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Thomas v. Loftin

September 30, 2008

DONYAL THOMAS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARY LOFTIN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Big Muddy River Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(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 it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

FACTS ALLEGED

On February 6, 2007, Plaintiff slipped and fell on an patch of ice at Lawrence Correctional Center. Plaintiff was taken to the medical unit and examined by Defendants Knowlton and Brooks. Although Plaintiff was in severe pain and was able to remain sitting or to squeeze the nurse's finger, Defendants provided him with pain medication and dismissed him. Defendant McAllister roughly placed Plaintiff in handcuffs to return Plaintiff to his cell; neither Knowlton, Brooks nor Defendants Hall or Kuntz intervened in this process.

Later that day, experiencing severe pain, Plaintiff called to Defendant Goines that he needed to see a doctor. Instead of taking him to the medical unit immediately, Goines told him to fill out a medical request slip.

Early in the morning of February 7, Plaintiff experienced a sharp pain in his spine. He lost of control of his legs and fell to the floor, so he pressed the emergency call button. Officer Miller (not a defendant) responded, and then summoned Defendants Henton*fn1 and Cox. Henton and Cox forwarded Plaintiff's request for medical treatment and went in search of four-point shackles and a shield, leaving Plaintiff prone on the floor of his cell. An unknown LPN defendant then came to Plaintiff's cell, performing a cursory examination before giving Plaintiff a bag of ice and an admonition to reduce his consumption of pain medication.

For the next several days, Plaintiff received no further medical treatment. On February 15, Defendant Pearson took Plaintiff to the medical unit to see Defendant Loftin. Plaintiff remained shackled throughout the examination as Loftin prodded him through his jumpsuit. Loftin found no evidence of breaks or fractures, though she ordered an x-ray taken on February 19. In the interim, she did not prescribe any pain medication, nor did she provide any medical treatment for his other conditions.

Plaintiff's x-ray report, dated February 26, 2007, indicated that Plaintiff had suffered spinal trauma in the lumbar area. Despite that report, Plaintiff was not provided with any significant medical treatment by Defendant Loftin or others at Lawrence Correctional Center. He believes part of the reason for his lack of treatment was a notion in his medical records -- Defendants Cooper, Pearson and Vaughn had reported on April 3, 2007, that Plaintiff was in the yard "running, playing basketball, and smiling," which Plaintiff alleges was false.

In September 2007, Plaintiff was transferred to Big Muddy River Correctional Center. Despite his back condition, which had only worsened over time, Defendants Ryker, Loftin and Brian approved his transfer as a healthy inmate. As a result, he suffered severe pain during the transfer that continued long after he arrived. Plaintiff complained of his condition to Defendant Boling during ...


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