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Larue v. Mills

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

July 15, 2019

TERREL LARUE, Plaintiff,
v.
DONALD MILLS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          RUBEN CASTILLO JUDGE

         Terrell Larue ("Plaintiff), a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), brings this action against the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"), IDOC Health Administrator Donald Mills ("Mills"), IDOC Director John R. Baldwin ("Baldwin"), Ghaliah Obaisi ("Obaisi") as executor of the estate of Dr. Saleh Obaisi, who was an IDOC medical doctor, former Stateville warden Randy Pfister ("Pfister"), current Stateville warden Walter Nicholson ("Nicholson"), and Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford"), alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Illinois law. (R. 1, Compl.; R. 14-1, Second Am. Compl.) Before the Court is Wexford and Obaisi's (collectively, "the Wexford Defendants") motion to dismiss (R. 31, Wexford Defs.' Mot.) and Nicholson, Mills, Baldwin, and IDOC's (collectively, "the IDOC Defendants") motion to dismiss. (R, 37, IDOC Defs.' Mot.) For the following reasons, both motions are granted.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is a prisoner at Stateville. (R. 14-1, Second Am. Compl. ¶ 15.) Since at least 2015, he complained to numerous medical professionals and administrators of pain and a bulge in his left testicle. (Id.) Over time, his pain intensified and, as a result, he began to have trouble walking, standing, sleeping, and breathing. (Id. ¶ 16.) In October and November 2017, Plaintiff filed two grievance reports, complaining of his worsening condition and about how his requests for medical attention since 2015 had been ignored. (Id. ¶¶ 17-19.)

         In November 2017, Plaintiff was examined by Dr. Saleh Obaisi, who diagnosed Plaintiff with a hernia and told him that he would be sent for surgery. (Id. ¶I9.) He was seen again by Dr. Obaisi later that month because his pain had intensified. (Id. ¶ 20.) Dr. Obaisi told Plaintiff that he would be sent for surgery soon. (Id.) Thereafter, Plaintiffs pain continued to worsen and he continued complaining to nurses and correctional officers regarding his condition. (Id. ¶¶ 21, 24.) Plaintiff requested to see Mills, who informed him that he would look into it and let him know when the surgery would take place. (Id. ¶ 23.) He also wrote letters to Pfister, who was the warden at the time, but he never received any response. (Id. ¶ 24, ) Plaintiff was sent for surgery on July 10, 2018, roughly eight months after his first visit with Dr. Obaisi. (Id. ¶ 25.) Plaintiff complains of the delay in obtaining the surgery and of the pain he suffered as a result, (Id. ¶ 26.) He brings a Section 1983 claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment against all defendants, a negligence claim against all defendants, and a breach of contract claim against IDOC and Wexford. (Id. ¶¶ 27-57.)

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint against Defendants on February 2, 2018. (R. 1, Compl.) Counsel was appointed on May 25, 2018, and Plaintiff thereafter filed a first amended complaint. (R. 11, First Am. Compl.) Several months later, Plaintiff sought leave to file a second amended complaint, incorporating additional facts. (R. 14, Mot. Second Am. Compl.) Plaintiff properly attached his proposed second amended complaint to his motion. (R. 14-1, Second Am. Compl.) Although leave was granted to file the second amended complaint (R. 22, Min. Order), Plaintiff did not subsequently separately file it. The Court nevertheless considers the second amended complaint attached to the motion as the operative complaint.

         On February 8, 2019, the Wexford Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiffs first amended complaint in part despite that by then it had been superseded by the second amended one. (R. 31, Wexford Defs.' Mot. at 1.) On March 1, 2019, Plaintiff responded in opposition, without noting the oversight. (R. 36, Resp. Wexford Defs.' Mot.) The Wexford Defendants filed a reply on March 15, 2019. (R. 40, Reply.) On the same day, the IDOC Defendants also moved to dismiss the first amended complaint. (R. 37, IDOC Defs.' Mot.) Plaintiff responded in opposition on April 17, 2019 (R. 43, Pl's Resp. IDOC's Mot.), and the IDOC Defendants filed their reply on May 1, 2019. (R. 45, IDOC Defs.' Reply.) Because the parties fully briefed the motions, and the allegations of the second amended complaint do not vary from the allegations of the earlier one in a way that affects this Court's analysis on the motions, the Court construes them as if they had been directed against the operative complaint.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) "challenges the viability of a complaint by arguing that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." Firestone Fin. Corp. v. Meyer, 796 F.3d 822, 825 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted). In order to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must allege enough factual information to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Doe v. Vill. of Arlington Heights, 782 F.3d 911, 914 (7th Cir. 2015). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content which allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)).

         When reviewing a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court accepts all well-pled facts as true and views them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Camasta v. Jos A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., 761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014). However, mere conclusory statements are insufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, and the Court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Olson v. Champaign County, 784 F.3d 1093, 1099 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).

         ANALYSIS

         I. Section 1983 Claim (Count 1)

         A. ...


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