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Eugenio Laso, No. R-74662 v. Dentist Kimble

May 2, 2012


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


Plaintiff Eugenio Laso, an inmate in Danville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on events that occurred while Plaintiff was housed in Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"). Plaintiff is serving a twenty 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.

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, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), 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 supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

The following summary of the facts is drawn from Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Doc. 15).

Plaintiff's troubles began on June 8, 2009, when Defendant Kimble, the Menard dentist, extracted one of Plaintiff's wisdom teeth. Plaintiff developed a serious and painful infection in his neck, ears, and throat which made it difficult for him to breathe. On June 12, 2009, Plaintiff went to the health care unit and was seen by a medical assistant who gave him pain medication (ibuprofen) and antibiotics (Doc. 15, p. 5). Later the same day, he returned to the health care unit and was examined by the two Unknown Party Doctors.*fn1 He alleges that they did nothing for him, saying that his condition was normal for a patient who had recently had a tooth extraction (Doc. 15, pp. 4-5).

On June 15, 2009, Plaintiff returned to see Defendant Kimble, still suffering swelling, difficulty breathing, and pain from the infection. At that time Defendant Kimble put Plaintiff into the infirmary and gave him a shot. The next day, Plaintiff was informed by a correctional officer (he does not identify this individual) that he would be transferred to Western Correctional Center ("Western"). Plaintiff claims he was told that the reason for the transfer was because he was requesting too much medical help and was being a nuisance (Doc. 15, p. 5). According to Plaintiff, Defendant Kimble should have placed a medical hold on him to prevent the transfer because of his poor condition due to the infection. Despite Plaintiff's protests to Defendant Kimble and to the correctional officer, he was transferred on June 17, 2009.

When the transfer bus made a stop at Logan Correctional Center, Plaintiff fainted while exiting the bus (Doc. 15, p. 6). The supervisor in charge, identified only as Defendant Lieutenant of the Transfer Bus, did not summon any medical staff to check Plaintiff's vital signs or assess whether he needed any medical treatment. He may or may not have had somebody give Plaintiff a drink of water (Doc. 15, pp. 3, 6). When the bus arrived at Western, Plaintiff fainted again, and this time was taken to the prison health care unit (Doc. 15, p. 6). From there, he was transferred to the hospital, where he was in a coma for eight days and required an operation. Plaintiff was told that Defendant Kimble had "done something incorrect" during the tooth extraction, and Plaintiff believes this caused his infection and subsequent problems. ...

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