United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
Timothy D. Thompson, Plaintiff,
P.A. Barbara Davis and Dr. Taiwo Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Thomas M. Durkin, United States District Judge.
Timothy D. Thompson brings this action against Dr. Taiwo and
physician's assistant Barbara Davis for their deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs based on their
failure to timely administer pain medication. The defendants
filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), arguing that Thompson's
claim is barred by a settlement agreement he signed in 2017.
For the following reasons, the motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), a party may move for
judgment on the pleadings “[a]fter the pleadings are
closed-but early enough not to delay trial.” The
standard applied to motions under Rule 12(c) is the same
standard applied to dismissals under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). Buchanan-Moore v. Cnty. of
Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009). The
complaint must provide “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Through this statement,
defendants must be provided with “fair notice” of
the claim and the basis for it. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). This means that the
complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “‘A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.'” Boucher v. Fin. Sys. of Green Bay,
Inc., 880 F.3d 362, 366 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard,
the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Tobey v. Chibucos, 890 F.3d 634, 646 (7th Cir.
Timothy D. Thompson is an inmate of the Cook County
Department of Corrections who suffers from degenerative disc
disease, osteoarthritis, bulging discs, and narrowing of
bilateral neural foramina. R. 9 ¶ 1. Following a 2014
diagnosis by pain specialists at Stroger Hospital, Thompson
was given a course of treatment including two prescription
pain medications, Gabapentin and Tramadol, and regular
injections of epidural steroids. Id. ¶ 3.
Barbara Davis, a physician's assistant, became
Thompson's primary care provider in early 2016.
Id. ¶ 4. Thompson alleges that Davis
intentionally caused him pain and suffering by routinely
allowing his Tramadol prescription to expire and then
refusing to renew it, causing him to go extended periods of
time without the medication. Id. ¶ 5. He also
says that Davis refused his requests to see his specialists
at the pain clinic and prevented him from obtaining epidural
injections with the frequency that his specialists had
recommended. Id. ¶¶ 6-7. According to
Thompson, Davis denied that he had back problems requiring
special treatment, id. ¶¶ 6, 8, and
declined to prescribe him a cane, which caused him to miss
appointments with his pain specialists. Id. ¶
Dr. Taiwo became Thompson's primary care provider in
September or October of 2017. Id. ¶ 10.
Thompson alleges that Dr. Taiwo intentionally caused his
Tramadol prescription to expire, in part based on Davis's
recommendation. Id. ¶¶ 10-11. As of March
2018, Thompson's prescription had been expired since
December 2017, when Dr. Taiwo allowed it to expire.
Id. ¶ 14. Thompson also alleges that Dr. Taiwo
responded dismissively when asked why he made that decision
and when asked what Thompson should do to manage his
increasing pain. Id. ¶¶ 10, 12.
filed this action on May 7, 2018. R. 9 at 1. He previously
filed two other lawsuits under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 relating
to his treatment at the Cook County Department of
Corrections. In the first case, Thompson v.
Khan, No. 14 C 2287 (N.D. Ill. filed Mar. 28, 2014),
Thompson alleged acts of excessive force and deliberate
indifference by numerous officers and medical staff members
in early 2013. The complaint included allegations that
medical staff members denied him his pain medication and
allowed his prescription to expire. In the second case,
Thompson v. Soto, No. 14 C 4644 (N.D. Ill. filed
June 18, 2014), Thompson brought an excessive force claim
against officers who allegedly mistreated him in 2014.
eventually settled both Soto and Khan
through an agreement with the State's Attorney of Cook
County, dated December 5, 2017 (the “Settlement
Agreement”). R. 30-1. The Settlement Agreement
contained a release that provides, in relevant part:
Plaintiff for himself, his heirs and personal
representatives, fully and forever releases, acquits and
discharges Defendants, and their agents, employees and former
employees and agents, either in their official or individual
capacities, from any and all actions suits, debts, sums of
money, accounts and all claims and demands of whatever
nature, in law or in equity, including but not limited to any
and all claims for Constitutional violations against
Plaintiff and/or any damaged or destroyed property, and any
costs accrued arising out of Plaintiff's interaction with
Defendants, Cook County, the Cook County Sheriff's
Office, and/or any employees or agents of Defendants or Cook
County or the Cook County Sheriff's Office which is the
subject of Thompson v. Khan, et al., 14-cv-2287 or
Thompson v. Soto, et al., 14-cv-4644, or any claim
or suit which Plaintiff, his heirs, assigns and legal
representatives, may heretofore or hereafter have had by
reason of said incidents, including but not limited to any
and all claims for Constitutional violations against
Plaintiff, state law claims, injunctive relief claims, and/or
any damaged or destroyed property, as well as other claims,
known or unknown, against Defendants, Cook County, the Cook
County Sheriff's Office, or their respective current or
former agents or employees which occurred prior to the
execution date of this Agreement (hereinafter collectively
referred to as “Claims”) and any costs accrued in
connection with the Claims against Defendants. This
is a general release.
R. 30-1 ¶ 6 (bold in original). Thompson brings this
action against Davis and Dr. Taiwo for deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs. The defendants now
move for judgment on the pleadings, contending that the
Settlement Agreement precludes Thompson's claim.
Applicability of the ...