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Walters v. Corizon Medical Services Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

December 9, 2019

LANCE WALTERS, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON MEDICAL SERVICES INC., et al. Defendants.

          Jeb Adam Crandall BLEEKE DILLON CRANDALL ATTORNEYS

          ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, SEVERING CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING ISSUANCE OF PROCESS

          James Patrick Hanlon, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Lance Walters is an inmate at Putnamville Correctional Facility. Because Mr. Walters is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(c), this Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) to screen his complaint before service on the defendants.

         I. Screening Standard

         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 amended 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 pleadings 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).

         II. The Complaint

         The complaint concerns incidents that occurred while Mr. Walters was incarcerated at Plainfield Correctional Facility (PCF) from approximately 2016-2017. Mr. Walters asserts claims against 18 defendants. They include:

• Wexford Health Sources, Inc., which has contracted to provide medical services to Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) inmates;
• Corizon Medical Services, Inc., which preceded Wexford as the IDOC's medical provider;
• eight medical professionals employed by Wexford and Corizon to treat PCF inmates; and
• eight IDOC employees at PCF.

         Mr. Walters asserts four groups of claims. The first concerns his treatment for skin lesions, which ultimately proved to be a symptom of lupus. Medical professionals Bethany Chidley, Murat Polar, Loice Mukona, John Reynolds, and Dawn Antle dismissed the lesions as a rash and refused to treat them for at least seven months.

         The second group of claims concerns the prison staff's treatment of Mr. Walters after he was diagnosed with lupus. Due to joint pain and muscle weakness, a doctor ordered that Mr. Walters be provided with a wheelchair and two-piece clothing (as opposed to a one-piece jumpsuit, which was more difficult to put on). On multiple occasions, Sergeant Eads and Nurses Becky Trivett and Dawn Antle took away the wheelchair and two-piece clothing even though they were ordered by a doctor. Mr. Walters sought assistance from Rachael Houghton, Stanley Knight, Raymond Kinneson, and Lieutenant Roach, but they ignored his complaints.

         The third group of claims concerns treatment for an injury Mr. Walters suffered while using a broken wheelchair. At one point, the wheelchair provided to Mr. Walters was damaged and caused him to cut his hand. An officer Mr. Walters refers to as Jane Doe saw Mr. Walters cut himself but refused to call for help. Mr. Walters complained about ...


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