United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate currently being held at the Women's Eastern
Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center
(“WERDCC”), was granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on
September 23, 2016. Based on a review of plaintiff's
amended complaint, filed on October 31, 2016, the Court will
appoint counsel, and counsel will be required to file a
second amended complaint in this matter.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to review in
forma pauperis complaints and dismiss them if they are
frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.
an inmate at WERDCC, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging violations of her civil rights. She
names three individuals as defendants in this action, as well
as Corizon Health, LLC. The three doctors employed by Corizon
named as defendants are: Dr. Hari Kapor (physician at
WERDCC); Dr. Tom Bredeman (Corizon Medical Director with
Office in Jefferson City, Missouri); and Dr. Justin Jones
(physician at WERDCC).
makes several claims against defendants relating to their
delay in treatment of her significant health care issues, as
well as their deliberate indifference to her serious health
care needs, all in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
claims that prior to her incarceration at WERDCC she had a
knee replacement in June of 2013. She states that she was
received into the Missouri Department of Corrections in
January of 2014 and at that time; she was allowed to use a
wheelchair for “long distances.” She claims that
over the next 15 months' time, she was in considerable
pain relating to her knee, and she had to attend a number of
doctor visits and sick calls relating to the pain. Between
January of 2014 and September of 2016, defendants delayed
treatment on plaintiff's leg until such time as plaintiff
could not walk at all and was in constant pain. In September
of 2016, plaintiff was finally given a new knee replacement
surgery after defendants admitted in the Spring of 2016 that
something had gone wrong with plaintiff's knee
replacement and caused damage to plaintiff's leg.
Plaintiff states that despite having been given a knee
replacement, she has not been started on physical therapy for
the past year and a half, plaintiff has also been allegedly
suffering from back pain that occurred after a fall in her
housing unit in May of 2015. Plaintiff claims that her
wheelchair was taken away while the floor crew cleaned in her
housing unit on May 19, 2015, and she fell on the wet floor.
She claims “no wet signs were visible.”
states that she had to “self-declare” her
injuries when a correctional officer refused to do an
accident report. The nurse on call refused to call the doctor
or do an x-ray even though plaintiff could not stand on her
leg at all and her back radiated pain. Plaintiff claims that
she continued almost daily visits to medical for back and leg
pain, asking to see the doctor on call or Dr. Hari Kapor.
Despite her requests, plaintiff states that it wasn't
until September of 2015, or right after Dr. Justin Jones
became the on-site Medical Director at WERDCC, that she was
sent for an MRI on her back. The MRI found several issues
that resulted in a consult with a neurosurgeon in Jefferson
City. Although the neurosurgeon told plaintiff she needed
immediate surgery, Corizon canceled the scheduled surgery,
telling plaintiff that because she didn't have
“permanent nerve damage, ” her surgery wasn't
necessary. In May of 2016, the orthopedic surgeon who looked
at plaintiff's knee also looked at the MRI results for
plaintiff's back and told plaintiff he concurred that she
needed immediate surgery on her back to alleviate the daily
pain. Plaintiff states that no surgery on her back has yet
3, 2015, plaintiff states she was once again in TCU due to
her pain level, however, on that date, she states that Dr.
Bredeman “took” her authorized wheelchair and
told her to use a walker even though she had an active
authorization to use the wheelchair from Dr. Hari Kapor who
had just retired from Corizon. Dr. Bredeman was filling in at
WERDCC as the onsite medical director. Plaintiff states that
she ended up going four days without showering, three days
without eating and two days without drinking because custody
staff wasn't allowed to bring her any food or a
wheelchair per Dr. Bredeman's medical orders. Plaintiff
was allegedly supposed to walk to get those things herself.
On July 7, 2015, plaintiff states that a correctional officer
felt sorry for her and provided her with a wheelchair to use.
time, plaintiff has not named a legally suable defendant in
her amended complaint. However, her claims for deliberate
indifference to her medical care, and delay in treatment of
her medical care, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, are
serious and troubling. See Alberson v. Norris, 458
F.3d 762, 765-66 (8th Cir. 2006) (A prison official's
deliberate indifference to a prisoner's serious medical
needs constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation
of the Eighth Amendment.); see also, Beyerbach v.
Sears, 49 F.3d 1324, 1326 (8th Cir. 1995) (plaintiff has
sufficiently alleged that the delay in treatment adversely
affected her condition and prognosis, in that she alleges the
delay in treatment necessitated reconstructive surgery).
the Court will appoint counsel in this matter and allow
plaintiffs counsel to ...