United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ANDREW J. WALKER, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD MEDICAL PROVIDER, MCGLORN, AMY LANG, and GAIL WALLS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge
Andrew J. Walker, an inmate currently incarcerated at Pontiac
Correctional Center, brings this pro se action for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for events that occurred at Menard Correctional
Center. (Doc. 1). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants conspired to violate his Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights by serving him a soy-based diet. He seeks
compensatory damages and declarative relief.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen prisoner
Complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court is required to dismiss any portion
of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
alleges that the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) began using a soy/turkey meat substitute
in place of beef in 2002. (Doc. 1, p. 4). When Plaintiff
entered IDOC custody in 2014, he began suffering from
gastrointestinal problems, painful cramping, bloating, and
constipation. Id. Over time, his symptoms worsened.
Id. Plaintiff self-administered an empirical food
sensitivity test, and became convinced that his problems are
associated with the soy in his diet. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
Plaintiff's family also performed internet research that
persuaded him that his symptoms are identical to food
allergies associated with soy consumption. Id.
Despite Plaintiff's research, McGlorn and Lang refused to
prescribe a soy-free diet or treat Plaintiff for any food
allergies. Id. Lang told Plaintiff that he just
needed to eat around any soy on his tray. Id.
was tested for prostate problems, which came back negative.
(Doc. 1, p. 6). He was also given docusate sodium, a stool
softener, and fiber lax, which helped his symptoms for a
short time. Id. But ultimately, Plaintiff's
problems continued to affect him and he continued to seek
medical treatment. Id. Wexford staff refused to do
anything but prescribe docusate sodium and fiber lax.
saw McGlorn and Lang on January 12, 2016. Id. He
told McGlorn that he was suffering from gastro-intestinal
problems, including bloating to the point of cramping,
obstructed urination, trouble defecating on a regular basis,
hemorrhoids, and estrogen symptoms, like weight gain and
breast development. Id. McGlorn re-prescribed
docusate sodium and fiber lax. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff
wrote letters to the Warden, the dietary supervisor, and the
healthcare administrator, but his letters were ignored.
alleges that Wexford is engaged in a conspiracy to deny the
fact that soy is detrimental to inmates' health. (Doc. 1,
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to divide
the pro se Complaint into the following enumerated
claims. The parties and the Court will use these designations
in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed
by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of these
counts does not constitute an opinion regarding their merit.
The following claim survives threshold review:
Count 1: McGlorn, Lang, and Walls, were
deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical
needs when they persisted in a course of treatment known to
be ineffective with regards to Plaintiff's
gastrointestinal and estrogen symptoms in violation of the
has attempted to bring another claim, but for the reasons
described below, this claim will be dismissed at this time:
Count 2: Wexford engaged in a conspiracy to
deny that soy is detrimental to inmates' health in
violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Plaintiff's Count 1, prison officials
impose cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the
Eighth Amendment when they are deliberately indifferent to a
serious medical need. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 104 (1976); Chatham v. Davis, 839 F.3d 679, 684
(7th Cir. 2016). In order to state a claim for deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need, an inmate must show
that he 1) suffered from an objectively serious medical
condition; and 2) that the defendant was deliberately
indifferent to a risk of serious harm from that condition.
Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 727 (7th Cir.
2016). An objectively serious condition includes an ailment
that has been “diagnosed by a physician as mandating
treatment, ” one that significantly affects an
individual's daily activities, or which involves chronic
and substantial pain. Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d
1364, 1373 (7th Cir. 1997). The subjective element requires