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Robert Williams v. Dr. Feinerman and Jeannette Cowan

May 18, 2012

ROBERT WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. FEINERMAN AND JEANNETTE COWAN, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Robert Williams ("Plaintiff"), an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this suit for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a twenty-five year sentence for criminal sexual assault, and five years for aggravated battery. 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

Plaintiff injured his left middle finger on May 11, 2009, in a fight with another inmate. The finger became caught in a handcuff chain and was bent, twisted, and dislocated, causing extreme pain. Plaintiff claims his medical records showed a tendon was "destroyed" by this injury (Doc. 1, p. 5).

On May 13, 2009, Plaintiff saw Defendant Feinerman (the prison medical director and physician), who ordered x-rays. Defendant Feinerman and another doctor determined the finger was not broken, and told Plaintiff it was all right. However, Plaintiff describes the finger as having been abnormally bent back in a "diving board shape" (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff requested Defendant Feinerman to get him surgery and physical therapy for the finger, but Defendant Feinerman said he did not need either treatment. He then grabbed Plaintiff's finger and snapped it straight.

By May 27, 2009, the finger had bent back into the "diving board" shape. After Plaintiff requested medical attention, he was seen by an orthopedic specialist on June 8, 2009, who recommended surgery.

Plaintiff's surgery was performed at an outside facility by Dr. Young, on June 26, 2009. Dr. Young sent a letter to Defendant Feinerman requesting post-operative physical therapy for Plaintiff. However, Defendant Feinerman denied Plaintiff any physical therapy. In addition, he was suffering from pain after the operation, and states he received no further pain medication after he ran out of the drugs given ...


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