United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DONTA L. CADE, Plaintiff,
DR. J. COE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN C. WILLIAMS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Donta Cade is an inmate incarcerated with the Illinois
Department of Corrections. He brought the present lawsuit
alleging violations of his civil rights stemming from
allegedly inadequate treatment of a scalp condition. This
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Renewed Motion
for Immediate Medical Attention and Preliminary Injunction
(Doc. 135). The Court has received briefing from the parties
on the motion, and on October 17, 2017, held an evidentiary
hearing, at which time it heard testimony from Plaintiff.
(Doc. 142). The motion is now ripe for disposition. For the
reasons discussed below, Plaintiff has demonstrated that he
is entitled to a preliminary injunction, and the Motion (Doc.
135) is GRANTED in part.
initial matter, the Court notes that no merits review of the
Second Amended Complaint filed on March 17, 2017 has been
conducted. The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires a court
to review a complaint in a civil suit filed by a prisoner
seeking redress from a government entity, officer, and/or
employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court is required to
dismiss any claims that are “frivolous, malicious, or
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted.” Id. at 1915A(b)(1). After receiving
leave, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 17,
2017; however, no merits review has yet been conducted. After
reviewing the Second Amended Complaint, the Court finds that
all of the counts set forth by Plaintiff in that complaint
warrant further review. The Court ADOPTS the
counts set forth by Plaintiff in the Second Amended
Complaint. (See Doc. 98). With
Plaintiff's claims now firmly established, the Court
addresses his motion seeking preliminary injunctive relief.
to his testimony, Plaintiff entered Lawrence Correctional
Center (“Lawrence”) in October 2014. At that time
he was suffering from bleeding and pus emitting from two
spots on the crown of his scalp. At some point, a
dermatologist diagnosed Plaintiff with suffering from acne
keloidalis nuchae (“AKN”). In his testimony and
through his briefing, Plaintiff has described a series of
treatments from October 2014 to the present. The various
treatments provided to Plaintiff have failed to provide him
with full relief from his AKN, however. While he has been
provided an antibiotic that heals the infection caused by the
AKN, Plaintiff still suffers from a keloid in the back of his
head. He testified that the keloid causes a continuous
throbbing pain, and that his head continuously itches. He has
been unable to obtain relief from these symptoms, even after
the three years of various treatments. Plaintiff estimates
that he has been to a prison healthcare unit at least 20
times since October 2014.
March 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking preliminary
injunctive relief relating to treatment for his AKN. (Doc.
89). On May 31, 2017, in an Order agreed upon by the parties,
the Court ordered Defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
(“Wexford”) to provide Plaintiff with a physical
examination of his AKN by a medical doctor at Graham
Correctional Center (where Plaintiff now resides) for the
purpose of recommending a course of treatment. (Doc. 117).
5, 2017, Plaintiff was examined by Dr. Francis Kayira, who
recommended a referral to a dermatologist. (Doc. 135-1). Dr.
Kayira wrote on Plaintiff's progress notes: “Refer
to dermatologist as trials of antibiotics and
steroids…have failed.” (Id.). Plaintiff
testified that Dr. Kayira also verbally told Plaintiff that
he was recommending that Plaintiff see a dermatologist
because the antibiotics and other treatments had not worked.
There is no mention of the Court's May 31, 2017 order in
Dr. Kayira's notes.
was not referred to a dermatologist, however. On June 28,
2017, Dr. Kayira prepared a written referral denial. (Doc.
135-2). Dr. Kayira wrote “Request for Dermatology
consult non approved by Dr. Ritz in collegial with Dr.
Kayira. Acne keloids topical treatments have not
worked.” (Id.). Dr. Kayira indicated that the
matter would be discussed the following week once information
could “be obtained on the court order.”
deposition, Dr. Kayira testified that the only reason he
initially referred Plaintiff to a dermatologist was because
“someone” told him that the Court had ordered Dr.
Kayira to send Plaintiff somewhere. (Doc. 138-3, p. 2 - 3).
He testified that, without the court order, he would not have
issued the referral. (Id. at 3). According to Dr.
Kayira, he would only send an inmate suffering from AKN to a
specialist if surgery is required; however, Plaintiff's
AKN did not warrant a referral. (Id.). He still
acknowledged that past medications had not helped Plaintiff,
but testified that had he not thought he was required to
refer Plaintiff to a dermatologist, he would try different
antibiotics or topical steroids. (Id. at 3, 4).
Kayira testified that he discussed his referral at a
collegial. He testified that, as part of the collegial, he
spoke with a Dr. Ritz, who is a Wexford physician located in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Id. at 4). According to
Dr. Kayira, he told Dr. Ritz that he was referring Plaintiff
to a dermatologist due to a court order. (Id.). Dr.
Ritz asked for the order, but Dr. Kayira told him that he did
not have it. (Id.). Dr. Kayira testified that Dr.
Ritz then decided that the case would be continued until they
could determine what the court order said. (Id.).
however, testified that Dr. Kayira told him that the doctor
did not know why Plaintiff's referral was denied, and
that he would look into it and get back to Plaintiff.
According to Plaintiff, Dr. Kayira did not get back in touch
with Plaintiff on this matter. The back of Plaintiff's
head later became infected again, and Plaintiff was provided
more of the same antibiotic he had been provided previously,
along with a benzyl peroxide wash. To date, however,
Plaintiff has not been referred to or otherwise seen by a