United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
AARON D. GRIMSLEY, #S09620, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCE, SHAW, LORIE CUNNINGHAM, STOVER, and LYNN PITTMAN, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Aaron D. Grimsley, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently incarcerated at Danville Correctional
Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights that
occurred while he was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional
Center (“Lawrence”). He asserts claims under the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments for deficient medical care.
He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires
the Court to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out
nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion
of the 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 of the
pro se complaint are to be liberally construed.
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816,
821 (7th Cir. 2009).
makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Plaintiff
was an inmate at Lawrence from May 2018 to April 2019. (Doc.
1, p. 6). During that time, he suffered from a severe ear
infection that caused bleeding, wax buildup, hearing issues,
burning sensations, and green drainage. (Id.). He
sought proper medical treatment from Wexford Health Source,
Health Administrator Lorie Cunningham, Nurse Practitioner
Stove,  Dr. Shaw, and Dr. Lynn Pittman. He was
prescribed antibiotics for nearly a year that did work and
caused issues with his internal organs. Each defendant chose
to blatantly ignore and disregard his pleas for proper
December 1, 2018, Plaintiff saw Dr. Shaw and was told his ear
was fine-even though it was draining green fluid and smelled
bad. On January 7, 2019, Nurse Practitioner Stove saw his ear
draining green fluid. On January 20, 2019, his ear was
bleeding, and a C/O arranged for him to be seen at the Health
Care Unit (“HCU”). On January 21, 2019, Dr. Shaw
ordered a culture but was dismissive and refused to look in
Plaintiff's ear to determine why it is was bleeding.
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide this action into the following counts:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants
for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need by
denying Plaintiff proper medical care for an ear
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment
“discrimination-equal protection” claim against
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. The designations do not
constitute an opinion regarding their merit. Any
other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not
addressed in this Order should be considered
dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under the
Twombly pleading standard.
reasons explained below, the Complaint does not survive
preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and will be
dismissed. Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on
personal liability and predicated upon fault. Therefore,
“to be liable under § 1983, the individual
defendant must have caused or participated in a
constitutional deprivation.” Pepper v. Village of
Oak Park, 430 F.3d 805, 810 (7th Cir. 2005). To state a
claim against a defendant, a plaintiff must describe what the
defendant did or failed to do that violated the
plaintiff's constitutional rights. The plaintiff is also
required to associate specific defendants with specific
claims so that defendants are put on notice of the claims
brought against them and they can properly answer the
Complaint. Twombly, 550 at 555; FED. R. CIV. P.
8(a)(2). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, the
Complaint must include a short, plain statement of the case
against each individual. Allegations made collectively
against a group of defendants fails to comply with Rule 8.
Further, threadbare, conclusory allegations are insufficient
to state a claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581
(7th Cir. 2009). Count 1
officials impose cruel and unusual punishment in violation of
the Eighth Amendment when they are deliberately indifferent
to a serious medical need. Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Chatham v. Davis, 839 F.3d 679,
684 (7th Cir. 2016). To state a claim for deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need, an inmate must show
that (1) he suffered from an objectively serious medical
condition; and (2) the defendant was deliberately indifferent
to a risk of serious harm from that condition. Rasho v.
Elyea, 856 F.3d 469, 475-76 (7th Cir. 2017).
claim against Defendants Shaw, Stove, Pittman, and Cunningham
fails on the second element. Although the Complaint suggests
that Plaintiff did not receive proper medical treatment for
an ear infection, it does not include allegations sufficient
to establish that the individual Defendants failed to
appropriately treat Plaintiff's medical condition and
acted with the requisite state of mind regarding his medical
care. Plaintiff provides the dates of two visits with Dr.
Shaw and one with Nurse Practitioner Stove and minimal
information on what transpired during those visits. Apart
from that limited information, the Complaint contains
conclusory and collective allegations against Defendants.
Additionally, the Complaint does ...