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Orr v. GEO Group, Inc.

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

February 14, 2019

MICHAEL ORR, Plaintiff,
v.
GEO GROUP, INC., WEXFORD OF INDIANA, LLC, MARK SEVIER, KEITH BUTTS, JOHN DOE, STORMS, JOHN DOE, JOHN DOE, JOHN DOE, IPPEL, DAVIS, JANE DOE, ANDREW LIAW, KATHERINE HUTCHISON, JOHN DOE, CARTER, JOHN DOE, Defendants.

          ORDER SCREENING COMPLANT, SEVERING CERTAIN CLAIMS, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING SERVICE OF PROCESS

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court for on a Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief, filed by Plaintiff Michael Orr (“Mr. Orr”) on November 2, 2018. (Dk. 2). For the reasons stated below certain claims are severed, others are dismissed and service of process is directed.

         I. Screening Standard

         Mr. Orr is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Westville 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 Mr. Orr 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).

         II. The Complaint

         Mr. Orr brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated while he was incarcerated at the New Castle Correctional Facility (New Castle) and the Westville Correctional Facility (Westville). He names as defendants from New Castle: GEO Group, Warden Keith Butts, Deputy Warden John Doe, Correctional Lieutenant Storms, John Doe 1, John Doe 2, John Doe 3, John Doe 4, Wexford, Dr. Ippel, Nurse Davis, and Nurse Jane Doe. He names as defendants from Westville: Dr. Andrew Liaw, Nurse Katherine Hutchinson, Physical Therapist John Doe, Warden Mark Servier, and Correctional Captain Carter. He sued each defendant in their individual capacity and official capacity. He seeks injunctive relief and money damages.

         On September 29, 2017, while Mr. Orr was incarcerated at New Castle, he threatened suicide, refused hand restraints, refused to leave his cell, and placed a sheet around his neck. Several officers arrived at Mr. Orr's cell. After pepper spraying and gassing him, a tactical team comprised of defendants John Doe 1, 2, 3, and 4, entered the cell to prevent the suicide attempt. Mr. Orr laid down on his bed and the tactical team applied leg restrains. John Doe 1 then forcibly twisted and bent Mr. Orr's left arm behind his back using extreme pressure. Mr. Orr heard popping sounds. John Doe 1 did the same thing to Mr. Orr's right arm. John Does 2, 3, and 4 stood and watched this occur. The tactical team then took Mr. Orr to the medical unit.

         Defendant Nurse Davis and Nurse Jane Doe told Mr. Orr he had no injuries. He complained of pain and received a shot of Toradol for the pain. As a result of this incident, Mr. Orr was in extreme pain and suffered eating and sleeping disturbances. Defendant Storms threatened to withhold medical care if Mr. Orr continued to refuse his meals.

         On October 5, 2017, Mr. Orr saw defendant Dr. Ippel. Dr. Ippel told Mr. Orr that his elbows may need casting but that he was potentially being transferred out of New Castle soon. Dr. Ippel did not order x-rays or otherwise provide Mr. Orr any medical care for his arm injury.

         Mr. Orr alleges that Warden Butts, GEO Group, and Wexford have an “access to care” policy but Storms, Butts, and Assistant Warden Doe failed to ensure that he was given pain relief. He also alleges that Butts failed to enforce medical polices and instead transferred him to Westville, and that Ippel, Storms, and Assistant Warden Doe failed to properly and timely diagnose him. Finally, he alleges that GEO Group has a policy and practice of saving money instead of providing most appropriate medical care to inmates.

         Mr. Orr was transferred to the Westville Correctional Facility on October 6, 2017. He alleges that the Westville defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs when they failed to provide or delayed appropriate medical treatment to his injured arms and failed to provide him pain medication. Mr. Orr alleges that Warden Servier and Wexford have an “access to care” policy but Warden Servier failed to ensure that he was given pain relief.

         III. Claims ...


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