Monson v. Rednour et al
ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams. Defendants REDNOUR, ATCHINSON, and WEXFORD MEDICAL SERVICES are DISMISSED from this action without prejudice. The Clerk of Court shall prepare for Defendant NWAOBASI: (1) Form 5 (Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of a Summons), and (2) Form 6 (Waiver of Service of Summons). Signed by Judge Michael J. Reagan on 1/18/2013. (tjk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
ROBERT MONSON, # R-53681,
WEXFORD MEDICAL SERVICES,
DR. SAM NWAOBASI,
and UNKNOWN PARTY,
Case No. 12-cv-1262-MJR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
REAGAN, District Judge:
Plaintiff, currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), has
brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a 50 year
sentence for attempted murder. Plaintiff claims that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to a
serious medical condition. Plaintiff’s 21-page complaint consists of several hand-written pages,
supplemented by typewritten pages that duplicate and expand upon the hand-written portions
More specifically, Plaintiff claims that at about 7:00pm on December 22, 2010, he
was bitten by a brown recluse spider while he lay on his bunk (Doc. 1, p. 9). Plaintiff’s cellmate
found and killed the spider (Doc. 1-3). Plaintiff was in immediate pain and asked the gallery
officer to summon medical attention for him. However, no medical staff responded. The next
day, Plaintiff showed the first shift gallery officer the spider bite, where the necrosis had grown
from the size of a quarter to the size of a hand, and again requested medical attention (Doc. 1, p.
Page 1 of 6
11). During the second shift on December 23, 2010, an unknown medical technician viewed the
spider bite and told Plaintiff she would send immediate help. At that time, Plaintiff informed her
that he felt light-headed and sick, and felt pain in his heart and kidneys. Id. Plaintiff and other
inmates made further requests for medical attention for him as he was becoming disoriented
(Doc. 1, p. 13). However, no help arrived.
Plaintiff repeated his pleas for medical help on each ensuing shift as his
symptoms grew worse. However, he was not given pain medication or seen by Defendant Dr.
Nwaobasi until December 26, 2010, despite having direct contact on three different days with
medical technicians who came to his cell (Doc. 1, pp. 11-17).
On December 26, 2010, Med Tech Anderson 1 examined Plaintiff, provided pain
medication, and bandaged his wound (Doc. 1, p. 17). Defendant Nwaobasi examined Plaintiff
the same morning. Plaintiff’s wound was operated on that day, and he remained in an outside
hospital from December 26 through December 30, 2010. Id. He required follow-up treatment
for the wound through August 2011 (Doc. 1, p. 18). He asserts that the four-day delay before he
obtained any medical care for the spider bite allowed his condition to worsen significantly.
Shortly after Plaintiff was released from the hospital, the “Orange Crush” team
conducted a shakedown of Plaintiff’s cell house (Doc. 1, p. 18). He told the officer in charge
that he had just had an operation and he had a large bandage covering an exposed area on his
back, where poison was draining out. He asked if he could be allowed to lie down during the
cell shakedown. This request was denied, and Plaintiff was forced to stand outdoors in freezing
weather for an hour, then wait inside for another five hours with his hands cuffed behind his back
before being returned to his cell.
Plaintiff does not name Med Tech Anderson as a Defendant, and the complaint does not indicate any
basis for a claim against Anderson, who provided treatment to Plaintiff.
Page 2 of 6
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt threshold
review of the complaint. Accepting Plaintiff’s allegations as true, the Court finds that Plaintiff
has articulated a colorable federal cause of action against Defendant Nwaobasi and several
Unknown Party Gallery Officers, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Medical Technicians for deliberate
indifference to medical needs, for their failure to respond to Plaintiff’s requests for medical care
after he sustained the spider bite (Count 1). Specifically, Plaintiff states a claim against the
Gallery Officers, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Medical Technicians who were on duty on the 4th
Floor of Plaintiff’s cell house from the 3:00pm-11:00pm shift on December 22, 2010, through
the shift that ended at 7:00am on December 26, 2010. Further, Plaintiff has stated a colorable
claim against at least one Unknown “Orange Crush” Officer for deliberate indifference to his
medical needs during the cell shakedown that took place between January 1-3, 2011 (Count 2).
However, the claims against Defendants Rednour and Atchinson (both identified
by Plaintiff as Warden of Menard) are dismissed on initial review because the doctrine of
respondeat superior is not applicable to § 1983 actions. Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724,
740 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). Plaintiff has not alleged that he notified either Defendant
Rednour or Atchinson that his requests for medical treatment had been ignored. Nor does the
complaint indicate that either of these Defendants was “personally responsible for the
deprivation of a constitutional right” in connection with the delay in medical treatment. Id.
Accordingly, Defendants Rednour and Atchinson shall be dismissed from this action without
Likewise, Defendant Wexford Medical Services (the contractual medical provider
and employer of Defendant Nwaobasi) cannot be held liable merely because of its supervisory
role over prison medical staff. Plaintiff makes no allegation that any individual defendant acted
Page 3 of 6
or failed to act as a result of an official policy espoused by Wexford. See Woodward v. Corr.
Med. Serv. of Ill., Inc., 368 F.3d 917, 927 (7th Cir. 2004) (corporation can be held liable for
deliberate indifference only if it had a policy or practice that caused the violation).
Defendant shall also be dismissed.
SERVICES are DISMISSED from this action without prejudice.
The Clerk of Court shall prepare for Defendant NWAOBASI: (1) Form 5
(Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of a Summons), and (2) Form 6 (Waiver of
Service of Summons). The Clerk is DIRECTED to mail these forms, a copy of the complaint,
and this Memorandum and Order to Defendant’s place of employment as identified by Plaintiff.
If Defendant fails to sign and return the Waiver of Service of Summons (Form 6) to the Clerk
within 30 days from the date the forms were sent, the Clerk shall take appropriate steps to effect
formal service on Defendant, and the Court will require Defendant to pay the full costs of formal
service, to the extent authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Service shall not be made on the Unknown (John Doe) Defendants until such time
as Plaintiff has identified them by name in a properly filed amended complaint. Plaintiff is
ADVISED that it is Plaintiff’s responsibility to provide the Court with the names and service
addresses for these individuals.
If the Defendant cannot be found at the address provided by Plaintiff, the
employer shall furnish the Clerk with the Defendant’s current work address, or, if not known, the
Defendant’s last-known address. This information shall be used only for sending the forms as
directed above or for formally effecting service. Any documentation of the address shall be
Page 4 of 6
retained only by the Clerk. Address information shall not be maintained in the court file, nor
disclosed by the Clerk.
Plaintiff shall serve upon Defendant (or upon defense counsel once an appearance
is entered), a copy of every further pleading or other document submitted for consideration by
the Court. Plaintiff shall include with the original paper to be filed a certificate stating the date
on which a true and correct copy of any document was served on Defendant or counsel. Any
paper received by a district judge or magistrate judge that has not been filed with the Clerk or
that fails to include a certificate of service will be disregarded by the Court.
Defendant is ORDERED to timely file an appropriate responsive pleading to the
complaint and shall not waive filing a reply pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g).
Pursuant to Local Rule 72.1(a)(2), this action is REFERRED to United States
Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams for further pre-trial proceedings.
Further, this entire matter shall be REFERRED to United States Magistrate
Judge Williams for disposition, pursuant to Local Rule 72.2(b)(2) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), if all
parties consent to such a referral.
If judgment is rendered against Plaintiff, and the judgment includes the payment
of costs under § 1915, Plaintiff will be required to pay the full amount of the costs,
notwithstanding that his application to proceed in forma pauperis has been granted. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(f)(2)(A).
Plaintiff is ADVISED that at the time application was made under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915 for leave to commence this civil action without being required to prepay fees and costs or
give security for the same, the applicant and his or her attorney were deemed to have entered into
a stipulation that the recovery, if any, secured in the action shall be paid to the Clerk of the
Page 5 of 6
Court, who shall pay therefrom all unpaid costs taxed against plaintiff and remit the balance to
plaintiff. Local Rule 3.1(c)(1).
Finally, Plaintiff is ADVISED that he is under a continuing obligation to keep the
Clerk of Court and each opposing party informed of any change in his address; the Court will not
independently investigate his whereabouts. This shall be done in writing and not later than 7
days after a transfer or other change in address occurs. Failure to comply with this order will
cause a delay in the transmission of court documents and may result in dismissal of this action
for want of prosecution. See FED. R. CIV. P. 41(b).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: January 18, 2013
s/ MICHAEL J. REAGAN
United States District Judge
Page 6 of 6
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?