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Bakerr v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 5, 2018

JUSTIN BAKER, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., M. SIDDIQUI, LASHBROOK, and MOLDENHAUER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Justin Baker, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center, brings this action seeking damages for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the First Amended Complaint 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 such relief.

         An 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. 2009).

         The First Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff originally filed this lawsuit on December 11, 2017. (Doc. 1). On February 13, 2018, the Court dismissed the Complaint for failure to follow Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and directed Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint on or before March 13, 2018. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint on March 5, 2018. (Doc. 9).

         Plaintiff's statement of claim reads, in its entirety: “see exhibit #D Page #41-42.” (Doc. 9, p. 5). Exhibit D contains lettered paragraphs and does not appear to have been part of another grievance or a kite. Thus the Court will assume that Exhibit D is meant to be a standalone statement of claim. The Court did not consider any of Plaintiff's other exhibits as part of his statement of claim, and to the extent that those exhibits recount cognizable claims, those claims are dismissed without prejudice for failure to conform to Rule 8.

         Sometime in 2017, Plaintiff began experiencing pain, inflammation, a burning sensation, redness, and swelling in his ankle. (Doc. 9, p. 35). He also hears popping or grinding in the joint. Id. On March 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance to Warden Lashbrook regarding his issues, but the grievance was “not substantiated.” Id. Plaintiff saw the nurse on April 10, 2017, and she prescribed Motrin and referred Plaintiff to the doctor. (Doc. 9, p. 36). Plaintiff was seen by nurse practitioner Moldenhauer on April 17, 2017, and prescribed Tylenol. Id. Plaintiff filed another grievance on April 27, 2017, alleging that health care was not properly responding to his ankle complaints. (Doc. 9, p. 35).

         On October 23, 2017, Plaintiff wrote a grievance alleging that he continued to experience symptoms in his ankle, but claiming that Siddiqui and Moldenhauer refused to provide anything more than pain medication. (Doc. 9, p. 36). Plaintiff alleges that any medical issues within Menard are overseen by Wexford Health Sources, and that Wexford has a policy to cut costs by refusing to provide inmates with adequate medications or health care. (Doc. 9, p. 35).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the First Amended Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into two counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a ...


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