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Hampton v. Bartley

July 14, 2009


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


Plaintiff, an inmate at the Pinckneyville 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). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007). A complaint is plausible on its face "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. ___, 2009 WL 1361536, *13 (May 18, 2009).


Liberally construing the complaint and attached exhibits, it appears that on April 23, 2006, Plaintiff slipped and fell on a wet floor in the Dietary Unit at PCC. Plaintiff was taken to the Health Unit and, after one-half hour, he was told to walk back to his housing unit. Plaintiff contends that during this time he could not feel his back and he believed that there was something wrong with him. The next morning, Plaintiff says his chest felt hot and he was short of breath and had back pain. Plaintiff was told to fill out a request for sick call. The following day, Plaintiff told two guards (not defendants in this action) that he was having a heart problem, but no action was taken.

For reasons not clear from the complaint, it appears that on or about May 9, 2006, Plaintiff was admitted to PCC's infirmary. He has monitored in the infirmary for a period of 23 hours and released on orders from the prison's doctors. Immediately upon his release from the infirmary , Plaintiff was placed on administrative segregation on "investigative status."

On October 14, 2006, Plaintiff passed out on the floor of his cell. Although, several other inmates hit the "emergency button" in response to Plaintiff's condition, Plaintiff contends that Defendant Bernhard didn't respond to the "emergency button" for one-half hour because he was playing cards. When he did finally respond, Defendant Bernhard called PCC's health unit and Plaintiff was taken to the Pinckneyville hospital. Plaintiff states after two hours at the hospital, he was returned to the prison. Plaintiff was informed that Dr. Feinerman (not a defendant in this action) had concluded that Plaintiff suffered a seizure and, therefore, ordered Plaintiff be given Dilantin. Plaintiff complains, though, that the Dialantin gives him a stomach ache, headache, and makes him sleepy. In addition to the medication, Dr. Mathis ordered that Plaintiff be placed in a low bunk in a low gallery due to "seizure disorder."

Plaintiff filed grievances concerning Defendant Bernhard's inaction and his confinement on administrative segregation. These grievances were reviewed and denied by Defendants Kisro, Maue, Brown, Walker, Bartley, Heck, and Ford. Plaintiff claims that the denial of his grievances was "retaliatory" and that they failed to correct the actions of other prison staff.

On November 23, 2006, Plaintiff fell again and was taken to the Pinckneyville hospital. On January 1, 2007, Defendant Larson wrote Plaintiff a prescription for "Phentoin Sod Ex" - which Plaintiff's exhibit describes as a generic form of Dilantin.

The crux of Plaintiff's complaint is stated in a grievance he has attached to the complaint. Plaintiff writes: "I feel that if the reasons for my illness is not found out and I am forced to take the seizure medication which is not helping and only making me feel worse I will be seriously and ...

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