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Dino Stamp v. Siddiqui

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 31, 2019

DINO STAMP, B-31893, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Dino Stamp, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for constitutional deprivations that occurred at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”).[1] (Doc. 1, pp. 1-80). Plaintiff claims that while he was at Menard, he was denied timely and adequate medical treatment for hemorrhoids and an anal fistula. Id. He seeks money damages and corrective surgery. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         The Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Section 1915A requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints and filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 9-80): Dr. Siddiqui referred Plaintiff to a surgeon at Memorial Hospital for treatment of hemorrhoids and an anal fistula in 2018.[2] (Doc. 1, p. 6). The surgeon, Dr. Barnett, ultimately performed two procedures on Plaintiff in June and December 2018. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 53-55). Both were unsuccessful and “only made [Plaintiff's] condition worse.” (Id.). Following the first procedure, Plaintiff reported drainage of fecal matter from his wound and pain that persisted for months. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 9-80). Dr. Siddiqui eventually prescribed him a course of antibiotics in August 2018 but said there was nothing more he could do. The doctor referred Plaintiff to the surgeon for further evaluation and recommended sitz baths to soothe the pain.[3] (Id.). Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding his delayed post-operative care, unabated wound drainage, and ongoing pain in October 2018. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 9-11). Dr. Siddiqui and Angela Crain (health care unit (“HCU”) administrator) waited until March 2019 to respond. By this time, Plaintiff had undergone a second surgery and a prison transfer. (Id.). He continues to suffer daily pain and seeks corrective surgery. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate a single count in this the pro se action:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for responding to Plaintiff's hemorrhoids and anal fistula with deliberate indifference.

         The 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 the Complaint but not addressed herein should be considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[4]


         The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution imposes a duty on government officials to provide medical care to inmates. Townsend v. Cooper, 759 F.3d 678, 689 (7th Cir. 2014). Prison officials violate the Eighth Amendment when they exhibit deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). Plaintiff's medical conditions were diagnosed by a physician as requiring surgical treatment and are therefore sufficiently serious to support a claim. Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d 1364, 1373 (7th Cir. 1997) (defining serious medical need to include those conditions that have been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment or are so obvious that a lay person would recognize the need for treatment).

         Dr. Siddiqui allegedly responded to the conditions with deliberate indifference when he delayed post-operative care following the first procedure in June 2018 and denied care following the second procedure in December 2018. Although Plaintiff regularly complained of wound drainage and pain, the allegations suggest that the doctor persisted in an ineffective course of treatment with antibiotics and sitz baths before simply ignoring Plaintiff.[5] See Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435, 438 (7th Cir. 2010) (persisting in an easy but ineffective course of treatment that unnecessarily prolongs an inmate's pain and suffering can constitute deliberate indifference). Count 1 shall receive further review against Dr. Siddiqui.

         The allegations do not support a deliberate indifference claim against HCU Administrator Crain. This defendant allegedly waited almost five months to respond to Plaintiff's October 2018 grievance. Plaintiff did not address the grievance to her, however, and he describes no other direct or indirect contact with her about inadequate medical care. (Doc. 1, pp. 53-55). Count 1 shall be dismissed without prejudice against HCU Administrator Crain.

         Finally, the allegations support no claim of deliberate indifference against Dr. Barnett, the surgeon who performed two procedures on Plaintiff in 2018. A private medical provider may be liable for constitutional deprivations under Section 1983 in certain situations. See, e.g., West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42 (1988) (holding physician who is under contract with the State to provide medical services to inmates at a state prison on a part-time basis acts “under color of state law” within the meaning of Section 1983 when treating an inmate). But even if the Court assumes without deciding that Dr. Barnett acted under color of state law when treating Plaintiff, the allegations do not suggest that the surgeon acted with deliberate indifference. Plaintiff simply alleges that the surgeries were unsuccessful. This is not enough to establish medical malpractice, let alone deliberate indifference. Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 728 (7th Cir. 2016) (citing Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106) (Supreme Court has determined that plaintiffs must show more than mere evidence of malpractice to prove deliberate indifference). Count 1 shall be dismissed without prejudice against Dr. Barnett for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         Request for ...

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