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Drapes v. Hardy

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 16, 2018

Cornell Drapes #N-10531, Plaintiff,
v.
Marcus Hardy, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          REBECCA PALLMEYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendants' renewed motion to dismiss [#92] the amended complaint for failure to state a claim is granted in part and denied in part. The court dismisses Michael Lemke, Tarry Williams, Michael Magana, and Salvador Godinez as Defendants pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The court denies the motion to dismiss as to Defendant Marcus Hardy. The court directs Defendant Hardy to answer or otherwise plead by February 26, 2018. Plaintiff's request to recruit counsel to identify John and Jane Doe medical care providers is denied. This matter is set for a telephone status conference with Plaintiff on March 8, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. Defense counsel should initiate the call from his office.

         Plaintiff Cornell Drapes, an Illinois state prisoner, has brought this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that Defendants, five former wardens at the Stateville Correctional Center, violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Plaintiff alleges that he was denied timely care and treatment for a growth on his vocal cords.

         Recruited counsel for Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint. After the court permitted counsel to withdraw, Plaintiff chose to stand on his amended complaint rather than draft a second amended complaint. This matter is before the court for ruling on Defendants' renewed motion to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim. For the reasons stated in this order, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         Facts and Background

         Plaintiff Cornell Drapes is an Illinois state prisoner. (R. 20, First Amended Complaint, ¶ 2.) Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Stateville Correctional Center at all times relevant to this lawsuit. (Id.) Defendant Marcus Hardy was Stateville's warden from December 2009 to January 2013. (Id., ¶ 3.) Defendant Michael Lemke was the warden at Stateville from January 2013 to December 2013. (Id., ¶ 4.) Defendant Michael Magana was the prison's warden from December 2013 to March 2014. (Id., ¶ 5.) Defendant Tarry Williams was Stateville's warden from December 2013 to March 2014. (Id., ¶ 6.) The First Amended Complaint also alludes to a “Defendant John or Jane Doe [who] was (or is) the person(s) responsible from screening sick call requests from August 17, 2009, until today.” (Id., ¶ 7.)

         Plaintiff alleges the following facts, assumed true for purposes of the motion to dismiss: Prior to his arrival at Stateville in June 2012, Plaintiff was under care and treatment for throat issues and other medical issues. (Id., ¶ 10.) Outside doctors had performed a biopsy of a growth on Plaintiff's vocal cords, but he had never received the results. (Id.) Plaintiff therefore did not know whether the lesion was cancerous. (Id.)

         Upon his intake at Stateville, Plaintiff underwent a medical screening. (Id.) Plaintiff advised the medical staff that he needed to see a doctor about the growth on his vocal cords. (Id.) The medical team informed Plaintiff that no physician was available that day, but they assured him that he would see a doctor within a week or two. (Id.)

         Plaintiff's condition became progressively worse while he waited to see a doctor. (Id., ¶11.) Plaintiff could barely speak, and he sucked on cough drops “constantly” to soothe his sore throat. (Id.) On two different occasions, Plaintiff encountered an assistant warden (Edwards, not a named Defendant[1]) and relayed his concerns. Edwards promised to make sure Plaintiff was seen by a doctor, but no one in the health care unit scheduled an appointment with him or summoned him to see a physician. (Id..) Plaintiff submitted sick-call requests and eventually filed a grievance, but his efforts did not result in a doctor's visit. (Id.)

         On an unspecified date, Plaintiff wrote letters to Defendant Hardy and to the health care unit administrator concerning his ongoing health issues. (Id., ¶ 12.) Neither responded to Plaintiff's request for assistance. (Id.)

         In August 2012, a physician's assistant went to Plaintiff's cell to discuss his medical concerns with him. (Id., ¶ 13.) She, too, promised Plaintiff that he would see a doctor, but no medical examination followed. (Id.)

         A few weeks later, Defendant Hardy spoke to Plaintiff as he was making his rounds. (Id.) Hardy instructed Plaintiff to write to him if he did not see a doctor soon. (Id.) Plaintiff wrote Hardy a letter on August 31, 2012, [2] but he received no response to the letter and did not see a doctor. (Id.)

         Thereafter, Plaintiff continued to submit letters and grievances to the prison administration. (Id., ¶ 14.) In October 2012, Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance. (Id.) Plaintiff reported that he had made at least ten requests for medical care, that he was losing his voice, and that his condition was “urgent.” (Id.)

         In another grievance, filed on December 4, 2012, Plaintiff stated that two doctor's appointments had been made for him, but that both were cancelled without his seeing anyone. (Id.) By that point, Plaintiff's condition had deteriorated to ...


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