United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
BILLY McDADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se, files a complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs, medical malpractice and intentional infliction
of emotional distress (“IIED”) at the Hill
Correctional Center (“Hill”). The case is before
the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. In reviewing the Complaint, the Court accepts the
factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649-51 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements
and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to
“state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d
418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). While the pleading standard does not require
“detailed factual allegations”, it requires
“more than an unadorned,
Wilson v. Ryker, 451 Fed.Appx. 588, 589 (7th Cir.
2011) quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
November 25, 2016, Plaintiff discovered a painful lump on the
left side of the back of his head. Several days later,
Plaintiff noted that the bump had gotten much larger and more
painful. Plaintiff notified an unidentified officer who
called the healthcare unit and was told that Plaintiff was to
submit a sick call request. Plaintiff did so but asserts that
he was not seen until December 15, 2016. In the interim, he
suffered great pain and was unable to sleep at night.
December 15, 2016, Plaintiff was seen by an unidentified
female nurse. She advised Plaintiff that the bump on his head
was a cyst. The nurse gave Plaintiff an ointment which he was
to apply twice daily. Plaintiff received follow-up care and
was told that the cyst was healing. Plaintiff was also seen
by the facility Medical Director who confirmed that the bump
was a cyst and indicated that the topical treatment would
take care of it.
claims, however, that the cyst continued to grow. He
estimates that by August 19, 2017, it was the size of a large
tennis ball. He pleads that he lived in constant fear that,
rather than a cyst, he had cancer at or near his brain.
Plaintiff indicates that he submitted one or more sick call
slips and did not receive a response. He does not, however,
identify anyone whom he holds responsible for the failure to
September 8, 2017, Plaintiff awoke to find his pillowcase was
full of blood and pus, likely indicating that the cyst had
ruptured. Despite this, Plaintiff continued to fear that he
had a fatal disease, believing that the fluid from the cyst
could be evidence of cancer as, he “[did] not know what
cancer looks like.” Plaintiff does not plead any
subsequent pain or problems related the cyst after September
alleges that Defendants are liable both in deliberate
indifference and medical malpractice. He claims that they
“misled” him as to the proper diagnosis and
allowed him to walk around for months, fearing that he had
cancer. Plaintiff believes that he should have been referred
to an off-site medical facility and to have undergone a
diagnostic MRI. He alleges, generally, that Defendants'
conduct amounted to the intentional infliction of emotional
noted, Plaintiff does not plead that he suffered any further
symptoms after the cyst ruptured, nor does he allege that the
rupture of the cyst was unexpected or the result of
ineffective treatment. In his prayer for relief, however, he
asks that he be provided regular checkups; that he receive
all future medical treatment from an off-site medical Center,
not from Defendants; and that Defendants pay the full costs
of all future medical care and treatment. He also requests
money damages, and both a default judgment and summary
judgment against Defendants.
well established that deliberate indifference to a serious
medical need is actionable as a violation of the Eighth
Amendment. Hayes v. Snyder, 546 F.3d 516, 522 (7th
Cir. 2008). Deliberate indifference is proven by
demonstrating that a prison official knows of a substantial
risk of harm to an inmate and “either acts or fails to
act in disregard of that risk.” Arnett v.
Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011). The failure
to address pain readily treatable pain may be evidence of
deliberate indifference. Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d
772, 730 (7th Cir. 2016), as amended (Aug. 25, 2016).
however, Plaintiff does not name any medical personnel he
finds liable. He has not pled a claim against the nurse who
gave him the allegedly ineffective ointment or the Medical
Director who evaluated him. Plaintiff lists John and Jane Doe
Defendants in the caption but does not plead against them in
the body of the complaint. Merely naming a defendant in the
caption is insufficient to state a claim. Collins v.
Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir.1998).
has named John Baldwin, the former Director of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) and Healthcare
Administrator Lois Lindorff, but pleads no claims against
them. Section 1983 limits liability to public employees
“for their own misdeeds, and not for anyone
else's.” Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592,
595-96 (7th Cir.2009). Prison administrators are entitled to
relegate to others the primary responsibility for specific
prison functions without becoming vicariously liable for the
failings of their subordinates. Id.
also names Counselor John Frost, Grievance Officer Debbie
Knauer and Warden Dorethy, alleging that Defendants denied
his related grievances. An individual does not become liable
for an alleged constitutional violation, however, merely by
denying a grievance. See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d
605, 609 (7th Cir.2007) (rejecting that “anyone who
knows about a violation of the Constitution, and fails to
cure it, has violated the Constitution himself…Only
persons who cause or participate in the violations are
responsible.”) See also, Owens v. Hinsley, 635
F.3d 950, 953 (7th Cir. 2011). “[T]he alleged
mishandling of [Plaintiff's] grievances by persons who
otherwise did not cause or participate in the underlying
conduct states no claim.”
Plaintiff had properly identified the Defendants whom he
holds liable, he has failed to state an IIED claim. This is
so, as “[u]nder Illinois law, a plaintiff claiming
intentional infliction of emotional distress must demonstrate
that the defendant intentionally or recklessly engaged in
‘extreme and outrageous conduct' that resulted in
severe emotional distress.” Dent v. Nally, No.
16-00442, 2016 WL 2865998, at *4 (S.D. Ill. May 17, 2016)
(internal citations omitted). “[E]motional distress
alone is not sufficient to give rise to a cause of action.
The emotional distress must be severe...unendurable by a
reasonable person…” Sornberger v. City of
Knoxville, Ill., 434 F.3d 1006, 1030 (7th Cir. 2006)
(internal citations omitted). Defendant ...