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Donald E. Beard, Jr v. Dr. Obaisi

October 27, 2011

DONALD E. BEARD, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. OBAISI, MICHELLE MILLARD, TOM ACKMAN, ALEX DAWSON, GINA ALLEN, S.A. GODINEZ, DEFENDANTS.



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

E-FILED Thursday, 27 October, 2011 03:44:25 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and currently incarcerated in Logan Correctional Center, pursues claims arising from the failure to treat alleged painful bone spurs in Plaintiff's left ankle. 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, the Court concludes that 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. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged . . . . Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009), citing Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555-56. However, pro se pleadings are liberally construed when applying this standard. Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009).

ALLEGATIONS

Around December, 2010, Plaintiff began experiencing severe, sharp, and chronic pain in his left ankle, which he believed was caused in part by an injury he suffered years before his incarceration. Defendant Dr. Obaisi ordered an x-ray, which showed:

There is a prominent hypertrophic spurring along the insertion site of the Achilles tendon and the calcaneus with adjacent soft tissue or tendon calcifications. There is hypertrophic spurring along the plantar aspect of the calcaneus. There is hypertrophic spurring along the base of the tibia. There is no acute bony abnormality. (d/e 1-1, p. 4).

Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Obaisi has intentionally ignored the x-ray and misdiagnosed him with "chronic tendonitis and post-fracture traumatic arthritis," offering only pain medicine like Naprosyn, which does little to ease the pain and nothing to fix the underlying problem. Plaintiff alleges that surgery is necessary to remove the spurs. He seeks an order directing surgery and compensatory damages.

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 [the condition] 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 ...


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