United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Virginia M. Kendall United States District Judge
Henry Barrows, an inmate in the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”), is no stranger to this
Court. Unfortunately, Barrows suffers from severe
schizophrenia and sever effective disorder. As a result, he
has filed a number of lawsuits against IDOC for its failure
to protect him during his mental breaks-essentially its
failure to protect him from himself. Previous lawsuits have
settled and one was dismissed for his failure to follow up
with this Court's preliminary instructions. See
Barrows v. Gyimah, No. 12 C 6063 (N.D.Ill.); Barrows
v. Olsen-Foxon, No. 12 C 7862 (N.D.Ill.); Barrows v.
Olsen-Foxton, No. 23 C 1889 (N.D.Ill.). Barrows now sues
again alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by
Defendants Dr. Catherine Larry; IDOC Director John Baldwin;
former Stateville Correctional Center Warden Tarry Williams;
Wexford Health Sources, Inc.; IDOC; and seven correctional
officers for their failure to protect him when he slit his
wrists alleging that they were deliberately indifferent to
his serious mental health needs, which caused him to injure
himself. As relief, Barrows seeks damages and injunctive
relief in the form of a transfer from Menard Correctional
Center to “a correctional facility in IDOC with
adequate mental health unit and personnel.”
See (Dkt. 65) at 7-8. Currently before the Court is
Dr. Larry and Wexford's motion to dismiss. (Dkt. 75). The
motion to dismiss is denied and the case shall move forward
Henry Barrows is currently incarcerated at Menard
Correctional Center. (Dkt. 65) at ¶ 5. Barrows was
previously incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center and
Pontiac Correctional Center. Wexford provides mental health
treatment services at all three IDOC facilities, and Dr.
Catherine Larry works at Stateville. Id. at
¶¶ 8, 30.
suffers from schizophrenia and severe affective disorder.
Id. at ¶ 5. In his past lawsuits filed in
federal court, he has sought relief for incidents at
Stateville in which (1) he was refused psychiatric care
despite his statements that he would harm himself and (2) he
then repeatedly set fire to various body parts and was denied
prompt medical care for his resultant burns. See,
e.g., Barrows v. Gimyah, No. 12 C 6063 (Dkt.
66) (N.D.Ill.). On August 4, 2015, while at Stateville,
Barrows started having “auditory hallucinations”
and began cutting his arms and wrist with a piece of metal
that he had pried loose from his bunk bed. He was able to
request help from a crisis team, and a mental health
professional (not Dr. Larry) intervened and had Barrows
transferred to the prison health care unit, where he was
placed “in watch.” (Dkt. 65) at ¶¶
17-18. While there, Barrows started cutting himself again.
Instead of continuing the health care treatment, restraining
him, or protecting him, Defendant Jeffrey Sawyer (a
correctional officer) moved Barrows to X-House because
Sawyer's wife, who was in charge of the health care unit,
did not want Barrows in the unit because Barrows had
previously been uncooperative and unpleasant to her.
Id. at ¶ 22. X-House, however, was an
unfinished building under construction for suicide watch
inmates and as such was littered with metal objects from
construction, providing Barrows with access to numerous
materials to use to continue to cut himself. Id. at
¶ 19. Barrows continued to cut himself while in a cell
in X-House and the supervising correctional officers failed
to prevent him from doing so. Id.
to Barrows, another individual was called to provide medical
treatment, but Barrows refused and the individual failed to
take further action aside from admonishing Barrows.
Id. at ¶ 20. Eventually, Dr. Larry was called.
Id. at ¶ 23. Once in X-House, Dr. Larry did not
order Barrows to be removed to the medical unit. Instead, she
told him that he had to remain in X-House because “the
guards wanted to keep him” there, and that she could
not order him moved. Although she observed his injuries, she
did not order that he be placed in four-point restraints.
Id. Subsequent to his interaction with Dr. Larry,
Barrows resumed cutting his wrists and succeeded in cutting a
vein, sustained blood loss, and passed out due to blood loss.
Id. at ¶ 24. Barrows ultimately was taken to
the health care unit in a wheelchair, at which time he was
put in four-point restraints and given care. Id. at
the August 4, 2015 incident, Barrows was transferred to
Pontiac, where he received adequate mental health treatment
and supervision, including counseling, monitoring of his
medications, and frequent visits with psychiatric personnel
and visits with mental health professionals. Id. at
¶ 31. In 2017, Barrows was transferred to Menard,
which-according to Barrows-does not possess a mental health
unit, where Barrows' medications are not properly
monitored, and where he receives limited counseling and few
visits with a mental health professional. Id. at
¶ 32. As a result of this transfer, Barrows'
hallucinations and ideations of self-injury have returned.
Id. Accordingly, Barrows asserts that Wexford has
failed to take actions to ensure that he would receive
adequate and proper mental health treatment in a facility
properly equipped for such treatment in violation of his
constitutional rights. Id. at ¶¶ 34, 38.
Defendants Dr. Larry and Wexford now move to dismiss
Barrows' claims against them for failure to state a
seek dismissal of Barrow's claims against them under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which challenges
the claims' legal sufficiency. For a claim to survive a
motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), it must
contain sufficient factual matter to state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A claim is plausible on its face
when the complaint contains factual content that supports a
reasonable inference that the defendants are liable for the
harm. Id. In making the plausibility determination,
the Court relies on its “judicial experience and common
sense.” McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d
611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
679). The complaint should be dismissed only if the plaintiff
would not be entitled to relief under any set of facts that
could be proved consistent with the allegations.
Christensen v. Cty. of Boone, 483 F.3d 454, 458 (7th
Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). For purposes of this motion,
the Court accepts all well-pleaded allegations in the
complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in
Barrows' favor. See Williamson, 714 F.3d at 435.
officials and health care providers may not act with
deliberate indifference to an inmate's serious medical
needs. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976);
Fields v. Smith, 653 F.3d 550, 554 (7th Cir. 2011).
“Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of a
prisoner constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain forbidden by the Constitution.” Arnett v.
Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 750 (7th Cir. 2011) (internal
quotations and citation omitted). Deliberate indifference has
both an objective and a subjective element: the inmate must
have an objectively serious medical condition, and the
Defendant in question must be subjectively aware of and
consciously disregard the inmate's medical need.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994);
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 103-04; see also Zaya v.
Sood, 836 F.3d 800, 804 (7th Cir. 2016); Roe v.
Elyea, 631 F.3d 843, 862 (7th Cir. 2011).
medical condition is sufficiently serious to satisfy the
objective element of the inquiry if the condition “has
been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment or one
that is so obvious that even a lay person would perceive the
need for a doctor's attention.” Lee v.
Young, 533 F.3d 505, 509 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing
Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 652 (7th Cir. 2005)).
A non-life-threatening medical condition may be sufficiently
serious if it “would result in further significant
injury or unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain if not
treated.” Roe, 631 F.3d at 857 (citing
Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620 (7th Cir. 2010)).
Defendants do not dispute the seriousness of Barrows'
alleged medical condition, and indeed, Barrows'
allegations sufficiently plead that his schizophrenia and
severe affective disorder, combined with his auditory
hallucinations and self-injurious behavior, placed him at a
significant risk of harm. See Rosario v. Brawn, 670
F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2012) (citing Collins v.
Seeman, 462 F.3d 757, 760 (7th Cir. 2006)) (“[I]t
goes without saying that suicide is a serious harm.”);
Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 734 (7th Cir.
2000) (“The need for a mental illness to be treated
could certainly be considered a serious medical need.”)
(citation omitted); see also, e.g., McIntosh v.
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 2017 WL 1067782, at *4
(S.D. Ill. Mar. 21, 2017) (“Suicide, attempted suicide
and other acts of self-harm clearly pose a
‘serious' risk to an inmate's health and
safety, and may provide the foundation for deliberate
indifference to medical needs and failure to protect
claims.”) (citing Collins, 462 F.3d at 760);
Granados v. Rasmussen, 2015 WL ...