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Parada v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 30, 2019

HECTOR PARADA, # M09010, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., AND VENERIO SANTOS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PHILIP G. REINHARD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE [1]

         Plaintiff Hector Parada, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Lincoln Correctional Center (“Lincoln”), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 while housed at Centralia Correctional Center (“Centralia”). Plaintiff alleges that he has not received adequate medical care for a skin rash, as well as chronic debilitating headaches, back and leg pain, and other recurring ailments. He seeks injunctive and monetary relief.

         This 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). 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

         In his complaint, plaintiff appears to allege that he has received inadequate medical care for at least two different sets of conditions. ([1]). His complaint is hard to follow, as he appears to have omitted several pages of this court's fill-in-the-blank Section 1983 form. However, he has included copies of grievances and a medical record which are properly considered part of the complaint. Bogie v. Rosenberg, 705 F.3d 603, 609 (7th Cir. 2013). The grievances and other documents contain information about plaintiff's skin condition and his chronic conditions and the failure to adequately treat those conditions.

         In a November 15, 2016 grievance, plaintiff complained that when he arrived at Centralia in May of 2016, he told Dr. Santos about a previous diagnosis of a skin condition, but Santos only gave him allergy medications which had no effect on the condition ([1] at 13). In the grievance, plaintiff references a medical visit prior to his time at Centralia where it was allegedly concluded that he should undergo more comprehensive testing to understand the particular nature of his skin condition (Id.). Thus, he sought urine and serological studies, as well as treatment via two specific medications (Id.). The Counselor's Response portion, dated November 23, 2016, stated that Santos saw plaintiff on November 14, 2016, and concluded no further testing was appropriate but that he would see plaintiff again in three weeks (Id.). The grievance was deemed a non-emergency (Id.). A subsequent Grievance Officer's Report concluded that plaintiff was receiving needed treatment, the Chief Administrative Officer concurred, and plaintiff appealed on December 13, 2016 (Id. at 15).

         A handwritten letter from plaintiff to the ARB dated December 12, 2016, discusses a biopsy of his skin taken at the University of Illinois ([1] at 9). In the letter, plaintiff states that there are two medications that could be used to treat a fungus that was detected on his skin and requests treatment via those medications (Id.). He appended the surgical pathology report from the University of Illinois which indicates, “the findings are not entirely specific as to specific disease process. …Therefore an additional sample may be helpful to further characterize the disease process in this patient, with a portion sent for bacterial and fungal cultures.” (Id. at 10). The medical document also notes that the biopsy was done on the right forearm of a “generalized rash mostly macular pruritic unresponsive to steroids and antifungal agents, present for 9-10 years.” (Id. at 11). Stamps on the medical report reflect that it was received by the ARB on December 23, 2016 and May 15, 2017 (Id.).

         Plaintiff also filed a grievance on May 2, 2017, complaining of health conditions that have developed over the last five years including: frequent and debilitating headaches, chronic low back pain, extending into his legs; debilitating leg weakness; plantar fascia pain; chronic stomach pain; frequent nausea; night sweats; abdominal swelling; and, synchronization ([1] at 16). Plaintiff alleged that he visited the clinic at least eight times that year alone, often paying a copay for these chronic problems, to no avail (Id.). Plaintiff sought to be reimbursed for co-pays and to receive immediate medical care on-site or off-site for his chronic conditions (Id. at 2). He alleged that Santos has prescribed him various medications upon each “assumptive diagnosis” but that he has seen no improvements (Id.). The grievance was marked as an expedited emergency on May 10, 2017 (Id. at 1).

         On May 10, 2017, Grievance Officer Susan Walker reviewed the May 2, 2017 grievance that had been deemed an emergency ([1] at 16-18). Walker recited information gathered from the healthcare unit (Id. at 18). She learned that plaintiff apparently has not complained of any chronic conditions from his date of confinement-May 24, 2016, until March 20, 2017 (Id.). On March 22, 2017, plaintiff apparently was seen by Santos for some of the chronic conditions, but Santos concluded that his complaints were not specific, and a physical exam did not reveal accompanying symptoms (Id.). Apparently, plaintiff was also seen on April 3, 2017 for annual review, but there is no information about the substance of that visit (Id.).

         In his complaint, plaintiff names Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”) and its employee Santos as defendants. He alleges that “Santos intentionally denies adequate and proper medical treatment to inmates as a means of cost-effectiveness in order to receive a bonus from Wexford at the end of the year according to the Wexford Contract with its employees, staff, and providers.” ([1] at 3).

         Based on the limited information available, the court can discern three potential claims presented in the complaint. To the extent there may be additional allegations on the missing pages of the court's complaint form, plaintiff may file an amended complaint setting forth all his claims in a single pleading.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations in the complaint, the court finds it convenient to divide the pro se ...


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