United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert, District Judge United States District Court
Jeffrey Gurley, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Western Illinois Correctional Center, filed a civil rights
action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in
order to address numerous violations of his constitutional
rights at Cook County Jail and Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”). See Gurley v. Doe, et al.,
Case No. 18-cv-00407-JPG (S.D. Ill.) (“original
action”). This Court screened the Complaint and
determined that the claims arising at Cook County Jail were
unrelated to the claims arising at Menard. (Doc. 2). In
addition, they involved different groups of defendants.
Id. Pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d
605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007), the Court severed the claims
arising at Menard against John Doe 54 (an unknown doctor)
(“Doctor Doe 54”) and Wexford Health Services
(“Wexford”) into the instant case. (Doc. 1; Doc.
2-1, pp. 49-52).
matter is now before the Court for preliminary review
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 pro se
complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
factual allegations offered in support of Plaintiff's
claims against Doctor Doe 54 and Wexford are found at pages
49-52 of Doc. 2-1. There, Plaintiff alleges that he arrived
at Menard sometime before July 2, 2017. (Doc. 2-1, pp.
49-50). On July 2, 2017, he filed a written medical request
for an extra mattress and pain medication. (Doc. 2-1, p. 50).
Plaintiff explained that he was suffering from back and neck
pain caused by his fall down a set of stairs at Cook County
Jail earlier that year. (Doc. 2, p. 40; Doc. 2-1, p. 50). He
explained that the pain prevented him from sleeping. (Doc.
2-1, p. 50). He was given pain medication, but it proved to
be ineffective. Id.
August 1, 2017, Plaintiff requested stronger medication.
(Doc. 2-1, p. 50). He described his pain as
“severe” at the time. Id. The
allegations do not indicate whether he was given different
pain medication in response to this request. Id.
September 4, 2017, Plaintiff met with Doctor John Doe 54 and
explained that his prescription pain medication was not
helping him “cope with continuous pain and
suffering” resulting from his back and neck injuries.
(Doc. 2-1, p. 50). He requested a “more useful”
medication or treatment aimed at addressing his pain.
Id. Plaintiff also requested an extra mattress.
Id. Doctor Doe 54 denied both requests. Id.
Instead, the doctor ordered a 6-week course of physical
therapy. (Doc. 2-1, pp. 50-51). Plaintiff attended 9 sessions
over the course of 6 weeks but describes the results as
“poor.” (Doc. 2-1, p. 51).
January 20, 2018, Plaintiff again met with Doctor Doe 54 to
discuss his back and neck pain. (Doc. 2-1, p. 51). Plaintiff
explained that the pain medication was still not working to
control his pain, and he again requested a “more
useful” pain medication or some other treatment for
pain management. Id. The doctor encouraged Plaintiff
to just give the medicine “some time.”
Id. When Plaintiff asked the doctor to review his
medical records from Cook County to gain a better
understanding of his injuries, the doctor failed to do so.
claims that Doctor Doe 54 responded to his complaints of pain
with deliberate indifference and negligence. (Doc. 2-1, p.
52). He also names Wexford Health Services
(“Corporation #55”) in connection these claims.
Id. Plaintiff asserts that Wexford failed to carry
out its duty to “protect and serve and provide medical
care.” Id. He points to the denial of
“suitable quarter's ...