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Horne v. Wexford Health Care, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 8, 2018

ANTHONY HORNE, #N-02869, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Anthony Horne, an inmate in Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. 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 such relief.

         An 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. 2009).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: Wexford Health Care, Inc. (“Wexford”) failed to ensure that there was an optometrist at Pinckneyville from October 31, 2016 to September 25, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Christine Brown neglected to ensure Plaintiff's medical needs were taken care of for nearly a year, knowing that there was no optometrist available at Pinckneyville despite a long list of people waiting to see the optometrist. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 8). Dr. Michael Scott referred Plaintiff to an optometrist on November 14, 2016. Id. Plaintiff did not see anyone until August 22, 2017. Id. On August 22, 2017, Plaintiff was taken to an outside optometrist and diagnosed with macular dystrophy. Id. Plaintiff also learned that he would have to have laser surgery on his eyes. Id. Plaintiff would not have “gone through any of this if Christine Brown, and her staff, would have done what Dr. Scott ordered. They all knew [Plaintiff] was diabetic.” Id. “Christine Brown had her own program going where [inmates] had to go through her unlawful program to see [an] eye doctor.” Id. Brown also knew that because Plaintiff was diabetic, he needed to have his eyes dilated twice per year to see if his diabetes had affected his vision. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff's eyes were not tested for nine months, despite the need for a test every six months. Id. Christine Brown also deceived Plaintiff by trying to sell reading glasses that were advertised as two dollars for eight dollars instead. (Doc. 1, p. 8).

         Patty Thull did not “do her job because her job is to make recommendations not decisions. The director makes all final decisions.” Id. Plaintiff received eyeglasses on November 8, 2017, over one year later. Plaintiff “had this eye problem since 2016.” Id. Plaintiff returned to Marion Eye Center and was told that they were not going to treat him for his eye problem. Id. Plaintiff was told to wait to see if it got worse. Id. Plaintiff was also prevented from exhausting his administrative remedies on these issues, particularly by Patty Thull, because she refused to forward Plaintiff's grievance to Illinois Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11).

         Plaintiff has constant headaches without proper glasses, as well as “macular dystrophy, nuclear cataract, bilateral.” (Doc. 1, p. 12). “All defendants had knowledge of this unwanted punishment before sending Plaintiff to [an] outside optometrist.” Id. “Christine Brown and staff held [Plaintiff's] prescription for 33 days until the new eye doctor came to Pinckneyville.” (Doc. 1, p. 14). It is Christine Brown's “job as Health Care Administrator to make sure that her staff sends all prescriptions off to where ever they need to go. Not hold them another month for any reason.” (Doc. 1, p. 16).

         Plaintiff seeks declaratory and monetary ...

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