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Douglas W. Davis v. Warden Dozier

June 2, 2011


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



Plaintiff Douglas W. Davis, an inmate in Vandalia Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a three year sentence for driving on a revoked/suspended license. 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 and supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

Plaintiff is a left-leg amputee and depends on a prosthesis to walk. Because of his disability, he needs to wear a "stump sock" to protect the skin at the site of his amputation, keep the area sanitary, and be able to comfortably wear his artificial leg. He also had an active MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection at the time of his commitment to the Illinois Department of Corrections. When he arrived at the Vandalia Correctional Center on May 6, 2010, he had painful open sores on his stump, aggravated by the failure of medical staff at Graham Correctional Center to provide him with clean stump socks during the time he spent there awaiting transfer. Plaintiff alleges that he had "doctors orders" to replace the stump sock with a clean one every day because of the infection.

Plaintiff requested Defendant Boatman (a nurse) and other Jane Doe nurses and John Doe doctor(s) to provide him with changes of stump socks, but none were given to him. On May 6, 2010, he had been told that the socks would be provided as soon as possible. He renewed his request for stump socks on June 17, 2010. Again, on July 15, 2010, he told Defendant Boatman that he still had not been provided any stump socks. At that time Defendant Boatman told Plaintiff that the socks were "not covered by their insurance" and would not be given to him. Even before that date, his original stump socks had become worn out, filthy and unsanitary, aggravating Plaintiff's sores and infection. Plaintiff also claims that the doctor (Defendant John Doe) never examined him nor treated him for his infection.

In addition, the harness to hold his prosthesis needed to be replaced because a strap had become worn out. The artificial leg was sent for repair but was returned to Plaintiff with the wrong strap. As a result, Plaintiff has suffered more pain and excessive sores. At the time he filed his complaint (October 25, ...

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