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Bogan v. Wexford Health Sources

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 28, 2019

ANTONIO M. BOGAN, #R29595, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, JOHN DOE 1, JOHN DOE 2, and JOHN DOE 3, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF JUDGE:

         Plaintiff Antonio M. Bogan, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Bogan claims Defendants, Wexford Health Sources (“Wexford”) and John Does 1-3 (members of Wexford's utilization management team) have denied and/or delayed necessary medical treatment for a painful cyst in his throat. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief in the form of surgery to relieve the swelling and pain in his throat.

         The Court must review the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 1915A, any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or requests money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se Complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Bogan makes the following allegations in the Complaint (Doc. 1): In December 2018, while Lawrence was on lockdown, Bogan's throat swelled to three times its normal size. (Doc. 1, p. 9). During the lockdown, Bogan submitted numerous requests for treatment, all of which went unanswered. Id. Five to eight days later, when the lockdown ended, Bogan was examined by a physician. Id. The physician ordered blood tests and prescribed oral antibiotics, injectable antibiotics, and Ibuprofen. Id. Approximately six days later, a nurse practitioner examined Bogan. Id. She told Bogan he had a thyroid abscess and prescribed additional antibiotics and Ibuprofen. Id. The initial treatment provided some relief, however, the pain and swelling soon returned. Id. Accordingly, the nurse practitioner ordered an ultrasound. Id. at p. 10.

         On January 31, 2019, after experiencing additional difficulties obtaining treatment, Bogan filed an emergency grievance. (Doc. 1, pp. 10, 15-16). The warden deemed the grievance an emergency and, on February 11, 2019, Bogan was examined by an outside specialist. (Doc. 1, pp. 10, 17). The specialist told Bogan he had a cricoid cyst and would need surgery to relieve the pain and swelling. He also said that Bogan needed an MRI prior to proceeding with surgery. Id.

         Bogan could not obtain an MRI without approval from Wexford's utilization management team members (John Does 1-3). Id. Accordingly, over the next few weeks, Bogan repeatedly sought approval for an MRI. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11, 18-22). On April 2, 2019, after filing a second emergency grievance, Bogan finally received an MRI. (Doc. 1, p. 11). After completing the MRI, however, Bogan received no additional treatment and, as of the date of filing, had not been approved for surgery. Id.

         According to Bogan, John Does 1-3 are subject to liability for repeatedly denying and/or delaying necessary treatment for his cricoid cyst (an MRI and surgery, as recommended by the outside specialist). He also claims that Wexford and John Does 1-3 are subject to liability because they have a “practice of denying or delaying medical treatment of serious medical needs.” Id. As a result, Bogan claims he has experienced, and continues to experience, unnecessary pain and suffering. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court designates a single claim:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Wexford Health Sources and John Does 1-3 for deliberate indifference to Bogan's serious medical needs regarding his cricoid cyst.

         The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. Any other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[1]

         Prison officials may be liable for an Eighth Amendment violation if they are “deliberately indifferent to prisoners' serious medical needs.” Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 750 (7th Cir. 2011). A condition is considered sufficiently serious if the failure to treat it could result in the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain. See Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d 1364, 1373 (7th Cir. 1997). Additionally, “[d]eliberate indifference may occur where a prison official, having knowledge of a significant risk to inmate health or safety, administers ‘blatantly inappropriate' medical treatment, Edwards v. Snyder, 478 F.3d 827, 831 (7th Cir. 2007), acts in a manner contrary to the recommendation of specialists, Arnett, 658 F.3d at 753, or delays a prisoner's treatment for non-medical reasons, thereby exacerbating his pain and suffering.” Perez v. Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 777 (7th Cir. 2019)(citing McGowan v. Hulick, 612 F.3d 636, 640 (7th Cir. 2010).

         Bogan's allegations that John Does 1-3 delayed and/or denied necessary medical treatment (an MRI and surgery), as recommended by a specialist, causing unnecessary ...


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