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DeBlasio v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 5, 2018



          DONALD G. WILKERSON, United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson by United States District Judge David R. Herndon pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), and SDIL-LR 72.1(a) for a Report and Recommendation on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 2) filed by Plaintiff, Brian DeBlasio. For the following reasons, it is RECOMMENDED the Motion for Preliminary Injunction be DENIED and the Court adopt the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

         Findings of Fact

         Plaintiff Brian DeBlasio, who is currently incarcerated in Lawrence Correctional Center, brought this pro se action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court conducted a preliminary review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and the following claim was allowed to proceed:

COUNT 1 - Defendants responded to Plaintiff's serious medical needs (chronic back and abdominal pain, chronic constipation, fractured vertebrae, and elevated blood pressure) with deliberate indifference, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

(Doc. 8, p. 8)

         In September of 2015, DeBlasio began experiencing chronic abdominal pain and constipation, as well as severe back pain and hypertension (Doc. 1, p. 3). Between September 2015 and July 2016, DeBlasio's primary physician at the prison was Dr. Coe (Doc. 1, p. 12). DeBlasio was seen by Dr. Coe on approximately fourteen occasions during this time period, and alleges he repeatedly complained of chronic abdominal pain to Dr. Coe but received no treatment (Doc. 1, p. 12). Specifically, on November 14, 2015, Dr. Coe prescribed DeBlasio “Milk of Magnesia” to treat his chronic constipation (Doc. 1, p. 14). Five days later, DeBlasio was taken to the healthcare unit, via wheelchair, for severe abdominal pain (Doc. 1, p. 13). The nurse that examined DeBlasio observed he had a distended abdominal area and referred him for treatment with Dr. Coe (Doc. 1, p. 13). Dr. Coe examined DeBlasio the next day and diagnosed him with “abdominal pain, ” but failed to provide any treatment (Doc. 1, p. 14). Instead, Dr. Coe returned DeBlasio to his housing unit with a blood pressure of 155/101 (Doc. 1, p. 14).

         Ten days later, on November 30, 2015, DeBlasio became dizzy and lost consciousness as a result of severe abdominal pain (Doc. 1, p. 4). He was taken to the emergency room and treated by Dr. West, who concluded DeBlasio's abdominal pain and elevated blood pressure were connected and prescribed medication for both conditions (Doc. 1, p. 4). After returning from the emergency room, DeBlasio complained about his continuing abdominal pain and requested the medication Dr. West prescribed (Doc. 1, pp. 12- 13). DeBlasio alleges Dr. Coe refused to provide him with the prescribed medication (Doc. 1, pp. 12- 13).

         In addition, DeBlasio alleges he informed Dr. Coe on approximately four occasions that he was passing blood in his stool, but Dr. Coe did not order any tests or provide any treatment for those symptoms (Doc. 1, pp. 14-15). Rather, on December 17, 2016, a different physician tested DeBlasio's stool (Doc. 1, p. 14). The testing revealed blood in DeBlasio's feces. Id.

         The following month, Dr. Lochard examined DeBlasio and discovered he had been ingesting “Milk of Magnesia” for over a year (Doc. 1, p. 16). Dr. Lochard immediately discontinued the prescription, indicating that Milk of Magnesia should only be taken for a few weeks at a time because it can weaken an individual's intestinal area (Doc. 1, p. 16). Instead, Dr. Lochard prescribed Lactulose (Doc. 1, p. 16).

         Nine months later, on October 24, 2017, DeBlasio was seen by Dr. Ahmed and evaluated for a referral to a gastroenterologist (Doc. 42, p. 3). Dr. Ahmed determined DeBlasio did not need to see a gastroenterologist but that a referral for a colonoscopy was appropriate (Doc. 42, p. 3). A colonoscopy was performed on November 14, 2017 at Carle Foundation Hospital (Doc. 51, p. 1). The colonoscopy report states DeBlasio's colon is normal and that there was no cancer or large polyps present (Doc. 51-1, p. 1). The only recommendation resulting from the procedure was that DeBlasio undergo another colonoscopy in three years (Doc. 51-1, p. 1).

         Conclusions of Law

         A preliminary injunction is an “extraordinary and drastic remedy” for which there must be a “clear showing” that Plaintiff is entitled to relief. Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997) (quoting 11A CHARLES ALANWRIGHT, ARTHUR RMILLER, & MARY KAY KANE, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE § 2948 (5th ed. 1995)). The purpose of such an injunction is “to minimize the hardship to the parties pending the ultimate resolution of the lawsuit.” Faheem-Elv. Klincar, 841 F.2d 712, 717 (7th Cir. 1988). The movant has the burden of demonstrating: (1) A reasonable likelihood of success on the merits; (2) No. adequate remedy at law; and (3) Irreparable harm absent the injunction. Planned Parenthood v. Commissioner of Indiana State Dept. of Health, 699 F.3d 962, 972 (7th Cir. 2012).[1]

         Likelihood ...

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