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Burnett v. Chapman

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 3, 2019

TERRY BURNETT, #B14533, Plaintiff,
v.
NATHAN CHAPMAN, DMD ANDY, DENTAL NURSE, WEXFORD INC., JB PRITZKER, JOHN BALDWIN, and LOUIS SHICKER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Terry Burnett, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff asserts Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims related to dental care. (Doc. 1). He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief. (Id.).

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint under 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, 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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in his Complaint: The Illinois prison system is plagued by persistent unremedied failures to provide constitutionally adequate medical and dental care to inmates. (Doc. 1, p. 8). The failures are well known to the State Defendants. In December 2014, a report on the issue of healthcare provided by IDOC for inmates was issued stating, “[t]he State of Illinois has been unable to meet minimal constitutional standards with regard to the adequacy of its healthcare program for the population it serves.” (Id. at 8-9).

         On December 26, 2018, Plaintiff told a C/O that he was in pain because a tooth broke and a filling fell out while he was eating lunch. (Id. at 9). The C/O told him to sign up for sick call. He was seen at sick call by nursing staff the next day and was told he would be put in to see a dentist. (Id. at 9-10).

         On January 5, 2019, Plaintiff had his first visit with the dentist and it was deemed an emergency. (Id. at 10). He was told his #14 tooth needed to be extracted and that it could take up to two months for an appointment to perform the extraction. The dentist put in a temporary filling. On January 15, 2019, the temporary filling and more of his tooth fell out. He wrote to the dentist to inform him what happened and to tell him that he was in pain and felt like his tooth was infected.

         Plaintiff saw Dr. Shah in the call line at the health care unit (HCU) on January 31, 2019 and told him about the pain and infection from his broken tooth. Dr. Shah called the dentist's nurse and she stated that Plaintiff was on the call line for the dentist the next day.

         On February 1, 2019, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Chapman in the dental office and was told he was on the waiting list to have his tooth pulled. Because his tooth was infected, he was given 30 tablets of penicillin (500 mg) and 20 tablets of ibuprofen (400 mg). (Id. at 10-11).

         Plaintiff was called to the dentist on February 15, 2019 to have his #14 tooth removed. (Id. at 11). The dentist had a hard time removing the tooth and Plaintiff received two shots of pain numbing medication. He was given 20 tablets of ibuprofen (800 mg) after the tooth was removed.

         On February 19, 2019, Plaintiff went to sick call. The sick call nurse called the dentist's nurse. The dentist's nurse told Plaintiff that he probably had a sinus problem, not an infection. (Id. at 11, 20). No. one looked in his mouth at the area where the tooth had been pulled. He was given more ibuprofen (400 mg).

         Plaintiff went to sick call for pain and an infection on February 26, 2019 and was seen by nursing staff. Dr. Shah was notified. He was given 30 tablets of penicillin (500 mg) and 20 tablets of ibuprofen (600 mg). He was told he would be put in to see the dentist and that he had a cavity in the tooth next to the one that had been pulled. (Id. at 11-12, 20).

         On March 5, 2019, a large piece of tooth or bone dislodged from the site where Plaintiff's #14 tooth had been pulled and there was bleeding. (Id. at 12). He saw the dentist's nurse and was given gauze to stop the bleeding. Three days later, another piece of tooth or bone dislodged from the same area. He went to sick call and was told by nursing staff that it was probably not infected, just painful because of the pieces of tooth or bone that came out. The nurse did not look in his mouth. He was given 18 tablets of Tylenol (325 mg).

         On March 31, 2019, Plaintiff went to sick call for pain caused by pieces of tooth or bone fragments in the area where has #14 tooth was pulled. (Id. at 13). He was given 20 tablets of ibuprofen (400 mg). Plaintiff sent a request to dental on April 18, 2019 because of pain in the area where his #14 tooth was pulled caused by a piece of sharp tooth or bone fragment.

         On May 12, 2019, a piece of tooth or bone fragment came out a as a result of Plaintiff picking and scratching at it with his fingernail. Plaintiff was called to the dentist on May 25, 2019. He told “Dentist Andy” and the dental nurse that he was no longer in pain because he had picked out the last piece of tooth or bone. Defendants failed to provide Plaintiff with adequate and timely ...


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