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Charleston v. Jones

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 2, 2019

CALEB CHARLESTON, #M34856, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN JONES, J. SCHOENVECK, C/O WESTERMAN, C/O WOOLEY, C/O MCCALEB, C/O CARON, C/O GARDNER, SHAUN GEE, HEATHER MCGEE, JOHN DOE 1, JOHN DOE 2, JOHN DOE 3, JOHN DOE 4, JOHN DOE 5, JOHN DOE 6, JOHN DOE 7, JOHN DOE 8, JOHN DOE 9, JOHN DOE 10, JOHN DOE 11, JOHN DOE 12, and WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCE, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PHILIP G. REINHARD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE [1');">1" name="FN1');">1" id="FN1');">1">1');">1]

         Plaintiff Caleb Charleston, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Illinois River Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1');">1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred while he was in custody at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”). Plaintiff alleges he was attacked by other inmates after notifying corrections officers that he was in danger and then received inadequate medical care following the attack. He requests money damages.

         This case is now before the court for preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1');">191');">15A. Under Section 1');">191');">15A, the court is required to screen prisoner complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1');">191');">15A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1');">191');">15A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 1');">16');">577 F.3d 81');">16, 821');">1 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

          Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the complaint: On September 6, 201');">17, after not being searched or shook down by John Doe correction officers 1');">1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, plaintiff and other inmates from 7 gallery went to the yard. ([1');">1], p. 1');">17). While in the yard, other inmates started to threaten plaintiff with physical violence if he did not leave the yard. He went to John Doe correction officers 7, 8, 9, and 1');">10 for help and told them that other inmates had shanks and were threatening to attack him and asked to leave the yard. The officers laughed at plaintiff and taunted him with racial and homosexual slurs. Id. at p. 1');">18. John Doe 7 told plaintiff to get away from the gate. After returning to the yard, plaintiff was attacked by multiple inmates, who kicked, punched, and stabbed him. Plaintiff states that various officers and warden Jones all watched from behind the gate as he and four other inmates were stabbed. Id. at p. 1');">19.

         Following the incident, while waiting to be handcuffed and escorted from the yard, plaintiff told warden Jones, correction officer Westerman, and lieutenant Schoenveck that he had been stabbed in his right arm and could not move it. Id. at pp. 1');">19, 29. Warden Jones instructed Westerman to cuff him extra tight. Using excessive force, Westerman forced plaintiff's injured arm behind his back causing additional pain to his arm, hands, and wrists.

         At the health care unit, plaintiff was treated by nurse McGee who cleaned and put a small bandage on his stab wound. Id. Even with the bandage, his arm continued to bleed. She said that there was nothing more she could do for him and denied him medicine for the pain. He then told correction officer Wooley, who was in the room with him, that he was in extreme pain and that his arm was still bleeding. Wooley stated that it was not her job to get plaintiff adequate medical treatment, and that she was only there to take pictures of the injuries and bloody clothes. Id. at p. 20. Plaintiff left health care with his arm still bleeding, still in pain, and was never seen by a doctor.

         For the next week plaintiff's arm continued to bleed and he was in extreme pain. At various times he asked several officers and staff, including correction officers Gardner, Wooley, Gee, John Doe 1');">12, McCaleb, and Caron, and mental health staff member Jane Doe 1');">11');">1, for additional medical attention, but was denied. Id. at pp. 20-21');">1.

         Based on the allegations in the complaint, the court finds it convenient to delineate the claims in this case into the following counts (claims):

Count 1');">1: Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim against Jones and John Doe correction officers 1');">1-1');">10.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Jones, Schoenveck, and Westerman for handcuffing plaintiff after he received injuries to his arm.
Count 3: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to a serious medical need claim against Jones, Westerman, Schoenveck, John Does 1');">11');">1 and 1');">12, Wooley, McCaleb, Caron, Gardner, Gee and McGee for failing to provide plaintiff with adequate medical treatment following his attack.

         The parties and the court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this court. Any claim that is mentioned in the complaint but not addressed in this order is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[2]

         Preliminary Dismissals

         Plaintiff has listed Wexford Health Source, Inc. (“Wexford”), as a defendant in the case caption, but he does not describe how Wexford has violated his constitutional rights. To state a claim against Wexford, plaintiff must demonstrate that the alleged wrongdoers acted pursuant to an unconstitutional policy or custom attributable to Wexford. See Jackson v. Ill. Medi-Car, Inc., 300 F.3d 760, 766 n.6 (7th Cir. 2002); Gable v. City of Chicago,1');">1');">296 F.3d 531');">1, 537 (7th Cir.2002). Here, not only has plaintiff not alleged any policy or custom attributable to Wexford, but he has not referenced Wexford in the statement of claim at all. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 1');">1');">355 U.S. 41');">1, 47 (1');">1957)). Merely invoking the name of a potential defendant by listing him or her in ...


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