United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
SAMUEL L. MARTIN-SHIVELY, Plaintiff,
JOHN GALIPEAU, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE
L. Martin-Shively, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a
complaint and two motions seeking preliminary injunctive
relief to obtain adequate medical care and treatment for his
back pain. (ECF 5, ECF 10; ECF 12). The court ordered Warden
Galipeau, in his official capacity, to file an affidavit or
declaration with the court explaining how Samuel L.
Martin-Shively's back pain is being addressed in a manner
consistent with the Eighth Amendment. (ECF 7.) Warden
Galipeau has now responded. (ECF 16.)
response, Warden Galipeau argues that Wexford is responsible
for decisions about Mr. Martin-Shively's medical care and
that Wexford is in the best position to respond to Mr.
Martin-Shively's concerns. As noted in this court's
order (ECF 7), Warden Galipeau has both the authority and the
responsibility to ensure that Mr. Martin-Shively receives
medical treatment that is consistent with what the Eighth
Amendment requires. See Gonzalez v. Feinerman, 663
F.3d 311, 315 (7th Cir. 2011) (“the warden . . . is a
proper defendant [for] injunctive relief [and is] responsible
for ensuring that any injunctive relief is carried
out.”). To the extent that Warden Galipeau is arguing
that he can't provide the requested relief, his argument
complaint, Mr. Martin-Shively alleged that hardware installed
during a previous back surgery has become loose and causes
him great pain. He indicates that a surgeon recommended
before his incarceration that he have a corrective surgery.
He has tried to alert prison officials to this need since he
arrived at the Regional Diagnostic Center in June of 2019,
and even provided medical records that allegedly documented
the need for surgery. Mr. Martin-Shively also told Westville
staff about his back pain during intake. He told LPN Ms.
Hutchinson about his pain and need for surgery. He also told
her that before his incarceration, he spent most of his time
in a wheelchair, had a life alert button for emergencies, and
had a caregiver to assist him. In response, Ms. Hutchinson
told Mr. Martin-Shively that the IDOC doesn't let inmates
get back surgery while incarcerated. He asked her for a
second mattress or a thicker mattress to relieve his pain,
but she said that she had nothing to do with that decision.
She provided Mr. Martin-Shively with a back brace, which he
used, but it didn't help him.
those first attempts to obtain the care he believes he needs
were unsuccessful, Mr. Martin-Shively submitted a request for
health care in September indicating that his back pain was
getting worse. He also indicated that he needed surgery,
medication, work that didn't hurt his back, and to see a
doctor. (ECF 5-1 at 13.) In response, Mr. Martin-Shively was
seen by a nurse on September 17, 2019, although it is unclear
what treatment, if any, was provided. Mr. Martin-Shively
further aggravated his back while working on September 24,
and he submitted a second health care request form, then a
third. (ECF 5-1 at 11-12) When Mr. Martin-Shively filed his
complaint, he indicated that he still hadn't seen a
doctor for his back pain.
response to the court's order, Warden Galipeau indicates
that Mr Wexford's medical staff has seen Mr. Mr.
Martin-Shively numerous times since he came to Westville on
June 20, including four times specifically relating to his
back pain. (ECF 16-2 at ¶ 7-8.) Warden Galipeau
doesn't indicate that a physician has seen Mr.
Martin-Shively, and doesn't indicate what treatment, if
any, was provided for Mr. Martin-Shively's back pain by
the medical staff that saw Mr. Martin-Shively. In short,
Warden Galipeau's response doesn't show Mr.
Martin-Shively is receiving constitutionally adequate medical
care - or any care at all - for his claimed severe back pain
caused by a failed back surgery and loose hardware.
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).
[t]he PLRA circumscribes the scope of the court's
authority to enter an injunction in the corrections context.
Where prison conditions are found to violate federal rights,
remedial injunctive relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no
further than necessary to correct the violation of the
Federal right, and use the least intrusive means necessary to
correct the violation of the Federal right. This section of
the PLRA enforces a point repeatedly made by the Supreme
Court in cases challenging prison conditions: Prison
officials have broad administrative and discretionary
authority over the institutions they manage.
Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679 (7th Cir. 2012)
(quotation marks, brackets, and citations omitted).
uncontradicted material now before the court at this time is
that Mr. Martin-Shively suffers from severe back pain, that
he has - thus far - been seen by nursing staff several times
but hasn't received any treatment outside of an
ineffective back brace provided by LPN Hutchinson. Ongoing
suffering caused by pain is an irreparable harm. Money can
compensate for past pain, but that alone isn't a
justification for unnecessarily protracting current
suffering. As presented, Mr. Martin-Shively has some
likelihood of success. As for balancing harms, Warden
Galipeau won't be required to provide care beyond that
which is mandated by the Eighth Amendment and so will suffer
no appreciable harm if the request for an injunction is
granted. The requested preliminary injunction isn't based
on a disagreement with medical professionals - it's based
on the absence of a single medical opinion about what care is
appropriate for Mr. Martin-Shively and an absence of any
evidence that Mr. Martin-Shively's pain is being
addressed in any manner whatsoever. 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). Therefore, the court will grant a preliminary
injunction, but only to the extent that Warden Galipeau in
his official capacity will be ordered to have Mr.
Martin-Shively examined and treated by a licensed physician
for his complaints of back pain.
Galipeau isn't a medical professional, and nothing in
this order requires him to be a medical professional. This
order only requires the warden to locate a licensed physician
who will examine Mr. Martin-Shively's back and provide
constitutionally adequate medical treatment. See Gonzalez
v. Feinerman, 663 F.3d at 315.
order sets a deadline for Warden Galipeau to get Mr.
Martin-Shively to a physician, but it doesn't specify
which physician because inmates aren't “entitled to
demand specific care” or “the best care
possible.” Forbes v. Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267
(7th Cir. 1997). Nor does it dictate how Mr.
Martin-Shively's pain must 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 does the injunction
require that Mr. ...