienced an adverse
action that would likely deter such protected activity in the
future, and that the protected activity was “at least a
motivating factor” in the Defendants' decision to
take the retaliatory action. Bridges v. Gilbert, 557
F.3d 541, 552 (7th Cir. 2009). Here, Plaintiff has alleged a
colorable claim that Defendants Parrish, Fatanini, Pierce,
Smith and Lewis retaliated against him for complaints he had
made to their superiors.
asserts an IIED claim against all Defendants. Plaintiff's
IIED claim is governed by Illinois state law which requires
that Plaintiff establish that: “(1) the defendants'
conduct was extreme and outrageous; (2) the defendants knew
that there was a high probability that their conduct would
cause severe emotional distress; and (3) the conduct in fact
caused severe emotional distress.” Swearnigen-El v.
Cook Cty. Sheriff's Dept., 602 F.3d 852, 864 (7th
Cir. 2010) (internal citation omitted). Defendants'
claims as to Lindorff and Brown are premised on their failure
to respond to his letters and clearly fail to allege extreme
and outrageous conduct.
IIED claims as to Defendants Sood, Parrish, Fatanini, Pierce,
Smith and Lewis, premised on their failure to provide
adequate medical care, is not sufficient to establish that
their conduct was extreme and outrageous. It appears that
Plaintiff was provided regular medical treatment and
underwent three surgeries to correct the cyst. This is not
evidence of conduct egregious enough to plead an IIED claim.
Plaintiff's IIED claim, as it extends to the retaliatory
refusal to allow daily showers and to provide dressings for
Plaintiff to keep in his cell, also fails to reach the
threshold level for IIED.
also appears to assert IIED where he alleges that “the
nurses” discussed his medical condition with guards and
other inmates to embarrass him. Plaintiff does not identify
which nurses engaged in this conduct, the identity of the
guards or inmates to whom the disclosures were made, when
they were made, or how he came to learn of them. This claim
is too vague to assert extreme and outrageous conduct or that
it resulted in severe emotional distress, and is DISMISSED.
also alleges an action against Wexford. He claims that the
nurses required that he submit a sick call request each time
he sought treatment for the cyst. He asserts that this was
done pursuant to a Wexford policy and was intended to limit
medical treatment to those with chronic conditions. Plaintiff
does not allege, however, that he suffered any injury because
he had to fill out the sick call requests. Teesdale v.
City of Chicago, 690 F.3d 829, 833 (7th Cir. 2012) ([t]o
establish liability, plaintiff must show that the policy or
custom was a “‘moving force' behind the
deprivation of constitutional rights.”) See also,
Iskander v. Village of Forest Park, 690 F.2d 126, 128
(7th Cir. 1982) (applying municipal liability to private
corporations performing governmental functions). The claim
against Wexford is DISMISSED.
allegations that Defendants Lindorff and Brown are liable for
deliberate indifference merely because he sent them letters
of complaint fail to state a claim. “Public officials
do not have a free-floating obligation to put things to
rights… [b]ureaucracies divide tasks; no prisoner is
entitled to insist that one employee do another's
job....the Superintendent of Prisons and the Warden of each
prison, is entitled to relegate to the prison's medical
staff the provision of good medical care. Burks v.
Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 595 (7th Cir. 2009).
“Simply receiving correspondence from a prisoner about
a medical problem doesn't make a prison official liable
for the failure to provide medical care under the Eighth
Amendment.” Norington v. Daniels, No. 11- 282,
2011 WL 5101943, at *2-3 (N.D. Ind. Oct. 25, 2011).
Defendants Lindorff and Brown are DISMISSED.