United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Andrew Dowaun, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff asserts
deliberate indifference claims under the Eighth Amendment and
a state law claim for intentional infliction of emotional
distress. (Doc. 1). He seeks monetary damages and injunctive
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. §
makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Menard is
overcrowded and the number of doctors and nurses on hand is
inadequate to provide proper medical care for the inmate
population. (Doc. 1, p. 5). IDOC Director Baldwin, Dr.
Siddiqui, (former) Menard Warden Lashbrook, and Wexford
Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”) have been made
aware of this fact by countless lawsuits filed by inmates.
(Id.). They have the ability to fix this issue but
have ignored the situation, which has resulted in Plaintiff
and other inmates suffering in pain without proper medical
care. (Id., pp. 5, 6). They were given a report from
medical experts in a class action lawsuit that shows Wexford
was deliberately understaffing its health care units to save
money. (Id., p. 6). This policy has delayed and
denied inmates access to medical care. (Id.). They
knew these issues existed and turned a blind eye to them.
(Id., pp. 6, 12, 15).
suffered from a broken left hand and nerve damage in his
right hand and was treated by a nurse and nurse practitioner
instead of a doctor. (Id.). The nurse and nurse
practitioner lack the medical knowledge to treat these
serious medical conditions. (Id., p. 7). Because of
deliberate understaffing by Defendants, nurses are given
responsibilities that exceed their medical expertise.
(Id.). Because of inadequate medical staffing,
Plaintiff was denied access to medical care and suffered in
pain from an untreated broken hand. (Id.).
Defendants' intentional acts and omissions caused extreme
conditions that they knew would cause Plaintiff to suffer
emotional distress and pain. (Id., pp. 7, 8).
has a policy to deny inmates any pain medication other than
ibuprofen, Mobic, naproxen, and other over the counter
medications even when those medications are ineffective at
pain management. (Id.). Wexford initiated this
policy to save money. (Id., p. 10). Baldwin and
Lashbrook have ignored Wexford's actions. (Id.).
Wexford has trained its medical staff to enforce this policy
and they do so even though they know it results in inmates
suffering excruciating pain. (Id., pp. 9-10). On
several occasions, Plaintiff made NP Zimmer, NP Moldenhauer,
and Dr. Siddiqui aware that he was in constant pain from
injuries to his left and right hands and that the pain
medication he was given was not alleviating the pain.
(Id., p. 9). Additionally, he advised them the pain
medication was causing constipation. (Id.).
Defendants refused to discontinue the medication or prescribe
him a stronger pain medication. (Id.). They have
ignored his complaints of pain and know he is suffering
unnecessarily. (Id., p. 10).
has requested proper medical care for his right-hand nerve
pain but has only been seen by NP Zimmer, NP Moldenhauer, and
Dr. Siddiqui who lack the medical expertise to determine
whether he is experiencing nerve damage or nerve pain.
(Id., pp. 10, 11). Plaintiff needs to be sent to a
specialist for examination and diagnostic testing.
(Id., p. 11). Defendants' refusal to address
this issue is pursuant to a policy to save money by denying
access to medical care. (Id.). Plaintiff's
right-hand nerve damage and pain was not adequately assessed
or treated by Nurse Mears, NP Zimmer, Crain, Dr. Siddiqui, or
NP Moldenhauer because they lacked the medical expertise to
do so. (Id., pp. 13, 14). In response to a grievance
he filed, NP Zimmer, Dr. Siddiqui, and Crane acknowledged
that Plaintiff has nerve damage and that they have done
nothing about it. (Id., pp. 11, 12).
injured his left hand on August 10 or 11, 2018.
(Id., pp. 12, 16). He notified a gallery officer,
showed the officer his swollen hand, and requested a nurse
and/or crisis team. (Id., pp. 12, 16). He also wrote
sick call requests and placed them in the sick call box.
(Id.). He was not seen by medical staff until August
15, 2018 at which time he had an appointment for his
right-hand nerve damage and pain. (Id., pp. 12, 13).
He explained to NP Zimmer that his left hand was swollen and
possibly broken. (Id., p. 13). She ordered an x-ray,
which was done on August 17, 2018. (Id., p. 17).
Plaintiff saw NP Moldenhauer on August 30, 2018 to discuss
the results of the x-ray which showed that his hand was
broken. (Id.). The delay was caused by the policies
of Wexford, which are enforced by Dr. Siddiqui, Crain, NP
Zimmer, NP Moldenhauer, Nurse Mears, Healthcare Unit
Administrator Walls, and Ritz. These individuals are aware of
delays in medical care provided to Plaintiff and other
inmates which results in unnecessary pain and suffering.
(Id., p. 18). Defendants were made aware of these
delays in medical care by a class action lawsuit and from
countless inmate grievances written about this problem.
(Id.). Defendants have done nothing to stop the
delays. (Id., pp. 18, 19).
August 20, 2018, NP Moldenhauer told Plaintiff that his
finger was broken and needed to be splinted. (Id.,
p. 19). However, NP Moldenhauer refused to splint
Plaintiff's finger because it was not approved by
security. (Id., p. 20). NP Moldenhauer allowed
non-medical staff to overrule a medical decision and denied
Plaintiff necessary medical care. (Id.). Medical
Director Dr. Siddiqui and Health Care Unit Administrator
Walls have a policy that allows non-medical staff to overrule
medical decisions. (Id., pp. 20, 21). Plaintiff was
not seen again until September 13, 2018 when his hand was
placed in a cast. (Id., p. 21). The delay of over a
month from the time of injury until medical treatment was
provided caused Plaintiff unnecessary pain and suffering.
and Lashbrook created policies that interfere with inmates
receiving proper medical care. They have created policies
that determine what medical personnel can prescribe and/or
what treatment can be provided. (Id., p. 22). As a
result of these policies, Plaintiff's finger could not be
splinted, and he was forced to suffer pain. (Id.).
Baldwin and Lashbrook know that these policies deliberately
denied Plaintiff and other inmates access to adequate medical
care for serious medical needs and caused unnecessary pain.
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to designate the following Counts:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious
medical needs claim arising from the denial of adequate
medical treatment due to understaffing of medical providers
by Wexford, Baldwin, Lashbrook, and Siddiqui.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious
medical needs claim against Wexford, Zimmer, Moldenhauer,
Siddiqui, Mears, and Crain for denying Plaintiff adequate