United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY DISTRICT JUDGE.
se plaintiff Matthew Soderlin, a prisoner at the Fox
Lake Correctional Institution (“FLCI”), filed
this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Soderlin
claims that defendants, various health care providers,
violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment and state law
by delaying or failing to provide him with refills for his
prescribed medications. Soderlin's complaint is ready for
screening as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Even
construing his allegations liberally, however, the court has
determined that Soderlin's complaint is subject to
dismissal but will give him one opportunity to file a
proposed amended complaint that corrects the deficiencies
Soderlin is currently incarcerated at FLCI, he was
incarcerated at Redgranite Correctional Institution
(“RGCI”) during the relevant time period.
Soderlin has named nine defendants: the Wisconsin Department
of Corrections Bureau of Health Services (“BHS”);
six individuals who appear to have been working as nurses in
RGCI's Health Services Unit (“HSU”) during
the relevant time period: Lori Doehling, Angela Thompson, Z.
Casper, T. Gimenez, A. Lamore and S. Bunk; Maxim Healthcare
Services (“Maxim”); and one Maxim employee, Paula
suffers from Addison's disease, also called adrenal
insufficiency, and hypothyroidism. Both of these conditions
relate to his body's inability to produce sufficient
hormones. To treat those conditions, Soderlin has been
prescribed hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone. He alleges
that his prescription dosages have steadily increased since
2013, and that he needs these medications to live.
May 17, 2017, and October 12, 2017, Soderlin stopped
receiving his refills of his prescriptions in a timely
fashion, resulting in him experiencing delays of up to five
days before he received refills. When this happened, Soderlin
alerted prison officials and HSU staff in an attempt to
obtain timely refills. Soderlin alleges that he informed
defendants, either by submitting Health Services Requests or
directly informing them that he had run out of his
medication, but he still experienced several-day delays when
he needed refills. Soderlin does not allege who received his
requests or when he informed them that his prescriptions were
next alleges, without providing any dates or names, that
correctional officers informed the defendants that Soderlin
was suffering from “stress” and that his
condition was deteriorating because he was not receiving his
medications in a timely fashion. Soderlin further alleges
that after his endocrinologist at UW-Madison learned that his
refills were repeatedly delayed, that doctor emailed
defendant Brady about the problem. Again, Soderlin does not
allege when Brady received the email from the
endocrinologist, nor does he allege how Brady responded to
the email or if Brady simply ignored it.
Soderlin alleges that RGCI's psychologist informed
Thompson about the delays and that Doehling and Thompson both
were responsible for managing the HSU. Again, Soderlin does
not provide any dates as to when any of the defendants
learned that his prescriptions were delayed, nor has he
described how individual defendants responded when these
defendants learned about the delays.
seeks leave to proceed against all of the defendants on
Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference and Wisconsin
claims. The court begins by explaining why the Bureau of
Health Services and Maxim Healthcare Services will both be
dismissed, and then will explain why plaintiff's claims
against the remaining defendants are subject to dismissal.
court is dismissing the Bureau of Health Services as a
defendant because it is not a “person” that may
be sued under § 1983. Smith v. Knox Cty. Jail,
666 F.3d 1037, 1040 (7th Cir. 2012) (“A prison or
department in a prison cannot be sued because it cannot
accept service of the complaint.”). Additionally, as
for Maxim, a private company, plaintiff can only sue it as a
state actor under § 1983 if he alleges that Maxim
contracted to provide essential government services and had a
“policy or custom” that caused him not to receive
his medications in a timely fashion. Shields v. Ill.
Dep't of Corr., 746 F.3d 782, 790 (7th Cir. 2014)
(citing Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S.
658, 691 (1978)). Since plaintiff has not alleged that such a
policy or custom was responsible for his medication lapses,
Maxim will be dismissed as a defendant.
to the individual defendants, a prison official who violates
the Eighth Amendment in the context of a prisoner's
medical treatment demonstrates “deliberate
indifference” to a “serious medical need.”
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976).
Forbes v. Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 266 (7th Cir. 1997).
“Serious medical needs” include (1)
life-threatening conditions or those carrying a risk of
permanent serious impairment if left untreated, (2)
withholding of medical care that results in needless pain and