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Scott v. Ritz

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 1, 2019

CHRISTOPHER SCOTT, #R31806 Plaintiff,
v.
DR. RITZ, JANE DOE, M. SIDDIQUI, WEXFORD HEALTH SERVICES INC., HEATHER PRICE, and WARDEN OF MENARD CORRECTIONAL CENTER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Christopher Scott, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections currently incarcerated at Western Illinois Correctional Center (“Western”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff asserts a deliberate indifference claim under the Eighth Amendment against Defendants regarding medical care while he was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”). (Doc. 1). He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint:[1] From June 2016 to January 2019, Plaintiff suffered from recurring chest pain, fainting, fatigue, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, tingling in his fingers and toes, and pain in his neck and shoulder. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-37). During that time, he was incarcerated at Menard and he was under the medical care of Dr. Siddiqui and a number of nurses, including Nurse Jane Doe. (Id.).

         Plaintiff saw Dr. Siddiqui on August 2, 2017 for chest pain and he was sent to the Emergency Department at Chester Hospital. (Id., p. 14). Dr. Siddiqui was aware of Plaintiff's family history of heart disease and his recurring chest pain. (Id.). After Plaintiff's return from the hospital, Dr. Siddiqui recommended a full cardiac evaluation. (Id., p. 15). Following collegial review, Dr. Ritz denied the referral and ordered a treadmill stress test. (Doc. 1, p. 15.; Doc. 1-1, pp. 9, 16). Plaintiff saw Dr. Siddiqui again on August 8, 2017 for complaints of chest pain. (Doc. 1, p. 16). Plaintiff had a stress test at an outside facility on September 8, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 18). He took his beta blocker that day because no one at Menard told him not to take it before the test. (Doc. 1, p. 18; Doc. 1-1, pp. 23, 25).

         On September 22, 2017, Plaintiff passed out while working and his supervisor called for medical assistance. (Doc. 1, p. 19). Nurse Jane Doe[2] was dismissive and refused to provide medical assistance. (Id.). She told Plaintiff that she was tired of him coming to see her for chest pain and passing out. (Id.).

         On November 21, 2017, Plaintiff had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Siddiqui for his recurring chest pain. (Id.). Dr. Siddiqui refused to provided Plaintiff with any medical care or diagnostic tests. (Id.). Instead, he advised Plaintiff to stop reading his hospital reports and told him he needed a mental health evaluation for anxiety. (Id.).

         On February 7, 2018, Plaintiff sent a letter to Dr. Siddiqui regarding his hyperlipidemia and his recurring chest pain, swelling of his hands and feet, and fast heartbeat. (Id., p. 20). Plaintiff did not receive a response. (Id.). Plaintiff went to the health care unit on February 10, 2018 because his hands and feet were swollen. (Id., p. 21). Plaintiff told Nurse Jane Doe that the swelling occurs twice a day, wakes him from sleep, and causes pain at a level of 10. (Id.). Nurse Jane Doe refused to provide medical treatment. (Id.). She wrote in his medical record that there was no obvious swelling of his hands or feet, which was not true. (Id.).

         On April 27, 2018, Plaintiff had an appointment with Dr. Siddiqui for his recurring chest pain. (Id., p. 23). He requested diagnostic testing to determine the health of his arteries, but Dr. Siddiqui told him the test was expensive and would not be approved. (Id.). Plaintiff was referred to another doctor for a second opinion. (Id.).

         Plaintiff saw Dr. Caldwell on July 29, 2018 for a second opinion. (Id., p. 25). Dr. Caldwell noted that Plaintiff had taken medication prior to his stress test that would have affected the results of the stress test and recommended a repeat stress test. (Id.). The request for a repeat stress test was denied by Dr. Ritz in collegial review. (Doc. 1, p. 26; Doc. 1-1, pp. 51-52). Thereafter, Plaintiff continued to experience chest pain, but no monitoring or further testing was done. (Doc. 1, p. 33).

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate the following single Count:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for deliberate indifference from June 2016 to January 2019 relating to medical treatment of Plaintiff's recurring chest pain, fainting, irregular heartbeat, and swelling of his hands and feet.

         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. The designation does not constitute an opinion regarding its merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed inthis Order should be considered dismissed ...


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