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Mauter v. Siddiqui

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 10, 2019

PETER C. MAUTER, #M24019, Plaintiff,
v.
MOHAMMED SIDDIQUI, M.D., [1] DR. TROST, M.D., DR. CALDWELL, M.D., DR. RITZ, JOHN DOES #1 TO 3, WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Peter Mauter, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. He asserts deliberate indifference claims under the Eighth Amendment and a state law medical negligence claim. He requests monetary damages and injunctive relief.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or requests money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se Amended Complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Amended Complaint: In 2006, Plaintiff was diagnosed with degenerative spine disease, including moderate to severe hypertrophic changes to the L4-L5 facet joints. (Doc. 13, pp. 6, 25). When he entered Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) in 2012, he was under medical care with the Veteran's Administration (“VA”) for the degenerative spine disease. Id. Plaintiff was treated by Dr. Fuentes from 2012 to 2014. Id. His VA records were forward to Dr. Fuentes and became part of his medical records at Menard. Id. In 2014, Dr. Fuentes requested that Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”)[2] send Plaintiff to an outside hospital for spinal surgery due to his declining health. Id.

         From 2014 to late 2017, Plaintiff treated with Dr. Trost, a Wexford physician, who denied Plaintiff medical treatment despite Plaintiff's reports of reduced mobility, severe pain with neurological symptoms, and inadequacy of Naprosyn as a pain reliever. (Doc. 13, pp. 7-8). Dr. Trost repeatedly told Plaintiff that he had arthritis. (Doc. 13, p. 8). Dr. Trost concealed Plaintiff's true diagnosis as part of an unlawful practice by Wexford to deny Plaintiff medical treatment for his degenerative spine disease. Id.

         Plaintiff treated with Dr. Siddiqui, another Wexford physician, from 2016 to 2018. Id. Plaintiff reported pain down his legs, intense pain on the right side of his body, pain that caused him to fall to his knees, reduced mobility, inability to walk or shower, a significant loss of sleep due to pain, and that his pain was at a level of 7 out of 10. Id. Dr. Siddiqui ignored Plaintiff's complaints and failed to provide an effective pain reliever. (Doc. 13, p. 9). Dr. Siddiqui also ignored medical records showing that Plaintiff had advanced spine disease and told him he had arthritis and was getting old. Id.

         In 2016, Dr. Trost and Dr. Ritz, a collegiate review physician with Wexford, denied Plaintiff an MRI to monitor the degenerative spine disease. (Doc. 13, pp. 4, 9). They knew that ten years had elapsed since the diagnosis at the VA. (Doc. 13, p. 9). At that time, Dr. Trost, Dr. Ritz, and Dr. Siddiqui knew Plaintiff was in “agonizing pain and was entering bedridden status” but denied him medical treatment and effective pain medication. Id. Later in 2016, Dr. Trost and Dr. Ritz again denied Plaintiff an MRI. Id. They ordered physical therapy, which Plaintiff attempted, but collapsed due to severe pain. Id. Plaintiff was told on multiple occasions that he would not receive an MRI or further care because it was too expensive, and Wexford would not pay for it. (Doc. 13, p. 17).

         In 2017, radiology reports showed significant degenerative disc disease at L4-L5 level that had “further progressed since the prior examination.” (Doc. 13, pp. 10, 33). Plaintiff continued to report to Dr. Siddiqui that Naprosyn was ineffective for pain relief. Id. Dr. Siddiqui ignored him, provided no pain relief, and told him x-rays showed only arthritis. Id. By October 2017, Plaintiff could no longer walk to the dining room. Id. Siddiqui issued a permit for him to eat in his cell but did not provide medical treatment or pain relief. Id. An MRI in January 2018 showed advanced degenerative spine disease. (Doc. 13, pp. 10, 31-32). Despite this information, Dr. Ritz and Dr. Siddiqui continued to deny Plaintiff medical treatment. Id.

         By 2018, Plaintiff was bedridden; he had not been able to shower for several months and needed assistance to the toilet. (Doc. 13, p. 11). From 2012-2018, Drs. Trost, Ritz, and Siddiqui had ignored Plaintiff's complaints that Naprosyn did not alleviate his pain. Id. In April 2018, Dr. Siddiqui provided Plaintiff with Ultram/Tramadol 150 mg daily, which was an effective pain reliever. Id. In May 2018, Dr. Siddiqui issued him a wheelchair. (Doc. 13, pp. 11, 37). Finally, in 2018, Plaintiff had to undergo “major spinal surgery to fuse L4-L5, replace disks, and insert metal plates, metal rods, and screws.” (Doc. 13, pp. 11-12).

         From 2012 to 2018, Dr. Trost, Dr. Siddiqui, Dr. Ritz, and Dr. Caldwell (all Wexford physicians) refused to place Plaintiff on chronic clinic to monitor his spine. Id. This required him to request medical services which delayed medical treatment. Id.

         Dr. Siddiqui, Dr. Trost, Dr. Ritz, Dr. Caldwell, and Wexford failed to inform Plaintiff that chronic use of Naprosyn causes kidney disease and kidney failure. (Doc. 13, p. 13). Additionally, from 2012-2018, Defendants, including John Does #1-3, failed to properly monitor Plaintiff for diseases caused by chronic NSAID use. Id. Defendants knew that 1500 mg daily of Naprosyn exceeded minimum safety guidelines of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Id. Dr. Siddiqui knew that 1500 mg of Naprosyn daily was dangerous and should not be used for long-term pain management for spine disease. Id.

         In 2017, Plaintiff reported “additional symptoms” to Dr. Caldwell and a blood test confirmed kidney damage. Id. Dr. Caldwell discontinued Naprosyn, but did not offer any alternative pain relief for Plaintiff's ongoing and unresolved pain. (Doc. 13, p. 14). Dr. Siddiqui, Dr. Trost, Dr. Ritz, Dr. Caldwell, and Wexford have acknowledged Plaintiff's “serious medical need for kidney care, but refuse[d] to provide it . . . .” (Doc. 13, p. 14).

         Based on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate the following Counts:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Siddiqui, Trost, Ritz, Caldwell, John Does #1-3, and Wexford for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs relating to degenerative spine disease.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim against Siddiqui, Trost, Ritz, Caldwell, John Does #1-3, and Wexford for deliberate indifference to the risk of substantial harm caused by long-term use of Naprosyn and in failing to monitor Plaintiff for the harm caused by long-term use.
Count 3: Eighth Amendment claim against Siddiqui, Trost, Ritz, Caldwell, and Wexford for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs relating to kidney disease.
Count 4: Illinois state law claim for medical negligence against Siddiqui, Trots, Ritz, Caldwell, John Does #1-3, and Wexford for disregarding the risk of substantial harm caused by long-term use of Naprosyn and failing to ...

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