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Clyde Wallace Bey v. Dr. Hugh Lochard

January 5, 2012


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


Thursday, 05 January, 2012 10:43:18 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD


Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and currently detained in the Sangamon County Jail, pursues claims arising from events occurring at the Jail after he broke his hand. The case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.


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).


Plaintiff alleges that he broke his hand in June 2011, while detained in the Sangamon County Jail. He was placed in a "freezing" holding cell for over two hours with no mattress, blanket, or tissue. Plaintiff was taken to the hospital and was prescribed the pain reliever Narco. When Plaintiff returned to the Jail, Dr. Lochard*fn1 substituted ibuprofen for the Narco to save money, but the ibuprofen did not relieve Plaintiff's pain. Plaintiff repeatedly complained of his pain, but Dr. Lochard refused to see Plaintiff or provide Plaintiff with Narco. However, a white female detainee was permitted to have Narco.

Plaintiff also alleges that he was placed in segregation by Defendants Fox, Kirby, and Clemons, instead of being placed in the medical unit, which had room for Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that this was done to punish him and discriminate against him. A white male detainee who came to the Jail after Plaintiff was injured was placed in the medical unit, but Plaintiff was not.


The Court presumes that Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee, which means that his claim arises from the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, but the analysis is essentially indistinguishable from an Eighth Amendment analysis. Thomas v. Cook County Sheriff's Dept., 604 F.3d 293, 301 n.2 (7th Cir. 2010); Chapman v. Keltner, 241 F.3d 842, 845 (7th Cir. 2001). A pretrial detainee must allege facts to plausibly suggest deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Chapman, 241 F.3d at 845.

At this point the Court cannot rule out a plausible due process claim against Dr. Lochard for the refusal to dispense prescribed pain medicine. Pain can be a serious need, depending on its severity and duration. See Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435, 441 (7th Cir. 2010)("[A] non-trivial delay in treating serious pain can be actionable even without expert medical testimony showing that the delay aggravated the underlying condition."). Additionally, deliberate indifference might be inferred from the refusal to follow a specialist's treatment prescriptions and deliberately ignoring complaints of pain, though professional ...

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