United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Dennis Thompson, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings
this action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff asserts
that he has not received adequate medical care for his severe
obesity and accompanying chronic pain conditions. He seeks
monetary damages and equitable relief.
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).
makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Plaintiff
is morbidly obese, weighing 350 pounds (Doc. 1, p. 6). His
weight causes him pain and DJD in his knees, shoulders, hips,
cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, as well as acetabular
dysplasia in his right hip (Id.). His deteriorating
medical condition has led to stabbing pain in his back that
radiates into his legs as he walks. As a result, he walks
hunched over and has a reduced range of motion
(Id.). He also suffers from spasms in his pelvis
that cause incontinence (Id.).
has been forced to walk without an assistive walking device
which has severely exacerbated his condition for over two
years and accelerated his physical deterioration
(Id. at 7). Although he was allowed to use a walker
in physical therapy, Defendants Dr. Siddiqui and Crain
repeatedly denied his requests for medical permits that would
allow him to have a walker at all times (Id.).
Plaintiff needed a walker as early as 2016, but, despite his
ongoing severe pain, Dr. Siddiqui did not authorize a walker
until September 27, 2018 (Id. at 7-8). That permit
was temporary, and he did not get a permit for a walker until
December 4, 2018 (Id. at 8). Plaintiff informed
Lashbrook that Dr. Siddiqui and Crain were not giving him
needed accommodations and were not treating his needs as ADA
qualifying. She responded that he could not reasonably expect
all of the medical requests he made to be fulfilled
(Id. at 8-9).
suffered severe shoulder and spinal pain for nearly two
years, during which time Dr. Siddiqui ignored his complaints
that medication did not alleviate the pain (Id. at
9-10). Plaintiff also informed Dr. Siddiqui that he was
having trouble performing routine personal care tasks such as
cleaning his own body (Id.). Dr. Siddiqui refused to
order updated x-rays to monitor the progression of
Plaintiff's DJD because he disliked Plaintiff's
ongoing medical grievances and litigation (Id. at
10). Dr. Siddiqui told him he had no time to render care
because all of his time was spent responding to the
grievances (Id. at 10-11).
Siddiqui finally ordered an updated x-ray in September 2018
after Plaintiff received a favorable decision in another
lawsuit (No. 15-CV-850-NJR) (Id. at 11). The x-ray
revealed further degeneration of his joints, but Dr. Siddiqui
misrepresented the results, stating they were normal
(Id.). When Plaintiff confronted Dr. Siddiqui about
the results, he reluctantly ordered an MRI, but the order was
denied by the Corporate Director of Wexford (Id. at
11-12). In lieu of an MRI, the Director ordered an initial
course of 8 to 12 weeks of physical therapy (Id.).
As of the filing of Plaintiff's Complaint on March 10,
2019, the therapy had not commenced (Id.).
result of the degeneration over time, Plaintiff has
experienced increased difficulty completing basic tasks of
daily life including walking or standing up straight
(Id. at 12). Because he has not received adequate
medical care, he has suffered prolonged severe pain and
physical degeneration (Id. at 17-18). Additionally,
Wexford and Dr. Siddiqui failed to retain a diet specialist
or to send Plaintiff to an outside provider to get treatment
for his food addiction (Id. at 18-19). This
contributed to his DJD and severe pain (Id.). The
denial of a walker also contributed to the conditions of
obesity and DJD because it prevented Plaintiff from getting
any exercise for a prolonged period of time (Id.).
has filed many grievances since Dr. Siddiqui became the lead
medical doctor at Menard (Id. at 12-16). Because of
these grievances, Dr. Siddiqui and Lashbrook have engaged in
retaliatory conduct (Id.). They have both told him
that he grieves too many issues, that they spend copious
amounts of time responding to his lawsuits, and that he
should be thankful for whatever type of care they provide him
is liable via respondeat superior for Dr. Siddiqui's
failure to meet the basic standard of reasonable care because
it can or should control Dr. Siddiqui (Id. at
16-17). Additionally, Wexford is liable for Dr.
Siddiqui's conduct and the prior medical director's
conduct because it has a duty to provide adequate care to
inmates (Id. at 17-18).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide this action into the following Counts:
Count 1: Defendants Lashbrook, Dr. Siddiqui, and Crain
violated the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”) by delaying or denying his access to an
assisted walking device and appropriate housing.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's shoulder and spine problems for continuing
treatment known to be ineffective against Lashbrook and Dr.
Count 3: First Amendment retaliation by Lashbrook and Dr.
Siddiqui for Plaintiff's repeat medical litigation and
Count 4: Violation of Illinois tort laws (735 ILCS §
5/2-622) via medical malpractice and negligence by Dr.