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Walker v. Shah

July 19, 2006

ANTHONY WALKER, INMATE #N81212, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. SHAH, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, a former inmate in the Vandalia Correctional Center,*fn1 brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court granted Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis on February 1, 2006, but due to his parole, Plaintiff never paid an initial partial filing fee. Nevertheless, the Court will proceed with its preliminary review of the complaint.

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides, in pertinent part:

(a) Screening.-- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A. An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds that none of the claims in the complaint may be dismissed at this point in the litigation.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff states that on November 31, 2005, while he was working in the prison kitchen at Vandalia Correctional Center, he slipped and fell on some cooking oil that had spilled on the floor. Plaintiff lost consciousness. When he awoke he was being examined by Defendant Shah. Plaintiff states he was in a great deal of pain, but was made to wait three hours before he received an x-ray and eight hours before he received any pain medication. Plaintiff states that he was unable to eat for five days, and that he had difficulty walking and sleeping on his back due to the pain in his ribs. Plaintiff states that even though Defendant Shah was aware of Plaintiff's level of pain, he required him to walk up and down the stairs without assistance.

Plaintiff states that an x-ray technician told him that he had a fractured rib, but that Defendant Shah told him there was nothing he could do for Plaintiff. Plaintiff asked Defendant Shah for pain medication, but Dr. Shah refused. However, at some point (Plaintiff does not specify date or time), Defendant Shah did give Plaintiff some pain medication that made him vomit blood. Plaintiff states that Defendant Shah knew the medication would make him sick. Later, Defendant Shah gave Plaintiff some additional pain medication and examined him, but according to Plaintiff the examination was inadequate, because Defendant Shah told him there was nothing wrong.

Plaintiff states that a nurse attempted to help him, but that when she did so, Defendant Shah did not want her to assist him and "went off on her."

LEGAL STANDARDS

The Supreme Court has recognized that "deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners" may constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994). This encompasses a broader range of conduct than intentional denial of necessary medical treatment, but it stops short of "negligen[ce] in diagnosing or treating a medical condition." Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106. See also Jones v. ...


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