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Willie M. Steward v. Lieutenant Hoffman

February 28, 2011

WILLIE M. STEWARD,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
LIEUTENANT HOFFMAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

#K-60654,

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REAGAN, District Judge:

Plaintiff, an inmate in 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, 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 some of the claims in the complaint may be dismissed at this point in the litigation.

Facts:

The following version of the facts of this case are gleaned from Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1). On December 8, 2009 a code 3 medical emergency was called as a result of a reaction Plaintiff suffered after he stopped taking his medication. Defendant Hubler responded to the code first, and entered Plaintiff's cell to evaluate the situation. Shortly afterwards Defendants Little and Peek responded to the code, and they consulted with Defendant Hubler regarding the situation from outside of the cell, which they determined was a non-emergency. Plaintiff was then placed in cuffs, which caused bruises to his wrists. Plaintiff was escorted by Defendants Hubler and Hoffman from his cell to a new housing unit. Plaintiff was dragged along the way, and Defendants Hubler and Hoffman slammed Plaintiff's head and shoulder into the gate of his new housing unit. Plaintiff sustained further bruising as a result. Plaintiff was seen by Defendants Little and Peek the next day, who refused to document the bruises, but instead told Plaintiff that he needed to fill out forms for sick call.

On December 22, 2009, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Furlow. Plaintiff was told by Defendant Furlow that his bruises were minor, and did not document or take pictures of the injuries. On January 24th Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Bradley*fn1 , who reacted much the same as Defendant Furlow, without taking pictures of the injuries.

Discussion:

Plaintiff first claims that the actions of Defendants Hubler, Little, Peek, Furlow, and Bradley amount to deliberate indifference to his medical needs when he was deemed a non-emergency, and when they refused to treat or document his bruises. 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); see Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). This encompasses a broader range of conduct than intentional denial of necessary medical treatment, but it ...


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