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Winger v. Siddiqui

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 11, 2019

MARK WINGER, K-97120, Plaintiff,
v.
MOHAMMED SIDDIQUI, AIMEE LANG, SGT. HARRIS, WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., DR. RITZ, HOLLY HAWKINS, ROWOLD, KELLY PIERCE, SPILLER, MELISSA PHOENIX, JOHN DOE 2, JOHN DOE 4, and JOHN DOE 5, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Mark Winger, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Menard officials who responded to his request for a double-cuff permit and treatment of chest pain with deliberate indifference. (Doc. 2, pp. 7-16, 34-37). Plaintiff seeks money damages against the defendants for conspiring to violate his rights under the Eighth Amendment and Illinois law. (Id. at pp. 49-52).

         These claims (collectively referred to as “Count 3”) were severed from Winger v. Doe, et al., No. 19-cv-236-NJR (S.D. Ill.), on May 1, 2019. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff notified the Court of his intention to pursue the claims in this severed case on June 3, 2019. (Doc. 6). He paid the full $400.00 filing fee for this action on June 14, 2019.

         This matter is now before the Court for preliminary review 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). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff sets forth the following allegations in support of the claims in this severed case (Doc. 2, pp. 7-16, 34-37): On March 23, 2017, Plaintiff met with Dr. Siddiqui, Nurse Lang, Sergeant Harris, and an unknown officer[1] to discuss renewal of a double-cuff permit[2] that was due to expire the following month. (Id. at p. 7). Plaintiff received the permit several years earlier for shoulder pain and degenerative arthritis that resulted from a right rotator cuff injury. (Id.). Before renewing the permit, Nurse Lang instructed Sergeant Harris to cuff Plaintiff behind his back to determine whether doing so would actually cause him pain. (Id. at pp. 7, 10-11). As Dr. Siddiqui, Nurse Lang, and the officer watched, Sergeant Harris forced Plaintiff's hands behind his back until he cried out in excruciating pain. Only then did Dr. Siddiqui renew the permit. (Id. at pp. 11-13).

         At the same appointment, Plaintiff complained of chest pain and shortness of breath. (Id. at p. 8). Dr. Siddiqui and Nurse Lang instructed him to submit another sick call slip and copayment. When Plaintiff offered to submit both on the spot, they again denied his request for treatment. This occurred three months after Dr. Ritz and Wexford denied Drs. Trost[3] and Siddiqui's separate requests for a stress test in favor of “on-site monitoring” of Plaintiff that never occurred. (Id.).

         Plaintiff filed grievances to complain about these incidents. (Id. at pp. 13-16). A witness to the events verified them in an affidavit. Even so, prison grievance officials (Hawkins, Rowold, Pierce, Spiller, Phoenix, John Doe 2, John Doe 4, and John Doe 5) denied Plaintiff's grievance without an investigation. (Id.).

         Based on these allegations, the Court finds it convenient to recharacterize the claims at issue in this severed pro se action as follows:

Count 1:
Sergeant Harris, Nurse Lang, and Dr. Siddiqui used, authorized, or condoned the use of excessive force against Plaintiff on March 23, 2017, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.
Count 2:
Sergeant Harris, Nurse Lang, and Dr. Siddiqui committed assault and/or battery against Plaintiff on March 23, 2017, in violation of Illinois state law.
Count 3:
Dr. Siddiqui, Nurse Lang, Dr. Ritz, and Wexford exhibited deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's complaints of chest pain and shortness of breath on or before March 23, ...

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