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Chencinski v. Walker

March 17, 2010

ROBERT E. CHENCINSKI, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER E. WALKER, JR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeksdamages and injunctive relief foralleged violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. 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, 590 U.S. 544, 570 (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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts "should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements." Id. At the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Service, 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff alleges that he was diagnosed with "blepharospasm (permanent nerve damage)" in his left eye and cheek while he was confined in the Cook County Jail. Plaintiff contends that his condition effects his everyday activities like sleeping and brushing his teeth. He further alleges that he was scheduled to have botox treatment for his condition. However, before he could have the botox treatment, he was transferred to Shawnee Correctional Center. Plaintiff asserts that he was examined by Dr. Fix, an eye specialist at the prison, who referred him to a Dr. Umana at the Marion Eye Center for botox treatment. Plaintiff, however, contends that a week later Defendant Dr. David cancelled the referral and treatment asserting that Plaintiff's condition was "more cosmetic." After filing a grievance concerning Dr. David's actions, Plaintiff was examined by a neurologist, Dr. Alam. Dr. Alam gave Plaintiff a prescription for "Depakote ER 500." A few months later, Plaintiff had a follow-up examination with Dr. Alam. After this exam, Dr. Alam stated that the "Depakote ER 500" did not help Plaintiff's condition and referred Plaintiff to Dr. Umana at the Marion Eye Center for botox treatment.

Plaintiff states that on January 1, 2009, he suffered a spasm that caused him to hit his mouth on the edge of his sink. As a result, Plaintiff suffered damage to a tooth.

After that incident, Plaintiff was again examined by Dr. David who informed him that the request for botox treatment had been denied by Defendant "Wexford U.R.." Plaintiff filed another grievance and, in response, was re-examined by Dr. Fix. Plaintiff states that Dr. Fix once again recommended botox injections "as the only treatment" for Plaintiff's condition and recommended referral to Dr. Umana. Plaintiff's grievance, however, was denied by Defendantsb Rhine and Shaffer. Defedant Shaffer ultimately stated that Plaintiff would continue with "conservative treatment." Plaintiff, however, contends that "conservative treatment" is simply code for "no treatment." Accordingly, Plaintiff asserts that he is being denied adequate medical treatment for his medical condition in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.

DISCUSSION

"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. Simek, 193 ...


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