United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Antoine Wainwright, an inmate in Hill Correctional Center,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly
occurred at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), among other places. In his Complaint,
Plaintiff claims the defendants have been deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical issues in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 1). 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 allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
makes the following allegations in his Complaint (Doc. 1):
Since 2000, Plaintiff has been seeing Dr. Herbert Engelhard,
a neurosurgeon at the UIC Hospital in Chicago, regarding his
medication condition. (Doc. 1, p. 7). In August 2000,
Plaintiff had an L5-51 discectomy performed by Dr. Engelhard.
Id. In 2007, Plaintiff had an L5-51 hemilaminectomy
discectomy performed by Dr. Engelhard. Id. In 2008,
Plaintiff had an L3-L5 laminectomy performed by Dr.
Engelhard. Id. Dr. Engelhard “has been
treating the Plaintiff for over 20 years and has the
knowledge and understanding of Plaintiff's medical
condition and treatments.” Id.
6, 2016, Plaintiff received an Epidural Steroid Injection
(“ESI”) from the UIC hospital with a follow up at
the pain clinic. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8). On July 11, 2016,
Plaintiff returned to the pain clinic for a consultation and
spoke with Dr. Ashley Barks and Dr. Konstantin Slavin
regarding his cervical spine and lower back pain. (Doc. 1, p.
8). He told them that the epidural steroid injections help
his back pain, but that they only last for a few weeks and
when they wear off, the pain is more severe than before.
Id. Dr. Barks recommended that Plaintiff continue
with his current conservative management strategies for his
pain, and if for some reason his pain progresses and he no
longer responds to the steroid injections, “they would
be happy to see him back in the clinic and they [could]
discuss his surgical options further at that time.”
Id. Barks also noted that Plaintiff had been seen by
Engelhard at the UIC multiple times and had multiple
surgeries performed by him. He recommended that Plaintiff
follow up with Engelhard for further evaluation of possible
surgical decompression of his cervical spine. Id.
November 11, 2016, Plaintiff's medical hold was lifted at
Stateville Correctional Center without regard to his medical
needs and the pending appointment he had at the UIC.
Id. Plaintiff was then transferred to Menard
Correctional Center. Id. Since he has been in
Menard, Plaintiff has been denied epidural steroid injections
and any kind of medical treatment for his back and cervical
November 30, 2016, Plaintiff was taken to Belleville Hospital
for a CT scan of his cervical spine. Id. On December
15, 2016, he was taken to the UIC Hospital in Chicago for a
consultation with Dr. Engelhard regarding his cervical spine
and back pain. Id. Plaintiff told Dr. Engelhard that
he had not had a cervical spine injection since May 6, 2016,
that he was experiencing severe pain laying down and moving
around and that he had numbness moving down his left arm from
his neck pain. Id. No paperwork or records were sent
from Menard regarding Plaintiff's November 30, 2016 CT
scan or his cervical spine. Id. Engelhard ordered an
MRI on the Plaintiff's back and cervical spine and
directed Plaintiff to return for a follow up consultation
with him. Id.
January 11, 2017, Plaintiff was returned to Menard from
Stateville. Id. Plaintiff was taken to Memorial
Hospital in Carbondale for an MRI on February 13, 2017.
Id. On March 2, 2017, he was taken to the Brain and
Spine Institute of Carbondale for a consultation. (Doc. 1, p.
9). Plaintiff was seen by Lisa Arnold, a Physician Assistant,
who told Plaintiff that there was nothing wrong with his
cervical spine and lower back that she could see from the MRI
report. Id. Plaintiff told Arnold that he was in
great pain, that he could not bend over to put his socks and
shoes on without being in pain, that laying down hurt, and
that the sharp pain radiates down his right leg. Id.
Arnold said that she was going to order an X-ray and talk to
the neurosurgeon to see what he wanted to do and then notify
Plaintiff. Id. Arnold did not examine Plaintiff and
he was not examined by anyone at the Brain and Spine
Institute. Id. Plaintiff has also not seen or spoken
to a neurosurgeon about his conditions. Id.
“As a result, Plaintiff has ...