United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Manith Vilayhong, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Centralia Correctional Center (“Centralia”),
brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights.
In the First Amended Complaint,  Plaintiff claims he has been
denied adequate medical care for chronic bilateral ear
infections and thrush by Centralia's physician (Doctor
Santos) and health care unit administrator (Nurse Nalewajka).
(Doc. 14, pp. 1-25; Doc. 14-1, pp. 1-90). He seeks
declaratory judgment, money damages, and injunctive relief in
the form of a referral to an ear, nose, and throat
(“ENT”) specialist. (Doc. 14, p. 12). In August
2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction
(Doc. 10) and Supplement (Doc. 12) in which he complains of
ongoing symptoms of infection and pain and requests interim
relief. The Court will therefore take up this matter without
delay. Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 689
F.3d 680 (7th Cir. 2012).
First Amended Complaint is now before the Court for
preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
requires the Court to screen prisoner Complaints to 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.
makes the following allegations in the First Amended
Complaint (Doc. 14, pp. 1-25; Doc. 14-1, pp. 1-90): Plaintiff
suffers from chronic bilateral middle ear
infections. (Doc. 14, p. 4). Antibiotic treatment for
the infections caused him to develop thrush in his ears,
mouth, and possibly esophagus. (Id.). He continues
to suffer from both conditions. (Id.).
began complaining of increased ear pressure, distorted
hearing, vertigo, tinnitus, and pain on January 17, 2019.
(Id. at p. 5). Doctor Santos and Nurse Nalewajka
acknowledged the seriousness of his ear infection in late
January 2019. (Id.). They nevertheless waited 71
days before swabbing Plaintiff's ears in an effort to
diagnose and treat the infection. (Id. at p. 6). In
the meantime, they ignored his complaints of pain and
insisted he was fine. (Id.).
Santos did not begin treating the ear infections until April
4, 2019, when he prescribed several rounds of antibiotics
that proved ineffective. (Id.). They also caused
Plaintiff to develop thrush, which was treated unsuccessfully
with probiotics. (Id. at p. 7). Plaintiff's
symptoms persisted, but the medical providers told Plaintiff
his infections were gone in early June 2019. (Id. at
p. 8). When Plaintiff's grandmother requested treatment
on Plaintiff's behalf, Doctor Santos and Nurse Nalewajka
simply turned a blind eye to his medical conditions. In early
July, 2019, Nurse Jane Doe and Doctor Meyer met with
Plaintiff and agreed that neither condition was resolved.
(Id. at p. 10). Plaintiff still exhibited symptoms
of bilateral ear infections and thrush. (Id.).
Doctor Meyer took swabs and submitted a request for an ENT
referral. (Id.). Plaintiff was still waiting to hear
the results on July 8, 2019, just before filing this action.
for Preliminary Injunction and Supplement
Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed August 2, 2019,
Plaintiff explains that he was diagnosed with a Candida
infection sometime after July 8, 2019. (Doc. 10). The
infection has grown worse. (Id.). He transferred to
the HCU for intravenous treatment with Fortaz. (Id.
at p. 1). Doctor Santos nevertheless cancelled the request
for an ENT referral and told Plaintiff that
“collegial” denied it as unnecessary.
(Id. at p. 2). When Plaintiff pointed out that he
suffers from Staph and Candida, Doctor Santos
disagreed until Plaintiff showed the doctor his medical
records. Doctor Santos then “downplayed” the
significance of these infections but admitted that Plaintiff
probably developed a resistance to antibiotic treatment.
However, instead of administering a blood test to determine
the scope of the infections and best course of treatment,
Doctor Santos told Plaintiff to just “deal” with
his symptoms of pain and hearing distortions/loss.
Motion to Supplement filed August 5, 2019, Plaintiff adds
that he was discharged from Centralia's HCU on July 30,
2019 and continues to experience excruciating ear pain. (Doc.
12, pp. 1-2). He provides additional medical records to
support his request for a referral to an ENT for proper
diagnosis and treatment of both conditions. (Doc. 12-1, pp.
on the allegations in the First Amended Complaint, the Court
finds it convenient to designate a single count at issue in
this pro se action:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Doctor Santos and Nurse Nalewajka
for delaying or denying Plaintiff adequate medical care for
his chronic bilateral ear infections and thrush in 2019.
other claim that is mentioned in the First Amended Complaint
but not addressed hereinshould be
considered dismissed without ...