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Gilman v. Corizon Medical Services

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

April 14, 2017

JAMES E. GILMAN, Plaintiff,


          Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District Court Southern District of Indiana

         Plaintiff James Gilman, an inmate at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Indiana medical malpractice law alleging that he has been provided inadequate medical treatment for his painful knees. Defendants Esther Hinton and Monica Gipson (the “State Defendants”) seek judgment on the pleadings on the claims against them.

         I. Standard

         “A motion for judgment on the pleadings under rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is governed by the same standards as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6).” BBL, Inc. v. City of Angola, 809 F.3d 317, 325 (7th Cir. 2015) (quoting Adams v. City of Indianapolis, 742 F.3d 720, 727-28 (7th Cir.2014)). As such, “the question at this stage is simply whether the complaint includes factual allegations that state a plausible claim for relief.” Id. (citing Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entm't. Inc., 763 F.3d 696, 700 (7th Cir.2014)) (applying Rule 12(b)(6)). “A plaintiff's ‘[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'” Yeadon Fabric Domes, LLC v. Roberts Environmental Control Corp., No. 15 CV 6679, 2016 WL 3940098, *1 (N.D. Ill. July 21, 2016) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). Put differently, “a ‘complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)) (citation and quotation marks omitted). “All reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the non-movant.” Id. (citing Lodholtz v. York Risk Servs. Grp., Inc., 778 F.3d 635, 639 (7th Cir. 2015)). Ultimately, a court will grant a motion for judgment on the pleadings only if “no genuine issues of material fact remain to be resolved and...the [moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Alexander v. City of Chicago, 994 F.2d 333, 336 (7th Cir. 2012); see also Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Thermos LLC, 146 F.Supp.3d 1005, 1012 (N.D. Ill. 2015) (citing Alexander, 994 F.2d at 336).

         II. Allegations of the Complaint

         As discussed above, if the allegations of Gilman's complaint show that he is not entitled to relief against the State Defendants, then they are entitled to judgment on the pleadings.

         Gilman's complaint is based on his allegations that he has received inadequate medical care for his knee pain. He sues several medical professionals involved in his care as well as Corizon Medical Services. In addition to these defendants, Gilman alleges that State Defendants Hinton and Gibson were deliberately indifferent when they denied his grievances related to his medical care. Specifically, Gilman alleges that on September 29, 2015, Dr. Byrd prescribed a cortisone injection for Gilman's right knee to be administered at the beginning of October 2015. Gilman did not receive the injection and filed an informal grievance. On November 13, 2015, Gilman filed a formal grievance regarding the delay in receiving medical treatment, seeking a cortisone injection. At the Formal Grievance Level, on December 7, 2016, it was determined by Kim Hopson that: “The provider has scheduled you for an xray (sic) for the right knee. He plans to schedule you for an injection sometime in December. He will review your xray (sic) and then determine the need for an MRI.” Gilman appealed the response to his formal grievance on December 22, 2016. At the Formal Appeal stage of his grievance, on January 4, 2016, State Defendant Esther Hinton stated:

I have reviewed your medical file and find you have an x-ray which the provider reviewed and an injection was scheduled for December. This is not a prescribed ongoing injection. It is a result of you being seen by provider and him ordering the injection at the time of that encounter. Grievance denied.
Esther Hinton
Medical Contract Monitor for Monica Gipson, R.N.
Director, Medical and Clinical Health Care Services

         III. Analysis

          Gilman asserted Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference and medical malpractice claims against the State Defendants. The State Defendants seek judgment on the pleadings on each of these claims.

         A. Deliberat ...

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