Fields v. Caruso et al
CASE MANAGEMENT OPINION: The Clerk is directed to dismiss Defendants Major Prentice, Assistant Warden Shull, Wexford, and Pontiac for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Clerk is to ent er the standard qualified protective order pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Clerk is directed to attempt service on Defendants pursuant to the standard procedures. Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel is denied with leave to renew. 9 . Entered by Judge Sue E. Myerscough on 9/22/2016. SEE WRITTEN OPINION. (ME, ilcd)
Thursday, 22 September, 2016 04:30:53 PM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
DR. CARUSO, et. al.,
CASE MANAGEMENT OPINION
The pro se Plaintiff, a state prisoner, originally filed a
complaint alleging Defendants at both the Danville Correctional
Center and Pontiac Correctional Center were deliberately indifferent
to his serious medical condition. See Fields v Edwards, Case No.
16-2108. Specifically, Plaintiff claimed he suffered with pustules to
his scalp and body, but he was denied medical care. After review of
Plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court
determined Plaintiff was attempting to combine unrelated claims
against different Defendants in one lawsuit. See George v. Smith,
507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). Therefore, the Court severed
Plaintiff’s claims concerning his care at Pontiac Correctional Center
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into this lawsuit. See Fields v Edwards, Case No. 16-2108, May 17,
2016 Case Management Order.
Plaintiff was given additional time to clarify whether he wanted
to pursue a second lawsuit, and if so, to file an amended complaint.
Plaintiff has complied and has filed an amended complaint.
This case is now before the Court for review of the claims in
Plaintiff’s amended complaint pursuant to § 1915A. The Court
accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir.
2103). 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. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir.
2013)(quoted cite omitted).
The Plaintiff has identified eight Defendants including Dr.
Caruso, Dr. Tilden, Nurse Megan, Nurse Amy, Officer S. Prentice,
Assistant Warden Shull, Wexford Health Sources, and Pontiac
Plaintiff says on November 13, 2015, he complained to
Defendant Nurse Amy about his “infection,”but she told him there
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was nothing she could do for him and refused to provide any
treatment.(Amd. Comp., p. 3). Plaintiff says he then sent requests
for medical care to Dr. Tilden, Dr. Caruso and Nurse Megan, but no
one would respond to him or provide any additional care.
Plaintiff also says he sent requests for medical treatment to
Warden Shull and Major Prentice, but he did not receive a
response. Finally, Plaintiff says Wexford Health Sources did not
provide him with the “the right medical treatment.” (Amd. Comp., p.
To demonstrate a violation of his constitutional rights, Plaintiff
must show he suffered from a serious medical need and the
Defendant was deliberately indifferent to that need. See Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 105-06 (1976); Hayes v. Snyder, 546 F.3d
516, 522 (7th Cir. 2008). The Court notes it is unclear whether he
suffered from a serious medical condition at Pontiac Correctional
Center, but the Court must liberally construe the alleged facts in
Plaintiff's favor. Therefore, Plaintiff has articulated an Eighth
Amendment violation against Medical Defendants Dr. Caruso, Dr.
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Tilden, Nurse Megan, and Nurse Amy for the purposes of notice
However, Plaintiff has not adequately alleged how the two
correctional officers are responsible for his medical claim. Plaintiff
says he sent each a written, medical request. However, Plaintiff
does not allege either Defendant is a member of the medical staff,
nor does he allege this is the procedure to obtain medical care, nor
does he allege either officer received his request. The Court cannot
infer Assistant Warden Skull or Correctional Officer Prentice had
any involvement in Plaintiff’s medical care based on the facts
In addition, Wexford can only be held liable for deliberate
indifference to a serious medical condition if the corporation had
had a policy or practice that caused the violation. Woodward v Corr.
Medical Serv. of Illinois, Inc., 368 F.3d 917, 927 (7th Cir. 2004).
Plaintiff has failed to make such an allegation and therefore has
failed to state a claim against Wexford.
Finally, Pontiac Correctional Center is not a proper Defendant
as it is not a “person’ subject to liability under §1983. Will v.
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Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989); Tenney v
Baldwin, 2016 WL 2755171 at *4 (S.D.Ill. May 12, 2016).
MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
The Plaintiff has filed a motion for appointment of counsel..
The Plaintiff has no constitutional or statutory right to the
appointment of counsel in this case. In considering the Plaintiff’s
motion, the court asks: “(1) has the indigent Plaintiff made a
reasonable attempt to obtain counsel or been effectively precluded
from doing so; and if so, (2) given the difficulty of the case, does the
plaintiff appear competent to litigate it himself?” Pruitt v. Mote, 503
F.3d 647, 654-55 (7th Cir. 2007), citing Farmer v. Haas, 990 F.2d
319, 322 (7th Cir.1993). The Plaintiff says he has contacted one
specific law firm. The Court does not find this is a reasonable
attempt to find counsel and Plaintiff’s motion is denied with leave to
IT IS ORDERED:
Pursuant to a review of the Amended Complaint, the
Court finds that Plaintiff alleges Defendants Dr. Caruso, Dr. Tilden,
Nurse Megan, and Nurse Amy were deliberately indifferent to
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Plaintiff’s serious medical condition. This case proceeds solely on
the claims identified in this paragraph. Any additional claims shall
not be included in the case, except at the Court’s discretion on
motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
This case is now in the process of service. Plaintiff is
advised to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendants before
filing any motions, in order to give Defendants notice and an
opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed before
Defendants' counsel has filed an appearance will generally be
denied as premature. Plaintiff need not submit any evidence to the
Court at this time, unless otherwise directed by the Court.
The Court will attempt service on Defendants by sending
each Defendant a waiver of service. Defendants have 60 days from
the date the waiver of service is sent to file an Answer. If
Defendants have not filed Answers or appeared through counsel
within 90 days of the entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion
requesting the status of service. After counsel has appeared for
Defendants, the Court will enter a scheduling order setting
deadlines for discovery and dispositive motions.
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With respect to a Defendant who no longer works at the
address provided by Plaintiff, the entity for whom that Defendant
worked while at that address shall provide to the Clerk said
Defendant's current work address, or, if not known, said
Defendant's forwarding address. This information shall be used
only for effectuating service. Documentation of forwarding
addresses shall be retained only by the Clerk and shall not be
maintained in the public docket nor disclosed by the Clerk.
Defendants shall file an answer within 60 days of the day
the waiver of service is sent by the Clerk. A motion to dismiss is
not an answer. The answer should include all defenses appropriate
under the Federal Rules. The answer and subsequent pleadings
shall be to the issues and claims stated in this Opinion.
Once counsel has appeared for a Defendant, Plaintiff
need not send copies of his filings to that Defendant or to that
Defendant's counsel. Instead, the Clerk will file Plaintiff's document
electronically and send a notice of electronic filing to defense
counsel. The notice of electronic filing shall constitute service on
Defendants pursuant to Local Rule 5.3. If electronic service on
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Defendants is not available, Plaintiff will be notified and instructed
Counsel for Defendants is hereby granted leave to depose
Plaintiff at Plaintiff's place of confinement. Counsel for Defendants
shall arrange the time for the deposition.
Plaintiff shall immediately notify the Court, in writing, of
any change in his mailing address and telephone number.
Plaintiff's failure to notify the Court of a change in mailing address
or phone number will result in dismissal of this lawsuit, with
If a Defendant fails to sign and return a waiver of service
to the clerk within 30 days after the waiver is sent, the Court will
take appropriate steps to effect formal service through the U.S.
Marshal's service on that Defendant and will require that Defendant
to pay the full costs of formal service pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 4(d)(2).
10. The Clerk is directed to dismiss Defendants Major
Prentice, Assistant Warden Shull, Wexford, and Pontiac for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
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11. The Clerk is to enter the standard qualified protective
order pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and
12. The Clerk is directed to attempt service on Defendants
pursuant to the standard procedures.
Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel is denied with
leave to renew. 
FOR THE COURT:
s/ Sue E. Myerscough
SUE E. MYERSCOUGH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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