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Lamont Mccauley v. Dr. Thomas Baker

March 9, 2012

LAMONT MCCAULEY PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. THOMAS BAKER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

E-FILED

Friday, 09 March, 2012 02:53:47 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff Lamont McCauley, proceeding pro se and currently incarcerated in Western Illinois Correctional Center, pursues claims arising from the denial of medical care. 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

Plaintiff alleges that he is suffering "abdominal pains, constant gas, chronic fatigue, rashes, weight gain, gastrointestinal distress, kidney problem[s], heart problem[s], passing out [be]cause of pain, panic attacks, insomnia, depression, [and] low body temperature." (Complaint p. 4). He believes that the alleged excessive soy in the prison diet is causing these problems. His requests for a soy free diet have been denied.

ANALYSIS

The Court cannot rule out a possible Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs. Plaintiff believes that the cause of his suffering is the soy in his diet. The Court is aware that many prisoners have filed claims in this District seeking a soy-free diet. The Court is not aware of any of those cases ending in the prisoners' favor. See, e.g., Conley v. Keys, 2011 WL 3819437 (C.D. Ill., Judge Shadid)(granting summary judgment for defendants on plaintiff's soy claim)(not reported in F.Supp.2d). However, even if soy is not to blame, Plaintiff's descriptions of his own symptoms allow an inference that he has serious medical needs that have not been addressed.

This claim will proceed only against Drs. Baker, Puisis, and Shah, who have the medical training to diagnose and treat Plaintiff's problems. Defendant Fuqua, the health care administrator, lacks the authority to override the doctors' decisions.

The Court notes that Plaintiff has another pending case, 11-3323, regarding deliberate indifference to similar medical needs. Consolidation of these cases may be considered ...


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