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Harris v. Reddy

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

May 30, 2018

FREDERICK S. HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. CHITTARAJAN REDDY, et al., Defendants.

          MERIT REVIEW OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff proceeds pro se from his incarceration in Pontiac Correctional Center. His Complaint is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This section requires the Court to identify cognizable claims stated by the Complaint or dismiss claims that are not cognizable.[1] In reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor and taking Plaintiff's pro se status into account. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to "'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7thCir. 2013)(quoted cite omitted).

         Plaintiff alleges that he had left eye surgery in 2014 for a retinal detachment, retinopathy, and cataract in his left eye. (d/e 1-1, p. 12.) The surgery was performed by Dr. Reddy, whom Plaintiff alleges has a contract to provide services to Illinois Department of Corrections inmates. Plaintiff maintains that Dr. Reddy did not measure Plaintiff's eye, used the wrong power lens, and was unprofessional.

         Plaintiff began having problems with his left eye in December 2015. Prison optometrists determined that Plaintiff's lens was dislocated and sent Plaintiff back to Dr. Reddy, despite Plaintiff's objections and request to be sent to a cataract specialist. Dr. Tilden approved sending Plaintiff back to Dr. Reddy as well.

         Dr. Reddy performed another surgery, again allegedly without correct calculations and again using the wrong power lens, and also without warning Plaintiff of the risks of the procedure. As a result, Plaintiff alleges that he was left legally blind and disfigured.

         Eventually Plaintiff was sent to a cataract specialist who allegedly refused to consider doing another surgery. Plaintiff's only option now is to wear a contact for the rest of his life.

         Plaintiff states arguable Eighth Amendment claims for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Whether Dr. Reddy is a state actor is a determination that requires a developed record. Additionally, whether Wexford had a policy or practice that caused the alleged inadequate treatment must await a more developed record. Plaintiff also pursues a claim for malpractice against Dr. Reddy, but that will be subject to dismissal upon motion unless Plaintiff attaches the affidavit and report required by 735 ILCS 5/2-622(a).

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:

         1) Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court finds that Plaintiff states an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Whether Plaintiff has a viable malpractice claim will be decided at a later date. This case proceeds solely on the claims identified in this paragraph. Any additional claims shall not be included in the case, except at the Court's discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15.

         2) This case is now in the process of service. Plaintiff is advised to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendants before filing any motions, in order to give Defendants notice and an opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed before Defendants' counsel has filed an appearance will generally be denied as premature. Plaintiff need not submit any evidence to the Court at this time, unless otherwise directed by the Court.

         3) The Court will attempt service on Defendants by mailing each Defendant a waiver of service. Defendants have 60 days from the date the waiver is sent to file an Answer. If Defendants have not filed Answers or appeared through counsel within 90 days of the entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion requesting the status of service. After Defendants have been served, the Court will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive motion deadlines.

         4) With respect to a Defendant who no longer works at the address provided by Plaintiff, the entity for whom that Defendant worked while at that address shall provide to the Clerk said Defendant's current work address, or, if not known, said Defendant's forwarding address. This information shall be used only for effectuating service. Documentation of forwarding addresses shall be retained only by the Clerk and shall not be maintained in the public docket nor disclosed by the Clerk.

         5) Defendants shall file an answer within 60 days of the date the waiver is sent by the Clerk. A motion to dismiss is not an answer. The answer should include all defenses appropriate under the Federal Rules. The answer and subsequent pleadings shall be to the issues and claims stated in this Opinion. In general, an answer sets forth Defendants' positions. The Court does not rule on the merits of those positions unless and until a motion is filed by Defendants. Therefore, no response to the answer is necessary or will be considered.

         6) This District uses electronic filing, which means that, after Defense counsel has filed an appearance, Defense counsel will automatically receive electronic notice of any motion or other paper filed by Plaintiff with the Clerk. Plaintiff does not need to mail to Defense counsel copies of motions and other papers that Plaintiff has filed with the Clerk. However, this does not apply to discovery requests and responses. Discovery requests and responses are not filed with the Clerk. Plaintiff must mail his discovery requests and responses directly to Defendants' counsel. Discovery requests or responses sent to the Clerk will be returned unfiled, unless they are attached to and the subject of a ...


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