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Otis Beasley v. Forrest Ashby

June 4, 2012

OTIS BEASLEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FORREST ASHBY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

E-FILED

Monday, 04 June, 2012 01:37:09 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge:

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and currently detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis on claims related to his diabetes.

The "privilege to proceed without posting security for costs and fees is reserved to the many truly impoverished litigants who, within the District Court's sound discretion, would remain without legal remedy if such privilege were not afforded to them." Brewster v. North Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir. 1972). Additionally, a court must dismiss cases proceeding in forma pauperis "at any time" if the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim, even if part of the filing fee has been paid. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)(2). Accordingly, this Court grants leave to proceed in forma pauperis only if the complaint states a federal claim. A hearing was scheduled to assist in this review, but the hearing will be cancelled as unnecessary.

LEGAL STANDARD

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 is diabetic and has asthma. From July to December, 2011, Plaintiff allegedly experienced several episodes of extremely low blood sugar which caused him to pass out and/or behave in an erratic, destructive manner. For example, Plaintiff passed out on July 14, 2011. When he came to he was told that he had broken a window and bitten a nurse, though he had no recollection of these alleged actions. As a result of the incident, Plaintiff was disciplined and was required to wear shackles whenever he went to the health care unit. Additionally, the health care staff were forbidden from giving Plaintiff shots or otherwise assisting him with hypoglycemic episodes. For example, on one day Plaintiff's blood sugar was 365 but the nurses refused to given him an insulin shot, per orders of their superiors.

On or about November 5, 2011, Amy Clark (not a defendant) escorted Plaintiff to the health care unit. Plaintiff began to experience severe head pain and felt himself starting to pass out. Since he was shackled, he tried to sit down and bring his legs through the shackles in order to avoid injury, but Clark would not let him. He apparently passed out and suffered bruises to his arms. Plaintiff was apparently punished for this incident as well.

On November 6, 2011, Plaintiff warned the nurses during a visit to the health care unit that he felt lightheaded and should be tested for low blood sugar. He then passed out and hit his head and back on a scale. No one offered him a chair or otherwise attempted to break his fall, and he could not break his own fall since his hands were shackled.

Plaintiff alleges that other residents with a history of erratic behavior during low blood sugar episodes are not shackled. He believes he is shackled because he is black.

On December 5, 2011, a guard (Kelly Robert, not a defendant) escorted Plaintiff to a court hearing. Plaintiff told the guard that he needed to sit down and also told the judge he felt ill. Plaintiff then passed out, hitting his head on the courtroom door. No one attempted to break Plaintiff's fall or otherwise help him. Injuries from these falls have caused Plaintiff severe back pain which have prevented him from functioning normally. He has been denied treatment for his back pain and has been refused a back brace.

Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Ashby, Tarry Williams, and Dr. Bednarz retaliated against him for filing grievances by requiring him to wear a black ...


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