Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Matthews v. Lamb

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 24, 2019

JOSHUA LEE MATTHEWS, Plaintiff,
v.
NICHOLAS LAMB, RANDY PFISTER, JOHN BALDWIN, VICTOR CALLOWAY WALTER NICHOLSON, JILL PARRISH, SARAH JOHNSON, WILLIAM BROWN, NINA WATTS, BRIDGETTE LANKTREE CATHERINE LARRY, INNA MIRSKY, the ESTATE of SALEH OBAISI, KELLY MCCASKLIND, SARA CHESHARECK, MAJOR SAWYER, ANTHONY DAVIS, and DARRELL BARRY. Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          SARA L. ELLIS, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Joshua Lee Matthews, a prisoner formerly confined at the Stateville Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that, during his time at Stateville, between February 24, 2011 and June 7, 2017, he suffered unconstitutional and inhumane prison conditions, and did not receive treatment for serious medical needs. In his first amended complaint, Matthews names a number of Stateville wardens, correctional officers, and doctors as Defendants including: Nicholas Lamb, a former Stateville warden; Randy Pfister, a former Stateville warden; and Sarah Johnson, a Stateville administrative review board (“ARB”) officer. Matthews also names John Baldwin, a former Illinois Department of Corrections director as a Defendant. Defendants Baldwin, Johnson, Lamb, and Pfister (collectively, the “Moving Defendants”) now move for judgment on the pleadings on Matthews’ two deliberate indifference counts: deliberate indifference to hazardous prison conditions (Count I) against Baldwin, Johnson, Lamb, and Pfister; and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs against Lamb and Johnson (Count II). Because Matthews has properly pleaded deliberate indifference against the Moving Defendants and is not improperly relying on a theory of respondeat superior or making a claim against the prison’s grievance process, the Court denies the Moving Defendants’ motion.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         Matthews began his incarceration in Stateville on February 24, 2011, serving time in various prison cells in F-House, in suicide watch isolation, and in the X-Unit until he moved to Pontiac Correctional Center on June 7, 2017. In early 2015, Matthews received a diagnosis that he was severely mentally ill, suffering from acute anxiety, manic depression, mood disorder, and suicidal thoughts. He repeatedly requested mental health treatment, and Defendants repeatedly denied his requests.

         In April 2015, Matthews attempted suicide, injuring his neck and back. Despite his requests, none of the Defendants treated his injuries. Defendants transferred Matthews to isolated suicide watch, where they did not allow him to shower or give him access to any basic hygiene products. Matthews developed rashes, sores, and skin lesions over his three months on suicide watch. He filed various grievances, complaining of his injuries, the vermin infestations, poor ventilation, extreme temperatures, mold, and structural deterioration, each of which the Defendants either left unanswered or denied.

         Specifically, Matthews filed a grievance on July 9, 2015, that detailed the chronic pain he suffered as a result of the various injuries he incurred while on suicide watch, including neck and back pain, extensive rashes and skin lesions, and respiratory problems due to the restricted air circulation and excessive mold in his prison cell. Lamb returned this grievance as an unsubstantiated emergency grievance.

         Matthews filed a second grievance on July 9, requesting a medical examination for his injuries, which Johnson returned over six months later, claiming that Matthews did not file it within the proper timeframe.

         Matthews filed an emergency grievance on July 15, detailing the lack of medical attention or treatment, and the state of his cell, which had mold, mice, roaches, spiders, unsanitary drinking water, unsanitary leakage from the ceiling and walls, unsanitary flooding and pooling of water, and fecal matter smeared against the door through which he received his meals. Lamb marked the grievance as an unsubstantiated emergency grievance.

         Matthews then wrote a letter to Baldwin, complaining that he was not receiving adequate medical treatment for his mental illness and injuries. Baldwin did not respond.

         Matthews filed another emergency grievance on September 23, detailing the rot and corrosion that had affected his foot while his previous grievances went unanswered. Eventually, Matthews needed three of his toenails surgically removed because of his infection. Lamb returned this grievance as an unsubstantiated emergency. Johnson returned this grievance four months later claiming Matthews did not file it within the proper timeframe.

         Matthews filed another emergency grievance on May 13, 2016, complaining of extreme cold in his cell due to missing and broken window panes, which caused numbness in his extremities. Lamb returned the grievance as an unsubstantiated emergency grievance.

         Matthews filed another emergency grievance on November 7, detailing the mold and paint chips in his cell that made him feel as if he had hot pepper in his throat, as well as the excessive cold, mice, and roaches. Pfister returned the grievance as an unsubstantiated emergency. Johnson requested additional copies and returned the grievance unanswered.

         The officials at Stateville transferred Matthews out of F-House to the X-Unit on November 30, 2016. Matthews filed another emergency grievance that day, stating that his cell was overrun with spiders that were coming out of vents in the walls. Johnson requested a copy and returned the grievance unanswered.

         Matthews filed another emergency grievance on December 3, complaining of mold covering the bars in his cell. Johnson again ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.