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McGraw v. Corizon Health Care Services

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

July 23, 2018




         I. Screening Standard

         The plaintiff, Raymond McGraw (“McGraw”) is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Miami Correctional Facility. Because McGraw is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), this Court has an obligation to screen his complaint before service on the defendants. Pursuant to § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. In determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal,

[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro se complaints such as that filed by McGraw are construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).

         II. The Complaint

         The Amended Complaint alleges that McGraw's Eighth Amendment right to constitutionally adequate medical care was violated when he was an inmate at Pendleton Correctional Facility (“Pendleton”). He brings his claims against 12 individual defendants, as well as, Corizon Health Care Services and Pendleton Correctional Facility.

         McGraw explains that on September 14, 2015, he had back surgery at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana. Following surgery he was housed at the infirmary at Pendleton. Between September 15 and September 19, 2015, McGraw's wound was not drained as required every 10 to 12 hours. As a result, he developed a fever and infection.

         On September 18, 2015, Dr. Talbot saw McGraw for his fever and back infection and stated that he would give McGraw three antibiotic shots and then start him on antibiotic capsules on September 22, 2015, when McGraw was released from the infirmary. He never received the shots and was finally provided the oral antibiotics on September 25, 2015.

         On September 20, 2015, the drain was removed from McGraw's back leaving an open wound. He was released from the infirmary with the wound, infection and fever. Dr. Talbot did not provide written instructions that McGraw was to change his dressing, and clean and rinse the wound, twice a day.

         On September 25, 2015, Nurse Rose removed half of McGraw's staples/stitches in a room in the cell house. She didn't take the time to remove them completely. From September 21, 2015 through October 30, 2015, (with the exception of October 12, 2015 when a nurse changed the dressing) McGraw had to change his own back bandages using toilet paper 5-6 times a day. He wasn't able to rinse and clean the infection on his back by himself. He wrote letters to Mrs. Welder and Mrs. McCullough. He also filed grievances, but Mrs. Francum would not allow McGraw to complete the grievance process.

         On October 12, 2015, Dr. Talbot didn't look at or examine McGraw's infection or wound. Dr. Talbot did, however, prescribe Keflex antibiotics for 10 days for the infection and stated that he would renew McGraw's pain pills. McGraw did not receive these medications. Dr. Talbot wrote an order for McGraw to change his own bandages but he was not provided tape or bandages.

         On October 16, 2015, McGraw was seen by the surgeon at a follow up appointment. The staples and stitches Nurse Rose didn't remove on September 25, 2015, were removed. The wound was rinsed, cleaned, packed and new dressing was placed. McGraw was given a shot for the infection and an order was written to Dr. Talbot to start McGraw on medications including Cipro 500 mg and to clean the wound and change dressings daily.

         Eleven days later, on October 27, 2015, McGraw's infected wound was examined for the first time by Dr. Talbot. Dr. Talbot then prescribed Cipro 500 mg and other medications. Again, McGraw did not receive these medications.

         On October 30, 2015, McGraw was seen in the infirmary. He was given a shot for the infection. The wound was cleaned, rinsed, packed and dressed.

         On or about October 30, 2015, McGraw was transferred to New Castle Correctional Facility to receive further treatment for his infected wound that was one and a half inches wide and an inch deep.

         On December 30, 2015, McGraw was returned to Pendleton. The infection was better but still present. The wound was the size of a dime. McGraw believes he was returned to Pendleton so that he could be subjected to Dr. Talbot's deliberate indifference in retaliation ...

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