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Brown v. David

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 16, 2020

DORIAN BROWN, #B88307, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. DAVID and WEXFORD HEATH SOURCES, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Dorian Brown, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Hill Correctional Center (“Hill”), [1] brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his constitutional rights at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). (Doc. 1). Plaintiff claims he was denied adequate medical treatment for leg and knee injuries he sustained while working on a trailer at Shawnee on February 3, 2017. (Id. at pp. 3-5). He seeks money damages and injunctive relief against Dr. David and Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”). (Id. at pp. 6-7). Following denial of his request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, Plaintiff paid his full filing fee for this action on November 25, 2019.

         The Complaint is now ripe for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner Complaints and filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous or 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 (Doc. 1, pp. 3-5): While working at Shawnee on February 3, 2017, Plaintiff fell through the bed of a trailer and injured both knees and legs. (Id. at p. 3). He immediately sought treatment in the prison's health care unit (HCU). (Id.). Because he suffered from intense pain, swelling, and immobility, a nurse[2] and doctor (Dr. David) held him for overnight observation in the HCU. (Id. at p. 4). Dr. David ordered ibuprofen for pain and x-rays for diagnosis of his injuries. (Id.). Although the x-rays were negative for fractures, Plaintiff continued to report excruciating pain that was unabated by ibuprofen. (Id.).

         From February 3, 2017 until July 27, 2017, Plaintiff repeatedly met with Dr. David and other medical staff to discuss his consistent and increasing pain. (Id.). He reported difficulty standing, walking, and sitting. (Id.). When Plaintiff specifically asked Dr. David for an MRI, the doctor refused his request. (Id.). When Plaintiff asked him about Wexford's policy regarding the medical review and referral process, Dr. David ignored his inquiry. (Id.).

         Dr. David instead referred Plaintiff for physical therapy. (Id.). Although he followed the physical therapist's recommendations, Plaintiff continued to report significant pain. (Id. at p. 5). When physical therapy ultimately proved ineffective, Plaintiff asked the physical therapist for his medical opinion. (Id.). The physical therapist explained that neither he, nor anyone else, could give Plaintiff an informed opinion without an MRI. (Id.). He explained that an x-ray could not detect injuries to his tendons or ligaments. (Id.). Dr. David nevertheless ordered two more sets of x-rays and reported the same negative results to Plaintiff. (Id.).

         Plaintiff continues to live in pain. (Id.). Ibuprofen does nothing to stop it. (Id.). He seeks money damages and injunctive relief against Dr. David and Wexford, including an MRI and treatment. (Id. at pp. 6-8).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to designate the following claims in the pro se Complaint:

Count 1: Dr. David exhibited deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's knee and leg injuries in violation of the Eighth Amendment when he refused to adequately treat the injuries.
Count 2: Wexford has an unconstitutional policy, custom, or practice of failing to train and/or supervise prison doctors on proper treatment of inmates.

         Any other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed herein is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[3]

         Count 1 survives screening against Dr. David. The allegations suggest that the doctor responded to Plaintiff's complaints by persisting with treatment he knew was ineffective, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435, 441-42 (7th Cir. 2010); Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 655 (7th Cir. 2005) (persisting in a ...


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