United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
BRODERICK V. BULLOCK, SR., Plaintiff,
NOE MARANDET, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
V. Bullock, Sr., a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a motion
for a preliminary injunction seeking an order for him to be
transported to a medical appointment with Dr. Mullis at
Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis for the treatment of a
fracture of his right ankle. ECF 19. As previously explained,
because the Prison Litigation Reform Act limits the
court's authority to grant injunctive relief, if an
injunction is granted, it will be limited to requiring Warden
Hyatt insure Bullock is provided medical treatment for his
ankle fracture as required by the Eighth Amendment. ECF 20 at
3. Warden Hyatt was ordered to respond to the motion for a
preliminary injunction for the purpose of explaining how the
current medical treatment Bullock is receiving for his ankle
meets the constitutional requirements of the Eighth
Amendment. ECF 20. The Warden has responded and Bullock has
replied. ECF 32 and 34.
preliminary injunction motion filed on June 12, 2019, Bullock
states his right “ankle is in complete pain.” ECF
19 at 2. In response, the Warden documents that Bullock was
seen by various medical providers on May 11, 2018; May 22,
2018; May 29, 2018; June 18, 2018; October 29, 2018; and
November 13, 2018. ECF 32-1. The Warden argues Bullock
“has received continual medical treatment for his right
ankle, ” but the evidence presented here does not
support that assertion. ECF 32 at 6. There is no indication
in this record that Bullock has been seen by any medical
providers in over nine months. The Warden's response is
shockingly inadequate. More to the point, the evidence before
the court for this preliminary injunction shows Bullock has
not received the medical care required by the Eighth
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic
remedy, one that should not be granted unless the movant, by
a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion.”
Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997).
To obtain a preliminary injunction, a plaintiff must first
show that: (1) without such relief, it will suffer
irreparable harm before final resolution of its claims; (2)
traditional legal remedies would be inadequate; and (3) it
has some likelihood of success on the merits. If a plaintiff
makes such a showing, the court next must weigh the harm the
plaintiff will suffer without an injunction against the harm
the defendant will suffer with one. This assessment is made
on a sliding scale: The more likely the plaintiff is to win,
the less heavily need the balance of harms weigh in his
favor; the less likely he is to win, the more need it weigh
in his favor. Finally, the court must ask whether the
preliminary injunction is in the public interest, which
entails taking into account any effects on non-parties.
Ultimately, the moving party bears the burden of showing that
a preliminary injunction is warranted.
Courthouse News Serv. v. Brown, 908 F.3d 1063, 1068
(7th Cir. 2018) (citations and quotation marks omitted).
uncontradicted evidence before the court at this time is that
Bullock is in serious pain because of an injury to his right
ankle. He has not been seen by a medical professional in more
than nine months. The ongoing suffering caused by pain is an
irreparable harm. Money can compensate for past pain, but
that alone is not a justification for unnecessarily
protracting current suffering. As presented, Bullock has some
likelihood of success. As for balancing harms, the Warden
argues “[a]llowing every inmate to petition the Court
for specific medical care simply because he/she disagrees
with medical professionals would create a dangerous
precedent.” ECF 32 at 8. However, that is not what is
happening here. The court has already explained that specific
medical care is not within the scope of the injunctive relief
Bullock can obtain in this case. Moreover, there is no
evidence Bullock is disagreeing with medical professionals in
this case. The uncontradicted evidence before the court in
this case is that he has not been seen by a medical
professional for more than nine months. Finally, the public
interest weighs in favor of granting a preliminary injunction
in this case because prisoners have a constitutional right to
adequate medical care. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 104 (1976).
the court will grant the motion for a preliminary injunction
to the extent Warden Hyatt in an official capacity will be
ordered to have Bullock examined and treated by a licensed
physician. The Warden argues he “is not a
medical professional.” ECF 32 at 5 (emphasis in
original). However nothing in this injunction order requires
that he be a medical professional. Most people are not
medical professionals. Yet most successfully obtain critical
medical care for themselves and their families. Being a
medical professional is not a pre-requisite for being able to
find a medical professional to provide needed care.
“[T]he warden . . . is a proper defendant [for]
injunctive relief [and is] responsible for ensuring that any
injunctive relief is carried out.” Gonzalez v.
Feinerman, 663 F.3d 311, 315 (7th Cir. 2011).
injunction will set a deadline for the Warden to get Bullock
to a physician, but it will not specify which physician
because inmates are not “entitled to demand specific
care” or “the best care possible.”
Forbes v. Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir. 1997).
Nor will the injunction dictate how Bullock's pain is to
be treated because, “the Constitution is not a medical
code that mandates specific medical treatment.”
Snipes v. DeTella, 95 F.3d 586, 592 (7th Cir. 1996).
“Whether and how pain associated with medical treatment
should be mitigated is for doctors to decide free from
judicial interference, except in the most extreme
situations.” Id. Neither will the injunction
require that Bullock's pain be alleviated because
“[t]o say the Eighth Amendment requires prison doctors
to keep an inmate pain-free in the aftermath of proper
medical treatment would be absurd.” Id.
these reasons, the motion for preliminary injunction (ECF 19)
is GRANTED to the extent Warden Hyatt in an official capacity
is ORDERED to have Broderick V. Bullock, Sr., examined by a
licensed physician and treated for the pain Bullock has in
his right ankle in the manner prescribed by the physician.
Warden Hyatt is ORDERED to file a medical report documenting
compliance with this order by noon (South Bend
Time), August 23, 2019. ...