United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge
Angel Navarro, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
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 and Illinois law. (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 complaint are
to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth
Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
(“Wexford”) “utilize[s] a system in which
its employed or contracted physicians could not directly make
a referral of an inmate for specialty care services including
certain diagnostic procedures or surgical consultation
without the permission of Wexford through a review process
known as ‘collegial review.'” (Doc. 1, p. 3).
around December 13, 2016, while Plaintiff was playing
basketball at Menard, he “suffered an acute injury to
his left ankle.” Id. On or around December 15,
2016, Plaintiff was first seen at Menard health center.
Id. Plaintiff had no feeling in his foot, there was
extensive bruising on his left heel, he had “pain with
palpation over his left Achilles tendon, ” and he
“was described as being unable to flex his foot.”
Id. “The provider's assessment was a
possible Achilles tendon rupture” and an “x-ray
of the ankle was ordered and the Plaintiff was recommended
for a referral outside the prison for an MRI of the injured
lower extremity.” Id.
was not seen by a physician and was instead seen by a nurse.
He “was not provided crutches or any type of splint or
immobilization boot to stabilize his left lower leg and
ankle.” Id. He has to walk on his injured left
ankle, with the ruptured Achilles tendon. Id.
this time, Wexford “had a written policy pertaining to
treatment of patients with a ruptured Achilles tendon,
requiring urgent referral of the patient to an orthopedic
specialist, splinting, and crutches.” (Doc. 1, p. 4).
On or about December 16, “the x-ray report indicated
that Plaintiff was to be evaluated for an Achilles tear. A
follow up MRI of the ankle was advised by the radiologist to
further evaluate the Achilles tendon.” Id.
Around December 20, 2016, Trost presented Plaintiff for
collegial review, seeking approval from Wexford for the MRI.
Id. Wexford denied the request, and an ultrasound of
the left Achilles was proposed as an alternative.
Id. “A medical furlough note indicated
Plaintiff was supposed to have a splint to keep the Achilles
immobile and for him to remain non-weight bearing.”
Id. Plaintiff was never provided a splint or
crutches. Id. He instead was “forced to walk
on his injured left ankle and the ruptured Achilles tendon
since the injury occurred.” Id.
about December 22, 2016, Plaintiff was evaluated by Mohammed
Siddiqui. Id. Siddiqui found Plaintiff's range
of motion in his left ankle to be restricted. Id. He
had pain, swelling, and bruising in his left foot.
Id. “Plaintiff was unable to move his foot up
and down, or sideways.” Id. The note, which
indicates that the request for an MRI was rejected at
“collegial review” by Wexford, did not provide
the basis of the rejection. Id. Plaintiff still
awaited the ultrasound and had not been provided or placed on
crutches, given a splint, or had his ankle immobilized.
Id. Plaintiff was “forced to continue to
walk” on the injury. Id.
around January 17, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by a physician at
Menard. Id. Plaintiff was walking with a limp and
had pain in his ankle. Id. “They were still
awaiting the ultrasound of the Achilles tendon.” (Doc.
1, pp. 4-5). A follow-up was planned two weeks from then, and
Plaintiff was not provided with or placed on crutches or a
splint. (Doc. 1, p. 5). As of January 19, 2017, Plaintiff had
not received an ultrasound of his Achilles tendon injury.
Id. “A repeat x-ray of the left ankle was
ordered. There was a history of chronic pain. The x-ray
report, dated Jan. 23, showed little change noted in the
x-rays since the prior x-ray of 12/16.” Id. On
January 30, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Siddiqui.
Id. “He was found to have restricted range of
motion at the left ankle.” Id. Plaintiff had
still not received an ultrasound. Id. “The
note indicated ‘Achilles tendon injury' had
occurred 6 weeks earlier.” Id. Plaintiff was
not provided with crutches or a splint and was forced to
continue to walk on his ruptured Achilles tendon.
February 16, 2017, the ultrasound on Plaintiff's left
Achilles tendon was performed. Id. The ultrasound
showed a complete rupture of the Achilles tendon, with
retracted proximal stumps. Id. “There was
marked thickening of the retracted proximal and distal
stumps, consistent with severe underlying tendinosis. A
complete rupture of the Achilles tendon was noted at
approximately 4.6 cm above the calcaneal insertion. A
prominent gap was noted due to the rupture with a contour
deformity.” Id. Despite this, Plaintiff was
not provided with crutches or a splint. He was forced to
continue to walk on the injured extremity. Id.
about February 22, 2017, Dr. Trost ordered an orthopedic
consult. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Another collegial review was
scheduled for March 1, for the purpose of determining whether
an orthopedic consult was warranted. Id. The note
indicated Dr. Ritz was to review the request for referral and
make a decision. Id. Around March 7, 2017, Plaintiff
was scheduled for an orthopedic consult on March 16, 2017.
Id. On March 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed a grievance
complaining that he had not been receiving adequate
healthcare. Id. He complained of pain and an
inability to perform normal activities and tasks.
Id. He could not walk normally or jog. Id.
“He complained they had failed to appropriately
follow-up on his left Achilles injury.” Id.
March 16, 2017, Plaintiff was evaluated by the office of
orthopedic surgeon, John Wood. Id. He “was
identified as having an Achilles tendon rupture. He had left
ankle pain with weakness on his left side with aching. He was
noted to have pain with dorsiflexion, as well as weakness.
Physical therapy was recommended.” Id. Around
March 20, 2017, Dr. Siddiqui ordered physical therapy, as
recommended by Dr. Wood, and ordered an orthopedic follow-up.
Id. On March 29, 2017, Plaintiff wrote a letter to
Ms. Allsup seeking information on ...