United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JOHN D. HAYWOOD, # B-44617, Plaintiff,
DIRECTOR IDOC, KIMBERLY BUTLER, DR. FINNERMAN, WARDEN CONNERS, WARDEN GATES, DR. SHEIRERS, C/O MAUE, SERG. WELLS, LT. BAYLOR, WARDEN LAMB, C/O TUBBS, C/O ADAMS, WARDEN GOINGS, MRS. CUNNINGHAM, C/O PREDI, DR.SHEF, NURSE COLLINS, NURSE TAMMY, WARDEN DONAHUE, MEDICAL STAFF Robinson C.C., SHERRI LARREST, MEDICAL STAFF Big Muddy C.C., and CHANDLER ESTATO, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN, United States District Court Chief Judge
currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”), has brought this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He
sues 21 individual Defendants and 2 groups of unknown Medical
Defendants. Some of his claims date back to 1995, though most
arose from 2007 through 2017. These claims involve events at
4 different prisons (Robinson Correctional Center, Menard
Correctional Center, Lawrence, and Big Muddy Correctional
Center). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Additionally, the Court must assess whether all of
Plaintiff's claims may proceed in the same action.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations
as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th
Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A. Further,
it is clear that several of the claims are not properly
joined in the same action. Those claims shall be severed into
new cases, where they shall undergo the required § 1915A
begins his statement of claim by relating that while he was
incarcerated at Robinson in 1995, a large tumor developed on
his left foot. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Unidentified health care
providers dismissed the condition and denied treatment for
the tumor. Also at Robinson in 1995, Plaintiff “blew
his back out” while powerlifting, which left him
paralyzed from the waist down. Id.
“Healthcare” said he was faking and had him put
in segregation, where he had to crawl across the floor to get
his meals. Id.
weeks in segregation, Plaintiff was transferred to Big Muddy,
where he was also refused medical treatment for his foot and
back. Id. One year later, Plaintiff's left foot
had to be partially amputated due to bone cancer. He
eventually had therapy for his back injury and was able to
walk with quad canes. Plaintiff was released from prison in
1998, but was reincarcerated in 2000 and again in 2006.
narrative resumes with his arrival at Menard in November
2007. (Doc. 1, p. 6). He had suffered a re-injury to his back
in 2006 which left him paralyzed again. In addition to the
partially amputated left foot, Plaintiff had suffered a
fractured “heel bell” on his left foot in 2005
and a fractured tibia in 2001. Id. When Plaintiff
came to Menard, he had a “weight displacement
brace” and a “chair back brace” for his
wheelchair. Id. Dr. Finnerman took both braces away,
and told Plaintiff that due to his maximum security
classification and the fact that Menard was not an accessible
facility, he (with his wheelchair) would be housed in a
non-handicapped-accessible area of the Health Care Unit.
wrote to Warden Conder seeking an emergency medical transfer to
Big Muddy. Conder/Conners replied that Plaintiff must remain
at Menard for 6 months before he could request a transfer.
The next day, Dr. Finnerman told Plaintiff to pack his
things, because “nobody goes over his head.”
(Doc. 1, p. 6). Finnerman took away Plaintiff's
wheelchair, and sent him away from the Health Care Unit to
the North One housing area. Plaintiff was forced to crawl
along the floor under threat to be placed in segregation if
he did not make it to North One on time, based on
Finnerman's orders. A Lieutenant went to Health Care to
get a wheelchair for Plaintiff, but was told that Finnerman
would not allow it. The Lieutenant then obtained a cart to
transport Plaintiff to North One, but when he arrived there,
he was forced to crawl up the stairs to the third floor cell.
Workers then put Plaintiff on a “gallery cart” to
bring him to his cell. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
December 2007, Plaintiff was moved to a first floor cell at
Menard, and was placed on “Permanent Lay-in, ”
which lasted until March 2016. Based on the lay-in status,
Plaintiff did not go to yard, chow hall, gym, chapel,
commissary, or the law library. He was never provided with a
wheelchair for daily use, and the only time he was given a
wheelchair was to go to health care visits. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
He describes one incident after a blizzard in February 2008,
when he was taken to Health Care in an ATV-ambulance. Dr.
Finnerman yelled at Plaintiff, telling him he never had
cancer. Finnerman ordered the officers not to use the
ambulance to move Plaintiff. After the Sergeant responded
that he would use the ambulance any time he wanted, Finnerman
got rid of the ambulance 2 weeks later. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
2011, still at Menard, Plaintiff was moved to North One,
where he contracted a bad staph infection in his toe after it
was immersed in stagnant water in the shower. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
He was treated with antibiotics, and then painful surgery and
follow-up treatment on the toe, performed by Dr. Nawawaby
(who is not named as a Defendant).
2012, Plaintiff was moved to “South Lowers” in a
“test” of housing handicapped inmates there, near
a shower and yard. (Doc. 1, p. 8). C/O Maue did not allow
Plaintiff to use the shower (where he needed a shower chair)
alone, because (Plaintiff believes) he did not want
handicapped inmates in that unit. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Instead,
Maue required Plaintiff to shower along with the other
inmates. Plaintiff disliked being in the shower with 31 other
naked men, so he stopped going to the shower. When another
officer asked him why, Plaintiff told him. After that,
Plaintiff was allowed to shower alone; he claims this
“upset” Maue. Id.
2012, C/O Predi observed Plaintiff reading his Bible and
praying on his knees at his cell bars, and told Plaintiff,
“I wouldn't do that if I was you.” (Doc. 1,
p. 9). Plaintiff did not stop his religious practice, and 2
days later, when Predi again saw him praying, Predi ordered
him to “cuff up” for disobeying a direct order.
Predi took Plaintiff to segregation (in a wheelchair after
another officer intervened), where he spent 2 days. (Doc. 1,
p. 10). The disciplinary ticket was thrown out, but Plaintiff
had to spend 52 days in the “segregation kickout”
area before a space opened for him to move back to the South
Lowers. He was also notified that he was given 3 months of
“C-grade” on the disciplinary ticket, which was
apparently a computer mistake. Id.
next complains about a May 2014 incident with C/O Maue. (Doc.
1, p. 10). Plaintiff had been moved to a cell with another
inmate (Doyle) who, like Plaintiff, had a bottom bunk permit.
Rather than report the problem, Doyle tried to force
Plaintiff out of the cell by starting an argument and
accusing Plaintiff of acting aggressive. (Doc. 1, p.11).
Plaintiff states that he was not aggressive, but merely
packed his property so that he could request another cell,
which he explained to C/O Mrs. K (not a Defendant). Later
that day, Maue and several other officers came to the cell
with Doyle (who had been at work), and Maue sent Doyle into
the cell to fight Plaintiff. Plaintiff swung first, Doyle ran
out of the cell, and the force of Plaintiff's swing
caused him to fall. Maue caught Plaintiff in a head lock, and
then a choke hold that Plaintiff felt was an attempt to break
his neck. (Doc. 1, p. 11). A Lieutenant arrived and ordered
Maue to let Plaintiff go before he killed him. (Doc. 1, p.
12). Maue released Plaintiff but then shoved his face into
the floor and put his knee on the back of Plaintiff's
neck. The Lieutenant ordered Maue to get off Plaintiff; he
then took Plaintiff to Health Care in a wheelchair. Plaintiff
believes he suffered a broken elbow, and he could not speak
for 4 days because of the injury to his neck. X-rays were not
taken until 3 weeks later, and Plaintiff got no medical
treatment. Plaintiff was told nothing was wrong with his
elbow or neck, but he insists he can still move a piece of
his elbow, and claims the x-ray report he received showed a
fracture. (Doc. 1, p. 13).
was charged with a disciplinary infraction for the
“fight” with Doyle. (Doc. 1, p. 12). On the day
his ticket was to be heard, C/O Chandler
(Estato) told Plaintiff to get ready as he would be
back to get him. Plaintiff requested a wheelchair. (Doc. 1,
p. 12). Chandler never returned, however, and when Plaintiff
questioned him later that day, Chandler responded that
Plaintiff had “refused” to attend the hearing
when he asked for a wheelchair. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Plaintiff
was found guilty of a staff assault for the incident with
Maue. He was moved from the Health Care Unit (where he had
spent the previous 3 weeks) to segregation, thinking he had
been given a 30-day segregation punishment. However, he spoke
to Warden Butler when she visited the wing, and she informed
him that his punishment was for 90 days in segregation.
Plaintiff disputes that the incident amounted to a staff
assault, because Maue entered his cell as he was falling, so
that Plaintiff fell onto him. (Doc. 1, p. 14).
the above 2014 incident and 2016, Plaintiff was told that he
could not be housed on South Lowers because Maue and Doyle
felt unsafe with him. Plaintiff was then shuffled between
several non-handicap-accessible housing areas until he was
transferred to Lawrence in 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 14). Before that
transfer, Plaintiff contracted pneumonia after a flood. He
was not treated for 2 weeks, until an officer finally took
him to Health Care, where he was given antibiotics. (Doc. 1,
March 9, 2016, Plaintiff was told he was being transferred.
(Doc. 1, p. 15). His request for a wheelchair was initially
refused, but eventually an officer took him in a wheelchair
to the chapel, where the outgoing inmates were strip
searched. (Doc. 1, p. 16). However, the wheelchair was then
taken away, forcing Plaintiff to crawl on the floor until he
fell and some fellow inmates carried him outside where the
bus was waiting. An officer threatened those inmates with
segregation, so they put Plaintiff down, and he crawled
across the pavement to the bus, where the driver helped him
to board it. Plaintiff had to change buses at Lincoln
Correctional Center, where he was given a wheelchair at
first. However, Lt. Beyler/Baylorwould not allow anybody to
help Plaintiff board the Lawrence bus, and laughed while
Plaintiff crawled through the mud and rain to get on. (Doc.
1, p. 17).
his arrival at Lawrence, Plaintiff was given a wheelchair to
get to his cell. He was having trouble breathing because of
the pneumonia. After some delay, Plaintiff was taken to
Health Care where a nurse gave him a breathing treatment and
said he would need to see the doctor. Plaintiff was moved to
another cell and the wheelchair was taken away. (Doc. 1, p.
18). For at least a week, while the doctor (Dr. Coe, who is
not a Defendant) was on vacation, Plaintiff was forced to
crawl from the bed to the door to get his medications, water,
Dr. Coe returned, he issued Plaintiff permits for a low bunk,
low gallery, two mattresses, ice, daily cleaning of his cell,
and a wheelchair. (Doc. 1, p. 19).
2016, C/O Tubbs began working on Plaintiff's wing. Tubbs
refused to give Plaintiff ice, despite the fact Plaintiff had
the medical permit and all other inmates received ice. Tubbs
stopped Plaintiff and his attendant from using cleaning
supplies to clean Plaintiff's cell, because the permit
did not say “cleaning supplies.” (Doc. 1, p. 19).
Plaintiff had Dr. Coe change the permit, but then Tubbs said
it did not include bleach or pink soap. Finally Tubbs asked
to see all Plaintiff's permits. When Plaintiff handed
them over, Tubbs wrote on them that they were canceled.
Plaintiff wrote a series of 25 grievances against Tubbs.
Later on, Tubbs stopped Plaintiff and his attendant from
cleaning the shower chair, saying he would do it. Tubbs began
“shaking down” Plaintiff's attendant, and
some of his items disappeared, so the attendant quit.
Plaintiff reported the problems with Tubbs to his counselor,
a Lieutenant, a Major, and Wardens. Warden Goings told
Plaintiff to stop writing grievances because he was aware of
the problems with Tubbs. (Doc. 1, pp. 19-20). However, Goings
did not respond for 4 months.
eventually told Plaintiff that he had a “permit
problem” - meaning he had too many of them. (Doc. 1, p.
20). Goings called Mrs. Cunningham (Health Care
Administrator) and told her to take Plaintiff's medical
permits, and set him an appointment with the doctor.
days later, Plaintiff saw Dr. Shev (or Dr. Shef), who said that
because of the medical permits, Plaintiff would be made a
permanent part of Health Care and would “live in the
back.” (Doc. 1, p. 20). Plaintiff protested, pointing
out that his permits had been issued by the IDOC Medical
Director, Dr. Shev's/Shef's boss. Dr. Shev/Shef had
Plaintiff removed and taken back to his cell. Plaintiff wrote
a grievance against Warden Goings.
continued to harass Plaintiff, refusing to honor any of his
permits. Tubbs would shake down Plaintiff's cell and
discard his purchased commissary items for allegedly being in
the wrong place or in the wrong package. Plaintiff complained
to the counselor, saying he was tired, he had just lost his
mother, and just found out he was terminally ill,
since he was dying, “who can I take with me?”
(Doc. 1, p. 21). Plaintiff was moved to 4 House, away from
Tubbs, where he still remained as of the date he filed this
February 2017, Plaintiff complained and filed a grievance
over a set of headphones which he sent to be repaired, and
for which he was charged a repair fee and postage, but which
were never returned. (Doc. 1, p. 21). He was at one point
offered a replacement set, but was later told there would be
no replacement, and he was merely reimbursed for his postage
cost. (Doc. 1, p. 22).
November 24, 2017, Plaintiff saw Dr. Shev/Shef (who was not
his regular doctor). Dr. Shev/Shef took away Plaintiff's
high blood pressure medication that Dr. Armid had just
prescribed, and increased Plaintiff's heart medication.
(Doc. 1, p. 23). Plaintiff complained, and mistakenly said he
was out of Lasix, when he was actually out of potassium. Dr.
Shev/Shef told Nurse Collins to look into the matter, so she
had Plaintiff's cell shaken down. Various medications
were found there and Nurse Collins kept all but
Plaintiff's antibiotics. (Doc. 1, p. 23). The fact that
Plaintiff was out of potassium was never discovered.
evening of November 24, 2017, the med line nurse gave
Plaintiff the higher dose of heart medication, but no blood
pressure medication or potassium. (Doc. 1, p. 24). Plaintiff
questioned the heart medication dosage, but was told to take
it as Dr. Shev/Shef had prescribed. During the night,
Plaintiff had to urinate every 30 minutes, and by 8:00 a.m.
he was dehydrated and “fell out.” Id.
Plaintiff was able to hear, but not speak, and heard his
cellmate tell officers that Plaintiff had gone to med line at
5:00 a.m. but he didn't know if he took anything.
was taken to Health Care, where Nurse Tammy decided that he
must have overdosed, based on the cellmate's alleged
statement that Plaintiff had hidden pills and taken a handful
that morning. Plaintiff's cell was shaken down again and
several medications were found there, which he claims he was
authorized to have. Plaintiff kept asking for water, but
Nurse Tammy refused to let him have a drink until he told her
what pills he had taken. After 2 hours, Plaintiff was moved
to an observation room, and he then drank a large amount of
water. (Doc. 1, pp. 24-25). He got up to urinate but fell and
apparently hit his head, then had to vomit when he came to.
An ambulance was called, and Plaintiff was taken to an
outside facility, where several hours later, blood tests
showed no drugs in his system, but a dangerously low
potassium level. Plaintiff was treated and returned to
Lawrence about 8 hours later. (Doc. 1, pp. 25-26).
was found guilty of a conduct violation for having the pills
in his cell, and punished with 3 months of C-grade, 3 months
of B-grade, and 6 months of no contact with his family, even
though he is terminally ill. Plaintiff claims his blood
pressure is still abnormally high, yet his blood pressure
medications have never been restored. (Doc. 1, p. 26).
seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Doc. 1, p. 27).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into the
following counts. The parties and the Court will use these
designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice.
Count 1: Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claims against Robinson Medical Staff, for
delaying and denying treatment for Plaintiff's foot tumor
and back injury in 1995;
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claims against Big Muddy Medical Staff, for
delaying and denying treatment for Plaintiff's foot tumor
and back ...