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Stewart v. Lashbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 27, 2019

JAVAR STEWART, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, MICHAEL D. SCOTT, KIMBERLY FERRARI, WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., SALVADOR GODINEZ, and LOUIS SHICKER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL Chief U.S. District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Mark A. Beatty (Doc. 113), which recommends the undersigned deny the partial motions to dismiss filed by Defendants Jaqueline Lashbrook, [1] Salvador Godinez, [2] and Louis Shicker[3] (“the IDOC Defendants”) (Doc. 70), and Defendants Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Kimberly Ferrari, and Michael D. Scott (“the Wexford Defendants”) (Doc. 77). Defendants timely objected to the Report and Recommendation (Docs. 116, 117). Plaintiff Javar Stewart filed a response to these objections (Doc. 118). For the reasons set forth below, both the IDOC Defendants and the Wexford Defendants objections are sustained. The Court respectfully rejects Judge Beatty’s Report and Recommendation and grants both motions to dismiss Count 5 of the Amended Complaint.

         Background

         Stewart, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for claims arising from allegedly delayed medical treatment for a knee injury (Doc. 1). He was subsequently appointed counsel, who filed an Amended Complaint, adding several defendants and asserting a putative class action (Doc. 59). Stewart’s Amended Complaint was divided into five counts:

Count 1: Claim for alleged violation of the Plaintiff’s rights under the Eighth Amendment against Defendant Jacqueline Lashbrook;
Count 2: Claim for alleged violation of the Plaintiff’s rights under the Eighth Amendment against Defendant Kimberly Ferrari;
Count 3: Claim for alleged violation of the Plaintiff’s rights under the Eighth Amendment against Defendant Michael Scott;
Count 4: Claim for alleged violation of the Plaintiff’s rights under the Eighth Amendment against Defendant Wexford;
Count 5: Claim for alleged violation of the putative class members’ rights under the Eighth Amendment against Defendants Wexford and the State Defendants.

         Stewart’s Amended Complaint, specifically Count 5, indicates that he will seek to move for class status to represent “all inmates who are or will be under the direct care and medical supervision of the named Defendants and subjected to the policies and practices in the provision of medical care.” (Doc. 59, p.17, ¶ 123; pp. 24-25, ¶¶150-154).

         Defendants now seek dismissal of Count 5 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Alternatively, they seek to strike Count 5 under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f). More specifically, Defendants argue Count 5 should be dismissed because the members of Stewart’s proposed class are already part of, and thus bound by, an “essentially identical” certified class in Lippert, et al. v. Baldwin, et al., pending in the Northern District of Illinois (Case No. 10-cv-4603). The Rule 23(b)(2) class in Lippert has been certified as representing “all prisoners in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) requiring medical care and treatment while incarcerated.” (Lippert, 10-4603, Doc. 534, p. 20).

         Stewart’s Amended Complaint claims that the lack of adequate care from the IDOC Defendants and Wexford Defendants has exposed all inmates to substantial risk of harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment (Doc. 59, p.2, ¶4). Specific to Count 5, Stewart asserts, on behalf of the putative class, that Defendants failed to provide: (1) adequate staffing on weekends and holidays; (2) health care providers possessing the requisite education, training, and experience; (3) prompt referrals for off-site medical care; and (4) timely emergency treatment. (Id., p.25, ¶152). Stewart prayed for a mandatory injunction requiring the Wexford Defendants and the IDOC Defendants to submit and implement a plan describing the measures they will take to provide constitutionally-adequate care and services. (Id. at, p.26, ¶3).

         The Lippert class action also alleges that the health care provided to incarcerated individuals in the IDOC violates Eighth Amendment constitutional standards. (Lippert, 10-4603, Doc. 534, p. 1). Specifically, the Lippert class identifies nine IDOC policies and practices that put the class at a substantial risk of harm, in pertinent part: (1) failing to fill medical leadership and other medical staff vacancies; (2) permitting under-qualified medical professionals to treat prisoners; (3) failing to timely identify medical problems at reception and intrasystem transfer; and (6) delaying and denying specialty care (Id., p.6). The Lippert class prayed for injunctive relief barring unconstitutional practices and requiring the IDOC to submit and implement a plan to address these violations. (Id., p.1).

         The Report and ...


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