United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING FILING FEE, DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND
DIRECTING FILING OF AMENDED COMPLAINT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
plaintiff's motion for an extension of time, dkt , is
granted. The plaintiff shall have
through March 22, 2019, in which to pay the
initial partial filing fee.
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at New Castle
Correctional Facility. Because the plaintiff is a
“prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(c), this Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service on the
defendants. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 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 Cesal v. Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir.
2017). 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 the plaintiff are construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Perez v. Fenoglio, 792
F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).
Charles Barber alleges that on December 13, 2017, he reported
to sick call at New Castle Correctional Facility. At that
time, Mr. Barber was suffering from the effects of an
ischemic stroke. Nurse Isaac checked Mr. Barber's vital
signs during triage. Nurse Isaac reported to Dr. Ippel that
Mr. Barber's blood pressure was extremely high and that
he was suffering from an anxiety attack. Dr. Ippel concluded
that Mr. Barber was experiencing an atypical headache likely
due to diabetes and/or stress. Dr. Ippel instructed Mr.
Barber to return to his housing unit. Dr. Ippel's notes
do not indicate that he considered whether Mr. Barber had a
stroke. The next day, Mr. Barber was seen by Dr. Robertson
and immediately sent to a hospital where he was given an EKG
and diagnosed with a mild stroke.
Barber claims that Nurse Isaac's mistaken assessment
caused a misdiagnosis. He states that both defendants'
misdiagnosis “amounts to negligence” and as a
result he was not properly treated in violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights. He seeks money damages and an injunction
prohibiting the defendants from providing him medical care in
Dismissal of Complaint
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
Wexford Health Sources (“Wexford”) is
dismissed. Because Wexford acts under color
of state law by contracting to perform a government function,
i.e., providing medical care to correctional facilities, it
is treated as a government entity for purposes of Section
1983 claims. See Jackson v. Illinois Medi-Car, Inc.,
300 F.3d 760, 766 fn.6 (7th Cir. 2002); but see Shields
v. Illinois Department of Correction, 746 F.3d 782, 790
(7th Cir. 2014) (finding “substantial grounds to
question the extension of the Monell holding for
municipalities to private corporations”). Therefore, to
state a cognizable deliberate indifference claim against
Wexford, Mr. Barber must allege that he suffered a
constitutional deprivation as the result of an express policy
or custom of Wexford. No such allegation is present in the
complaint. Accordingly, the claims against Wexford are
order for Mr. Barber to state a claim under § 1983 for
medical mistreatment or the denial of medical care against an
individual defendant, he must allege “acts or omissions
sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976). Deliberate indifference exists only when
an official “knows of and disregards an excessive risk
to an inmate's health; the official must both be aware of
facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also
draw the inference.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 837 (1994) (construing Estelle).
Negligence is not sufficient to support a § 1983 claim.
See Huber v. Anderson, 909 F.3d 201, 208 (7th Cir.
2018) (deliberate ...