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Chester O'quinn v. Dr. Feinerman

July 7, 2011


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



Plaintiff Chester O'Quinn, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a 70 year sentence for murder. 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. "To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that a government official, acting under color of state law, deprived him of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States." Heyde v. Pittenger, 633 F.3d 512, 516 (7th Cir. 2011). 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 any 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 alleges that he suffers from several serious medical conditions, and the gist of his complaint is that he has not received proper treatment for these ailments. Since January 2009, Plaintiff has experienced pain and stiffness in his back, knees, and other joints; arthritis; and growths on his feet, causing him to have trouble walking and sleeping. After Plaintiff complained numerous times to Defendant Dr. Feinerman, Plaintiff was given a "pumi-pad" to remove callouses, and a slow walk permit, but he appears to allege this treatment was inadequate.

Plaintiff is diabetic, and claims that his blood sugar levels were never tested for nearly two years (all of 2009 and up to October 25, 2010). As a result, he experienced symptoms of dizziness, light-headedness, blurred vision, shakes, and general weakness, due to his blood sugar being too high or too low. Plaintiff requested Defendants Feinerman, Fahim, and Criss to provide him with regular blood sugar tests, and to order an evening snack tray for him to help regulate his blood sugar, but both requests were denied. Plaintiff claims that other diabetic inmates have regular daily or weekly blood sugar checks and also receive an evening snack tray.

Plaintiff developed a number of painful cysts or "tumor-like growths" on his chest, which bleed periodically. Plaintiff states that prior to his incarceration, his private doctor had removed identical cysts and warned Plaintiff they could develop into cancerous tumors. Plaintiff requested Defendants Feinerman, Fuentes, Nwaobzsi, and Criss to remove the growths and have them tested. However, nothing was done, and the Defendants failed to give Plaintiff any treatment for his pain.

Plaintiff also has high blood pressure and is on medication for this condition. He had been referred for regular visits (approximately three times per year) to the prison's cardiac clinic for monitoring, but between November 2008 and November 2009, because of frequent lockdowns, he missed three clinic visits that were never rescheduled. As a result, on numerous occasions he suffered headaches, dizziness, incoherency, and numbness in his arms and legs, which he claims would have been mitigated if he had been able to visit the cardiac clinic as scheduled.

Plaintiff also complains that several of his grievances over the above problems were either unanswered or ignored.

Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages, and a court order that he receive immediate ...

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