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Javier Luna v. Wexford Medical Staff

January 30, 2011

JAVIER LUNA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
WEXFORD MEDICAL STAFF, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

#M-04122,

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Javier Luna, an inmate in 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, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Conversely, 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. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

Upon careful review of the complaint, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

Plaintiff Javier Luna asserts that on September 16, 2009, he fell in his sleep from his top bunk approximately five feet to the concrete floor. The fall injured his left hand and lower back. His hand injury was visible, with swelling and a knuckle that was pushed back to the center of his hand. He immediately requested medical attention from the Gallery Officer on duty (Defendant Unknown Party/Wing Officer). This Defendant told Plaintiff "to write a request slip for a Doctor. You have to pay for treatment here."

Plaintiff did not receive any medical attention until 8-10 days after the injury, and x-rays were not taken until 23 days later. Plaintiff states that he continues to suffer pain in his left hand and lower back as a result of the injury and delay in treatment. Plaintiff is a Spanish-speaker, and claims that the Defendant medical staff refused to allow him to engage the help of a bilingual prisoner to translate his requests for medical assistance. He states that while he was required to submit a request slip in order to be referred for medical attention, "regularly situated" English-speaking prisoners were often given medical attention for their injuries without having to submit a request slip. He names Defendants Wexford Medical Staff (unknown individual names), Dr. Obadina, and Wexford Medical Staff Nurses (unknown individual names) as having failed to render prompt treatment and denying him the use of an interpreter. He also states that "prison officials" as distinct from the medical staff, denied him the use of ...


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