United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
JAMES C. WEST, Plaintiff,
JULIE LARSON, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. SIMON JUDGE
C. West, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a motion to amend
his complaint to add Dr. Hall and Dr. Tieman as defendants.
In the interest of justice, I grant West leave to amend his
complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2).
Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must
review the complaint and dismiss it if the action is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. “In order to state a claim under [42 U.S.C.]
§ 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that defendants
deprived him of a federal constitutional right; and (2) that
the defendants acted under color of state law.”
Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
alleges that, when he arrived at the jail, he did not receive
his blood pressure medication, which caused higher blood
pressure, a more rapid heart rate, and headaches. He
requested this medication from Dr. Hall and Dr. Tieman, but
they refused to provide it. When he met with Nurse Lynn to
discuss the medication, she told him that those symptoms were
good for him and also refused to provide the medication. On
July 27, 2017, West had a heart attack and asked a
correctional officer to see a nurse. Four days later, either
Dr. Hall or Dr. Tieman met with West and reviewed his medical
records, which included a history of heart disease. West
requested an electrocardiogram but the doctor told West that
he had no treatment to offer. On August 2, West was admitted
to Memorial Hospital. The hospital staff stabilized West and
determined that he had suffered a heart attack and some heart
damage. Dr. Patel, a physician at Memorial Hospital, informed
West that the heart attack could have been caused by high
asserts an Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference
to his medical needs against Nurse Lynn, Dr. Hall, and Dr.
Tieman. Prisoners are entitled to adequate medical
care. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). To
establish liability, a prisoner must satisfy both an
objective and subjective component by showing: (1) his
medical need was objectively serious; and (2) the defendant
acted with deliberate indifference to that medical need.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). A
medical need is “serious” if it is one that a
physician has diagnosed as mandating treatment, or one that
is so obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize
the necessity for a doctor's attention. Greeno v.
Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 653 (7th Cir. 2005). Deliberate
indifference means that the defendant “acted in an
intentional or criminally reckless manner, i.e., the
defendant must have known that the plaintiff was at serious
risk of being harmed and decided not to do anything to
prevent that harm from occurring even though he could have
easily done so.” Board v. Farnham, 394 F.3d
469, 478 (7th Cir. 2005) (internal citation omitted).
medical professional to be held liable for deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need, he or she must make a
decision that represents “such a substantial departure
from accepted professional judgment, practice, or standards,
as to demonstrate that the person responsible actually did
not base the decision on such a judgment.” Jackson
v. Kotter, 541 F.3d 688, 697 (7th Cir. 2008). A mere
disagreement with medical professionals about the appropriate
course of treatment does not establish deliberate
indifference, nor does negligence or even medical practice.
Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir.
2011). The amended complaint states a plausible Eighth
Amendment claim of deliberate indifference against Nurse
Lynn, Dr. Hall, and Dr. Tieman.
final matter, West has filed a motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and asks whether the court will assess an
additional filing fee for his new claims. The court will not
assess an additional filing fee. Because I have already
granted him leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF 3), I
will deny the motion as unnecessary.
these reasons, the court:
GRANTS to motion to amend the complaint (ECF 44);
DIRECTS the clerk to file the amended complaint (ECF 44-1);
GRANTS James C. West leave to proceed on a claim against
Nurse Lynn, Dr. Hall, and Dr. Tieman in their individual
capacities for money damages for failing to properly treat
his high blood pressure and heart condition in violation of
the Eighth Amendment;
DISMISSES all other claims;
DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service to
issue and serve process on Dr. Hall and Dr. Tieman at the St.
Joseph County Jail with a copy of this order and the amended
complaint (ECF 44-1) as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d);
ORDERS Nurse Lynn, Dr. Hall, and Dr. Tieman, pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), to respond as provided in the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 10.1,
only to the claim for which James C. ...