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Cohen v. Corizon Medical

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

October 11, 2016

DONALD COHEN, Plaintiff,
CORIZON MEDICAL, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiff's financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $1.90, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Additionally, the Court will direct the Clerk to serve defendants Corizon, Inc., and Dr. Charles Chastain with process.

         Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than “legal conclusions” and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 679. “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.” Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action against defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights.

         Plaintiff sues Corizon, Inc., Dr. Charles Chastain, Dr. Unknown Chein, and an unknown medical device supplier. Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center (“ERDCC”) in April 2014 when a doctor determined he needed knee replacement surgery. Plaintiff was transferred to an outside hospital for the surgery. Dr. Chein performed the surgery on April 22, 2014. After the surgery, he informed plaintiff that there were complications during the surgery. Dr. Chein purportedly told plaintiff, “The knee replacement did not fit well and was forced into place. You are suffering excessive hemorrhaging.”

         Plaintiff claims that Dr. Chein told him that he needed to remain hospitalized because of vascular damage, and he contacted Corizon for authorization. Plaintiff asserts that Corizon denied the request as a result of their policy requiring inmates to return to prisons within twenty-four hours after surgery. Plaintiff returned to ERDCC on April 24, 2014.

         Within twenty-four hours of his arrival at ERDCC, plaintiff needed a blood transfusion because of excessive bleeding. From April 24, 2014, through July 10, 2014, plaintiff bled excessively. Dr. Chastain gave plaintiff several blood transfusions until plaintiff was transferred to the Farmington Correctional Center (“FCC”) on June 24, 2014. Dr. Chastain allegedly told plaintiff that he was concerned about the possibility of blood loss and infections. Plaintiff asserts that Dr. Chastain told plaintiff that he wanted to return him to the hospital but that his hands were tied by Corizon's policies. Thus, Dr. Chastain continued to treat plaintiff at ERDCC instead of transferring plaintiff to an outside facility for treatment.

         Upon his arrival at FCC, plaintiff was diagnosed with anemia, a high fever, and excessive blood loss. The staff physician at FCC determined that plaintiff was in critical condition and transferred him to a trauma and surgical intensive care facility. Plaintiff underwent immediate emergency surgery on his arrival. His surgeon diagnosed him with a staph infection, severe vascular damage, excessive bleeding, and anemia. The doctor told him he had a “botched knee replacement” and subsequent neglect.

         Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages in this matter.


         To state a claim for medical mistreatment, plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to indicate a deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Camberos v. Branstad, 73 F.3d 174, 175 (8th Cir. 1995). Allegations of mere negligence in giving or failing to supply medical treatment will not suffice. Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106. In order to show deliberate indifference, plaintiff must allege that he suffered objectively serious medical needs and that defendants actually knew of but deliberately disregarded those needs. Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1239 (8th Cir. 1997). In order to state a claim against Corizon, ...

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