United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tracey Vickers, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendants were
deliberately indifferent in the treatment of his broken
ankle. He asserts claims against the defendants under the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages and injunctive relief.
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
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 asks for money damages from a
defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
makes the following allegations: At 7:05 a.m. on July 12,
2018, while working in the kitchen at Lawrence, Plaintiff
fell on a wet and slippery floor in the bathroom, breaking
his left ankle. (Doc. 1, p. 9). He had previously reported
the wet and slippery condition of the bathroom to Dietary
Supervisors Kohn and Gertch, but the conditions were ignored.
He reported the injury to Dietary Security Supervisor Sanders
and Gertch, but they refused to send him to the healthcare
unit. Gertch informed Plaintiff that it was probably just
twisted. Instead of getting medical attention, Plaintiff was
sent back to his housing unit for a scheduled appointment to
have his picture taken. (Id. at pp. 9-10). In his
housing unit, he reported the injury to C/O Rue, who provided
him with ice and told him to take ibuprofen, but informed
Plaintiff that the dietary staff would have to send him to
the healthcare unit, because that was where he injured his
ankle. (Id. at pp. 9-10).
returned to work and again asked Sanders and Gertch to go to
the healthcare unit but they refused, despite Plaintiff
showing them his discolored and swollen ankle. (Doc. 1, pp.
11-12). Plaintiff continued to work in dietary on his injured
ankle for several hours until Lt. McCarthy came to dietary.
(Id. at pp. 12-13). Plaintiff showed McCarthy his
ankle, which was swollen, and McCarthy called the healthcare
unit. Plaintiff went to the healthcare unit on his own and
waited fifteen minutes for Nurse Ward to take his vitals.
(Id. at p. 13). Nurse Ward examined him, and he was
then seen by Dr. Ahmed who ordered x-rays. Dr. Ahmed informed
Plaintiff that his ankle was broken in three places and sent
him to an outside hospital for care. (Id.).
was transported to Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney,
Illinois, by C/O's Sloan and Hawes who shackled his legs,
despite Plaintiff informing them that his ankle was broken in
three places and he could not walk. (Doc. 1, p. 13). They
made him walk on his ankle despite the injury. At the
hospital, Plaintiff was informed that his ankle was further
damaged from the delay he experienced in being transported to
the hospital and from walking on the ankle all morning.
(Id. at p. 14). Plaintiff required surgical repair
of his ankle including eight screws, two pins, and two plates
to hold his ankle together. (Id. at pp. 14-15).
was released from the hospital on July 14, 2018. He was
provided with crutches and instructions not to put weight on
his foot. Upon his arrival at the prison, Nurse Ward had him
walk to his housing unit. (Doc. 1, p. 15). When he almost
fell, she brought him a wheelchair. Plaintiff describes the
wheelchair as a “reject”-it had a missing
sideboard and footrest, and the seat was torn. Plaintiff saw
Ahmed upon his return and was reminded not to bear any weight
on the foot. (Id. at p. 16). Plaintiff complained of
pain and wrote requests to the healthcare unit on several
occasions. Dr. Ahmed saw Plaintiff on August 4, 2018, when
Plaintiff's cast started splitting. Despite the cast
splitting and Dr. Ahmed stating that the ankle might not heal
properly because of the issues with the cast, Dr. Ahmed did
not do anything further with Plaintiff's ankle.
cast was eventually removed Plaintiff's leg, and he was
instructed to walk on his left foot. Although he was
prescribed Trammadol/Ultram for the pain by the surgeon, it
was ineffective. (Doc. 1, p. 16). He continued to suffer from
pain in the ankle and reported the pain to N.P. Stover on
September 12, 2018. N.P. Stover increased his ibuprofen
dosage. (Id. at p. 17). He continued to suffer from
pain. During a visit with the surgeon in October, the surgeon
deferred to Dr. Ahmed on Plaintiff's pain management and
rehabilitation. Plaintiff continued to complain of pain and
was seen by Nurse Welty on November 8, 2018, who told him he
would have to wait for his follow-up appointment on November
21, 2018. (Id. at p. 18). Plaintiff saw Dr. Shah on
November 21, 2018, but he just told him not to use ice for
swelling. Plaintiff continued to submit nurse call requests
for pain and was seen by N.P. Stover on February 25, 2019,
who recommended that he have a follow-up with the surgeon.
(Id. at pp. 18-19). Plaintiff continues to suffer
from pain and swelling, but his nurse sick call passes are
cancelled or rescheduled. Plaintiff alleges that his
treatment at Lawrence is a result of the racial animus that
the staff has towards African American inmates.
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following five counts:
Count 1: Dietary Supervisor Kohn, Dietary Supervisor Gertch,
and Dietary Supervisor Densmore were deliberately indifferent
under the Eighth Amendment to Plaintiff's conditions of
confinement when they ignored complaints of wet and slippery
Count 2: C/O Sanders, Dietary Supervisor Gertch, C/O Rue, Lt.
McCarthy, Nurse Ward, and Dr. Ahmed were deliberately
indifferent under the Eighth Amendment to Plaintiff's
Count 3: C/O Sloan and C/O Hawes were deliberately
indifferent under the Eighth Amendment when they made
Plaintiff walk, ...