United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. Yandle, United States District Judge.
Omar Aguilar, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff alleges Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to an infection in his kidneys; he asserts claims
against them under the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff seeks
monetary damages and has also filed a motion for
TRO/Preliminary Injunction. (Doc. 2).
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 in the Complaint: Since
January or February 2018, Plaintiff has suffered from pain in
the left side of his abdomen. The pain keeps him from
sleeping and causes him headaches and back pain.
(Id. at p. 5). Plaintiff also has burning sensations
and swelling in his hands and feet. (Id.). Plaintiff
has seen Dr. Siddiqui on at least six different occasions
between February 2018 and April 2019 and explained to him
that the current pain medication is not helping, but Dr.
Siddiqui refuses to provide him with any medication stronger
than Tylenol, ibuprofen, and other over the counter pain
relievers because Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
(“Wexford”) will not authorize stronger pain
medication due to cost concerns. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5, 6, 15).
complained that his left side hurt near his kidneys, that it
hurt when he urinated, and that his urine was strong
smelling. (Doc. 1, p. 12). He was initially diagnosed with a
urinary tract infection (“UTI”) by Dr. Siddiqui
and Nurse Practitioner Zimmer (“NP”) and provided
antibiotics for the infection. (Id. at pp. 12, 17).
Although Plaintiff was later told that the infection was no
longer showing up on tests, he continued to suffer pain in
his kidneys, pain while urinating, and strong-smelling urine.
(Id.). Plaintiff continued to suffer from pain after
the antibiotic treatment, but Dr. Siddiqui, NP Zimmer, Crain,
Dr. Ritz, and Walls began ignoring his complaints of pain and
refused to see him or send him to a specialist. (Id.
at p. 17). They believed he was lying about his pain and sent
him to mental health staff for anxiety. (Id. at pp.
17-18). As a result, Plaintiff continued to suffer pain in
his left side due to lack of treatment. He was eventually
diagnosed with pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).
(Id. at p. 18). Even after the diagnosis, he was
denied a request to be treated by a specialist.
(Id.). Dr. Siddiqui, Dr. Ritz, NP Zimmer, Walls, and
Crain failed to address Plaintiff's condition in a timely
fashion and he eventually developed prostatitis, which can
result from a bacterial infection that spreads to the
prostate. (Id. at pp. 19, 21). They continued with
an ineffective course of treatment and, as a result,
Plaintiff continues to suffer from pain in his left side and
burning and swelling in his hands and feet. (Id. at
pp. 19-20). Due to Wexford's policy of treating inmates
like a nuisance and liars, the medical staff assumed he was
lying. (Id. at pp. 12-13). Plaintiff suffered severe
emotional distress due to Defendants' actions and was
referred to mental health professionals at the prison by
wrote letters and grievances to John Baldwin, Dr. Louis
Shicker, Lashbrook, and Gail Walls, but they refused to
investigate his claims of inadequate care. (Id. at
pp. 8-10, 15-16). They were also aware of systemic problems
with the healthcare unit through Plaintiff's and other
inmate's grievances and lawsuits, but they ignored the
complaints. (Id. at pp. 9-10). Plaintiff notified
Dr. Siddiqui, Gail Walls, Angela Crain, Dr. Ritz, Dr.
Shicker, Baldwin, Lashbrook, Frank Lawrence, Hillerman, and
NP Zimmer of the pain in his left side on numerous occasions.
(Id. at p. 16).
further alleges that the inappropriate care that he received
for his kidney infection is a result of several other Wexford
policies. Wexford has a policy and practice of understaffing
the healthcare unit, providing improper training, and of
instructing its employees to view inmate's claims as
false. As a result, a number of Plaintiff's sick call
requests were ignored and when he did finally see the doctor,
his complaints of pain were ignored because they believed he
was lying. (Id. at pp. 4, 7). Plaintiff also alleges
that improper training led to misdiagnosis of his condition
as a UTI. (Id. at pp. 12-13). Wexford also has a
policy of cancelling call passes when the institution is on
lockdown which prevented Plaintiff from receiving care on
numerous occasions. (Id. at pp. 22-23). He also
alleges that Baldwin, Lashbrook, Lawrence, and Shicker were
aware of systemic problems with the healthcare at Menard,
including overcrowding at Menard and understaffing of the
healthcare unit but failed to remedy the issues, causing
Plaintiff to be denied access to the healthcare unit when his
call passes were cancelled. (Id. at pp. 27-28).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following Counts:
Count 1: Dr. Siddiqui, Gail Walls, Angela Crain,
Lashbrook, Dr. Ritz, John Baldwin, Frank
Lawrence, Dr. Louis Shicker, and NP Zimmer were deliberately
indifferent in the treatment of Plaintiff's kidney
infection in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 2: Wexford Health Sources, Inc. was
deliberately indifferent in maintaining
policies that led to Plaintiff not receiving timely,
appropriate care in violation of the Eighth
Count 3: Dr. Siddiqui, Gail Walls, Angela Crain,
Lashbrook, Dr. Ritz, John Baldwin, Frank
Lawrence, Dr. Louis Shicker, NP Zimmer, and Wexford's
failure to provide him with appropriate care amounted to
intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Count 4: Baldwin, Lashbrook, Lawrence, Shicker, and
Wexford were deliberately indifferent to
overcrowding at Menard which caused delays in Plaintiff's
treatment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. Any other claim that
is mentioned in theComplaint but not
addressed in this Order should be considered dismissed