United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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”). (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).
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.
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. (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. (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,
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to designate a single count in this the pro
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against
Defendants for responding to Plaintiff's hemorrhoids and
anal fistula with deliberate indifference.
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
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).
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. 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.
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.
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.