United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Billy Palmer, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff asserts a
deliberate indifference claim under the Eighth Amendment
against Defendants for failing to properly treat his prostate
cancer. He seeks monetary damages.
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).
Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations: From
January 2014 to December 2015, Plaintiff had seven elevated
prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. (Doc. 1-2, p. 4; Doc.
1, p. 14). During that time, he was treated by Dr. Trost,
Menard Correctional Center's on-site physician. (Doc.
1-2, p. 5; Doc. 1, pp. 19, 21, 22, 23, 24). Dr. Ritz was also
involved in Plaintiff's treatment and/or referral
decisions. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Plaintiff was prescribed Flomax
and Hytrin for his elevated PSA and enlarged prostate. (Doc.
1-2, p. 5). Plaintiff did not receive any additional
diagnostic testing or treatment for prostate cancer while at
Menard. (Doc. 1-2, pp. 18-20).
transfer to Lawrence in January 2016, Dr. Ritz and Dr. Coe
reviewed Plaintiff's medical chart regarding the need for
an oncology consult. At that time, Dr. Ritz noted that, per
the records, Plaintiff had a history of elevated PSA and
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) but had not had a prostate
biopsy and was not diagnosed with prostate cancer. (Doc. 1-2,
pp. 5-6; Doc. 1, p. 25). Dr. Coe made a referral to Dr. Gary
Reagan, Crossroads Urology and Women's Health. (Doc. 1-2,
p. 6; Doc. 1, pp. 26, 27, 28). Dr. Reagan noted Plaintiff had
a history of BPH and elevated PSA and recommended an
ultrasound guided prostate needle biopsy. Id. Dr.
Coe made the referral for the procedure and it was approved
by Wexford. (Doc. 1-2, p. 8; Doc. 1, pp. 33, 34).
April 2016, the biopsy was performed, and the pathology
report noted a “prostatic adenocarcinoma.” (Doc.
1-2, p. 8; Doc. 1, pp. 35, 37). Dr. Reagan ordered a
whole-body nuclear medicine bone scan based on the diagnosis
of primary malignant neoplasm of prostate. (Doc. 1-2, p. 9;
Doc. 1-1, p. 1). Dr. Coe made the referral for the whole-body
scan and it was approved by Wexford based on the new
diagnosis of prostate cancer by biopsy. (Doc. 1-2, p. 9; Doc.
1-1, pp. 5-6). Dr. Coe referred Plaintiff back to Dr. Reagan
based on the prostate cancer, which was approved by Wexford.
(Doc. 1-2, p. 9; Doc. 1-1, p. 7). Plaintiff saw Dr. Reagan on
July 11, 2016; he recommended follow-up regarding the
prostate cancer but did not offer or provide treatment at
that time. (Doc. 1-2, p. 10; Doc. 1-1 p. 8). Based on another
referral approved by Wexford, Plaintiff saw Dr. Reagan in
December 2016. (Doc. 1-2, p. 11; Doc. 1-2 pp. 10-11).
Plaintiff expressed his concerns regarding his prostate
cancer, and Dr. Reagan told him it is very common in his age
group to have a small area of low-grade prostate cancer.
(Doc. 1-2, p. 11; Doc. 1-1 p. 12-15). They discussed a repeat
ultrasound biopsy as part of an observation protocol.
March 2017, Wexford physicians Dr. Ritz and Dr. Shah approved
a request for a urology follow-up and repeat
ultrasound-guided prostate needle biopsy. (Doc. 1-2, p. 12;
Doc. 1-1, p. 20). Plaintiff saw Dr. Reagan and the repeat
biopsy, approved by Wexford, was performed in August 2017.
(Doc. 1-1, pp. 22, 26; Doc. 1-2, p. 12). The pathology from
the procedure reported an “adenocarcinoma.” (Doc.
1-1, p. 27). In September 2017, Dr. Reagan advised Plaintiff
of the results and the available treatment options including
an observation protocol versus radical prostatectomy versus
radiation therapy. (Doc. 1-2, p. 13; Doc. 1-1, pp. 29-30).
Plaintiff chose radiation therapy. Id.
October 2017, Dr. Duncan recommended a CT abdomen and pelvis
to rule out adenopathy and metastatic disease, a bone scan to
rule out bone mets, and marker (polymark) placement with Dr.
Reagan. (Doc. 1-2, p. 14; Doc. 1-1, pp. 34, 37). All were
approved by Wexford. (Doc. 1-2, p. 15; Doc. 1-1, p. 38). An
ultrasound-guided prostate needle marker placement was
performed in January 2018. (Doc. 1-2, p. 15; Doc. 1-1, p.
39). This procedure caused Plaintiff severe discomfort and
pain and his “blood was infected by the improper
placement of the polymarker.” (Doc. 1-2, p. 15).
February 2018, Dr. Ahmed referred Plaintiff for radiation
therapy, which was approved by Wexford. (Doc. 1-2, p. 16;
Doc. 1-1, pp. 40-41). On February 20, 2018, Dr. Duncan noted
Plaintiff was tolerating radiation therapy well. (Doc. 1-2,
p. 16; Doc. 1-1, p. 42). Plaintiff completed radiation
therapy in early 2018. (Doc. 1-2, p. 17).
continues to have blood in his urine and pain when he
urinates. Id. He placed sick call requests for these
issues in December 2018 and January and February 2019.
Id. He was told to wait until he sees Dr. Reagan in
March 2019. Id.
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to designate the following counts:
Count 1: Eighth and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim
against Defendants Trost, Ritz, Baldwin, and Wexford for
deliberate indifference from January 2014 to December 2015
relating to Plaintiff's prostate cancer.
Count 2: Eighth and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim
against Defendants Coe, Reagan, Duncan, Ahmed, Baldwin,
and Wexford for deliberate indifference from
January 2016 to February 2018 relating to Plaintiff's
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. The designations do not
constitute an opinion regarding their merit. Any
other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not
addressed in this Order should be considered
dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled
under the Twombly pleading