United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on review of plaintiff Erick
Garcia's amended complaint (Docket No. 9) pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915. For the reasons discussed below,
plaintiff will be directed to file a second amended
is currently incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional
Center (NECC) in Bowling Green, Missouri. He filed his
original complaint on June 8, 2018, naming Doctors Todd
Richards, John Pope, Unknown Cook, and Unknown Penyugua as
defendants. (Docket No. 1 at 1). Defendants Richards and Pope
were on the medical staff at "Cameron
Correctional." Defendant Pope was a physician at Capital
Region Physicians. Finally, defendant Penyugua was on the
medical staff at NECC.
original complaint, plaintiff alleged that during the course
of his incarceration, he was subjected to a "system of
deliberate [indifference]" with regard to a chronic
condition in his right shoulder. (Docket No. 1 at 4; Docket
No. 1-1 at 2). Plaintiff stated that he had been misdiagnosed
and allowed to endure pain while receiving treatment that
medical staff knew was not helping. (Docket No. 1 at 4).
plaintiff alleged that Dr. Richards "disregarded the
fact" that NSAID and steroid injections were
ineffective. Furthermore, Dr. Richards, along with Dr. Pope,
Dr. Cook, and Dr. Penyugua continued to provide treatment
they knew was ineffective. Plaintiff asserted that this
constituted "cruel and unusual punishment" because
the defendants knew about his "pain and did not provide
care to address it." As a result, he suffered continued
deterioration of his muscles, leading to years of constant
pain and a "progressively worse injury."
September 26, 2018, plaintiff filed a document with the Court
construed as a motion to amend. (Docket No. 6). In the
motion, plaintiff stated that his claim was "improperly
filed" and that the inmate helping him fill out
paperwork did so improperly. The motion was granted and
plaintiff was given thirty days to file an amended complaint
on a Court-provided form. Plaintiff duly complied with this
order and filed an amended complaint on November 13, 2018.
(Docket No. 9).
amended complaint names the Missouri Department of
Corrections as the sole defendant. (Docket No. 9 at 1). He
states that in 2013, he discovered that he had a spur and
arthritis in his right shoulder. (Docket No. 9 at 5). This
was revealed by an x-ray performed at South Central
Correctional Center in Licking, Missouri. After the x-ray,
plaintiff states that the pain became worse. He underwent a
CT scan that showed he had a torn labrum. Plaintiff states
that he has been filing health service requests for the past
five years. He also states that his "doctors in
D.O.C." have requested that he see an orthopedist, but
such requests have been denied. Plaintiff claims that his
pain has continued to worsen and he is experiencing decreased
range of motion and muscle atrophy.
seeks $1, 500 a day for pain and suffering until this matter
is settled. (Docket No. 9 at 6). He is also requesting $250,
000 in punitive damages, and corrective surgery on his right
amended complaint, plaintiff alleges that defendant Missouri
Department of Corrections violated his Eight Amendment right
to medical care by failing to properly treat his right
government has an obligation to provide medical care to those
whom it is punishing by incarceration. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976). To demonstrate
constitutionally inadequate medical care, the inmate must
show that a prison official's conduct amounted to
deliberate indifference. Dulany v. Camahan, 132 F.3d
1234, 1237-38 (8th Cir. 1997).
deliberate indifference requires a showing that a
"medical provider knew of and disregarded a serious
medical need." Phillips v. Jasper Cty. Jail,437 F.3d 791, 795 (8th Cir. 2006). "A serious
medical need is one that has been diagnosed by a physician as
requiring treatment, or one that is so obvious that even a
layperson would easily recognize the necessity for a
doctor's attention." Coleman v. Rahija, 114
F.3d 778, 784 (8th Cir. 1997). Deliberate
indifference can include the intentional denial or delay of
access to medical care, ...