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Darren Montgomery, Sr v. Dr. Obaisi

August 25, 2011

DARREN MONTGOMERY, SR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. OBAISI, NURSE BEARDS, NURSE MAGGIE, NURSE STEPHANIE WINTER, NURSE TERRY, NURSE JENNINGS, COUNSELOR MARTIN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED

Thursday, 25 August, 2011 01:30:58 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff Darren Montgomery, proceeding pro se and currently incarcerated in Logan Correctional Center, alleges that the soy in his diet is making him sick. The case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

LEGAL STANDARD

The Court is required by § 1915A to review a Complaint filed by a prisoner against a governmental entity or officer and, through such process, to identify cognizable claims, dismissing any claim that is "frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted . . . ". A hearing is held if necessary to assist the Court in this review, but, in this case, no hearing is necessary. The Complaint and its attachments are clear enough on their own for this Court to perform its merit review of Plaintiff's Complaint.

The review standard under § 1915A is the same as the notice pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Zimmerman v. Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 571 (7th Cir. 2000). To state a claim, the allegations must set forth a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Factual allegations must give enough detail to give "'fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" EEOC v. Concentra Health Serv., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007), quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)(add'l citation omitted). The factual "allegations must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a 'speculative level.'" Id., quoting Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555. However, pro se pleadings are liberally construed when applying this standard. Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009).

FACTS

Plaintiff alleges that, since he arrived at Logan Correctional Center in December 2010, the food served has caused him: very sharp pains in my digestive tract, I've even passed out.

I've heart palpitations, rashes, acne, now trouble sleeping, insomnia, panic attacks, depression, enlarged thyroid gland, hypothyroidism, brain fog, weight gain.

Plaintiff attributes his suffering to the soy in the food. He alleges that nurses have told him that the soy is toxic. Dr. Obaisi allegedly refuses to accept that soy is causing Plaintiff's problems, instead persisting in prescribing ineffective medicine.

ANALYSIS

Deliberate indifference to a serious medical need violates a prisoner's right under the Eighth Amendment to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Hayes v. Snyder, 546 F.3d 516, 522 (7th Cir. 2008). The medical need must be objectively serious, meaning "'one that has been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment or one that is so obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize the necessity for a doctor's attention.'" Id., quoting Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 653 (7th Cir. 2005). An objectively serious need also presents itself if "'failure to treat [it] could result in further significant injury or unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.'" Reed v. McBride, 178 F.3d 849, 852 (7th Cir. 1999)(quoted cite omitted); Roe v. Elyea, 631 F.3d 843, 857 (7th Cir. 2011)("The Eighth Amendment safeguards the prisoner against a lack of medical care that 'may result in pain and suffering which no one suggests would serve any penological purpose.'") (quoted cite omitted). Deliberate indifference does not encompass negligence or even gross negligence. McGowan v. Hulick, 612 F.3d 636, 640 (7th Cir. 2010). Deliberate indifference requires personal knowledge of an inmate's serious medical need and an intentional or reckless disregard of that need. Id.; Hayes, 546 F.3d at 524.

The Court concludes that Plaintiff states an arguable Eighth Amendment claim against Dr. Obaisi for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs. A serious medical need may be inferred from Plaintiff's own description of his symptoms. Cooper v. Casey, 97 F.3d 914, 916 (7th Cir. 1996)("Pain, fatigue, and other subjective, nonverifiable complaints are in some cases the only symptoms of a serious medical condition."). Whether soy is to blame ...


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