United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
Reona J. Daly, United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Felton Williams'
Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint (Doc. 18). For
the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED IN
PART AND DENIED IN PART.
Felton Williams, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this
lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Big Muddy River Correctional Center. More specifically,
Plaintiff alleges he was attacked by another inmate and,
after officers broke up that fight, they beat him and broke
his nose. After a threshold screening of Plaintiff's
complaint, he was allowed to proceed on an Eighth Amendment
excessive force claim against C/O McAnn, C/O Hyde, and Lt.
now seeks to amend his complaint to add a claim of deliberate
indifference against Nurses Rebecca and Jody, C/O Anderton,
and Lt. Clark. Plaintiff alleges he told these defendants
that his nose was broken, but they failed to provide, or take
any action to ensure he received, medical treatment.
Plaintiff also seeks to add a retaliation claim against Lt.
Clark and C/O Anderton, alleging these defendants purported
to interview him, but used the interview to scare and
intimidate him after he filed grievances. Finally, Plaintiff
seeks to add a state law negligence claim against Nurses Jody
and Rebecca related to their failure to treat or diagnose his
broken nose, and a state law battery claim against C/O Hyde
and McAnn related to their alleged attack on Plaintiff.
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that a party may amend
a pleading and that leave to amend should be freely given
"when justice so requires." The Seventh Circuit
maintains a liberal attitude toward the amendment of
pleadings "so that cases may be decided on the merits
and not on the basis of technicalities." Stern v.
U.S. Gypsum, Inc., 547 F.2d 1329, 1334 (7th Cir. 1977).
The Circuit recognizes that "the complaint merely serves
to put the defendant on notice and is to be freely amended or
constructively amended as the case develops, as long as
amendments do not unfairly surprise or prejudice the
defendant." Toth v. USX Corp., 883 F.2d 1297,
1298 (7th Cir. 1989); see also Winger v. Winger, 82
F.3d 140, 144 (7th Cir. 1996) ("The Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure create [a system] in which the complaint does
not fix the plaintiff's rights but may be amended at any
time to conform to the evidence.") (quotation omitted).
A court may also deny a party leave to amend if there is
undue delay, dilatory motive or futility. Guise v. BMW
Mortgage, LLC, 377 F.3d 795, 801 (7th Cir. 2004).
Court reviews the claims set forth in Plaintiff's amended
complaint in light of the standards set forth above and finds
Count One: Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against C/O
Hyde and C/O McAnn
proposed Count One is substantially similar to the Eighth
Amendment claim currently pending in this action. However,
Plaintiff has not named Defendant Clark in connection with
this claim. As such, Plaintiff shall only move forward on his
Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Defendants
Hyde and McAnn.
Count Two: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim
against C/O Anderton, Lt. Clark, Nurse Rebecca, and Nurse
Eighth Amendment protects inmates from cruel and unusual
punishment. U.S. Const., amend. VIII; see also Berry v.
Peterman, 604 F.3d 435 (7th Cir. 2010). As the Supreme
Court has recognized, “deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs of prisoners” may constitute
cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). In order
to prevail on such a claim, the plaintiff must first show
that his condition was “objectively, sufficiently
serious” and second, that the “prison officials
acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind.”
Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 652-53 (7th Cir.
2005) (citations and quotation marks omitted).
allegations against C/O Anderton, Lt. Clark, Nurse Rebecca,
and Nurse Jody are sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference claim. More specifically, Plaintiff
alleges he advised these defendants that his nose was broken,
but they failed to take any action to ensure he received
adequate treatment. As a result, Plaintiff alleges he was
made to wait approximately four months for treatment and his
nose healed improperly. Plaintiff shall be allowed to proceed
against Defendants Anderton, Clark, Nurse Rebecca, and Nurse
Jody on an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim.
First Amendment retaliation claim against Lt. ...