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Jose Ibarra, #M-13620 v. Dr. Mary Loftin

June 21, 2012

JOSE IBARRA, #M-13620, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. MARY LOFTIN, NURSE SMITH, RANDY DECKER, C/O GRIFFIN, MAJ. ROUTIEN, COUNSELOR NEESE, AND UNNAMED NURSES, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Jose Ibarra, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for incidents that occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Robinson Correctional Center ("Robinson"). Plaintiff is serving a nine year sentence for the manufacture and delivery of cocaine. 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's complaint names as Defendants Dr. Mary Loftin (Medical Doctor at Robinson), Nurse Smith (Medical Nurse at Robinson), Randy Decker (Correctional Counselor at Robinson), Correctional Officer Griffin, Major Routien, and "any and all John and Jane Doe Defendants whose names are unknown at this time."

Between July 8, 2010, and August 19, 2010, Plaintiff went to the Robinson Health Care Unit ("HCU") four times complaining about chest pains, stomach pain, nausea, headaches, aches in his bones, and vomiting (Doc. 1, p. 7). Unidentified nurses saw Plaintiff during this time and gave him cold pills and Tylenol (Doc. 1, p. 7). On August 31, 2010, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Loftin, who ordered a blood test, ultrasound, and x-rays (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8). On September 29, 2010, Defendant was again seen by Defendant Loftin for fainting; she told Defendant that he was "fine" (Doc. 1, p. 8). After this visit, Plaintiff's symptoms escalated to include rectal bleeding and severe stomach pain, but he was given no pain medication (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff also requested a cancer screening because of his family history, but Defendant Loftin refused (Doc. 1, p. 8). Finally, on November 3, 2010, Defendant Loftin sent Plaintiff to Carle Hospital in Urbana, where tests revealed two tumors in Plaintiff's colon (Doc. 1, p. 8-9). On November 5, 2010, Plaintiff's tumors were removed in an emergency surgery (Doc. 1, p. 9).

Beginning in January, 2011, Plaintiff began complaining about "still having pains after the surgery" (Doc. 1, p. 10). On January 31 and February 4, Plantiff had blood tests, urine tests, and x-rays taken, and on February 4, 2011, he was kept in the health-care unit ("HCU") overnight for observation (Doc. 1, p. 10). The following morning (Feb. 5), Plaintiff claims that Defendants Smith and Routien came to HCU and "kicked [him] out", with Defendant Routien making "death threats, saying he could kill [Plaintiff] and no one would ever know" (Doc. 1, p. 10).

On March 17, 2011, Plaintiff passed out, dislocated his left shoulder, and injured his knee (Doc. 1, p. 11). He had previously complained of feeling faint, but had been ignored (Doc. 1, p. 11). On March 25, 2011, Plaintiff was sent to an outside hospital where he received testing for his shoulder and knee (Doc. 1, p. 11). On May 6, 2011, Defendant Loftin met with Plaintiff to tell him he would need corrective surgery for his shoulder, "but not once did [he] receive any medication for [his] pain" (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff claims that he sent numerous grievances to Defendant Decker regarding Defendant Loftin's treatment, but that Defendant Decker "refus[ed] to thoroughly investigate" those grievances (Doc. 1, p. 12).

On May 17, 2011, Plaintiff was called by Defendant Neese to review a grievance he had written in Spanish regarding the death threats by Defendant Routien (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff alleges that at the meeting, Defendant Neese "said there was nothing she could do . . . tore [his] grievance up and told [him] that was it" (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff claims that Defendant Neese's only reason for treating him this way was because he did not have an interpreter.

Plaintiff requests an injunction ordering him to be sent to specialists to determine the exact cause of his medical problems. Plaintiff also seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages (Doc. 1, p. 15).

Discussion

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into three (3) counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The ...


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