United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
Samuel Jackson, an inmate currently incarcerated at Pendleton
Correctional Facility (“Pendleton”), brought this
action against medical providers and other employees at
Pendleton, including Dr. Paul Talbot and his employer,
Wexford of Indiana, LLC (“Wexford). Mr. Jackson alleges
that the defendants have provided and continue to provide
deficient medical treatment for his severe foot
fungus and that his toes now appear to be
infected, black and rotten.
Court enters a preliminary injunction in Mr. Jackson's
favor as follows:
In order to ensure that Mr. Jackson receives constitutionally
adequate care, Dr. Talbot and Wexford of Indiana, LLC, shall
refer Mr. Jackson to an outside dermatologist by no later
than November 23, 2019. The Medical
Defendants must follow the treatment recommend by the
dermatologist while this injunction remains in effect. The
dermatologist shall be given a copy of this Order. The
Medical Defendants shall report no later than
November 23, 2019, that the referral has been made
and the date the appointment is scheduled. This report may be
filed ex parte only if Mr. Jackson is not given
notice of the date of the appointment.
Legal Standard for Issuing Preliminary Injunction
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never
awarded as of right.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def.
Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). “To obtain a
preliminary injunction, a plaintiff must establish that it
has some likelihood of success on the merits; that it has no
adequate remedy at law; that without relief it will suffer
irreparable harm.” GEFT Outdoors, LLC v. City of
Westfield, 922 F.3d 357, 364 (7th Cir. 2019) (citation
and quotation marks omitted); see Winter, 555 U.S.
at 20. “If the plaintiff fails to meet any of these
threshold requirements, the court must deny the
injunction.” GEFT Outdoors, 922 F.3d at 364
(citation and quotation marks omitted).
plaintiff passes the threshold requirements, “the court
must weigh the harm that the plaintiff will suffer absent an
injunction against the harm to the defendant from an
injunction, and consider whether an injunction is in the
public interest.” Planned Parenthood of Ind. &
Ky., Inc. v. Comm'r of Ind. State Dep't of
Health, 896 F.3d 809, 816 (7th Cir. 2018). The Seventh
Circuit “‘employs a sliding scale approach'
for this balancing: if a plaintiff is more likely to win, the
balance of harms can weigh less heavily in its favor, but the
less likely a plaintiff is to win the more that balance would
need to weigh in its favor.” GEFT Outdoors,
922 F.3d at 364 (quoting Planned Parenthood, 896
F.3d at 816).
Reasons Why Preliminary Injunction is Issued
Likelihood of Success on the Merits
Court begins with whether Mr. Jackson has a likelihood of
success on the merits of his Eighth Amendment medical claim.
Mr. Jackson was and remains a convicted prisoner, thus his
treatment and the conditions of his confinement are evaluated
under standards established by the Eighth Amendment's
proscription against the imposition of cruel and unusual
punishment. See Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31
(1993) (“[T]he treatment a prisoner receives in prison
and the conditions under which he is confined are subject to
scrutiny under the Eighth Amendment.”). Pursuant to the
Eighth Amendment, prison officials have a duty to provide
humane conditions of confinement, meaning they must take
reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates
and ensure that they receive adequate food, clothing,
shelter, and medical care. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 834 (1994).
determine if the Eighth Amendment has been violated in the
prison medical context, [the Court] perform[s] a two-step
analysis, first examining whether a plaintiff suffered from
an objectively serious medical condition, and then
determining whether the individual defendant was deliberately
indifferent to that condition.” Petties v.
Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 727-28 (7th Cir. 2016) (en banc).
To show deliberate indifference, “a plaintiff does not
need to show that the official intended harm or believed that
harm would occur, ” but “showing mere negligence
is not enough.” Id. at 728. Instead, a
plaintiff must “provide evidence that an official
actually knew of and disregarded a substantial risk
of harm.” Id.
uncontradicted evidence reflects that Mr. Jackson is
“suffering from black fungus on [his] toe-nail that
spread onto multiple toes and nails causing them to be
infected, black and rotten needing surgery, removed or
amputated and the pain and suffering [he is] experiencing
because [he is] not receiving adequate medical care or proper
pain medication from the defendants is becoming
unbearable.” Dkt. 9-1 at ¶ 3.
reasonable jury could, and likely would, infer that the
progression of a fungus over the course of 19 years that
gives the appearance that the plaintiff's toes are
rotting is a serious medical need. And that the denial of
responsive medical care including pain medication is due to
deliberate indifference of the medical providers. Mr. Jackson
has therefore shown a significant likelihood of success on
his Eighth Amendment medical claim.