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Edward Wallace, #B82414 v. Debbie Isaacs

August 8, 2012


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


Plaintiff Edward Wallace, an inmate in Big Muddy Correctional Center ("Big Muddy"), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving an 18 year sentence for home invasion. 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.

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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (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 any 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 is an overview of the allegations in Plaintiff's complaint. Plaintiff suffers from a number of medical conditions, including throat cancer, a fractured false hip, a damaged kidney, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and a problem with a rotator disk in his lower back. Plaintiff's mother wrote a letter to Defendant Fews, who is responsible for Big Muddy's support services program, on October 14, 2009. While it is unclear from the complaint, Plaintiff seems to imply that this letter was regarding the inadequate medical care Plaintiff was receiving at Big Muddy. Defendant Fews did not properly investigate Plaintiff's mother's concerns, and as a result, told Plaintiff's mother that Plaintiff was being monitored appropriately for his medical conditions and that he had made no complaints, despite the fact that Plaintiff had complained about his lack of adequate medical care. Plaintiff does not state that he had informed Defendant Fews about a lack of adequate medical care.

On an unspecified date in October 2009, Defendant Sheperd (physician) met with Plaintiff. Defendant Sheperd presumably treated Plaintiff at this time, but did not follow up on Plaintiff's medical complaints, despite Plaintiff's emphasis on such complaints. As a result, Plaintiff left his meeting with Defendant Sheperd in pain.

Plaintiff is currently wheelchair bound because the medical staff has not given him a replacement for his fractured false hip. While his throat cancer is in remission, there are periods where he is unable to talk or eat solid foods and suffers from a sore throat. Because the medical staff does not serve Plaintiff soft foods during these times, he is unable to eat and suffers from hunger pangs, dizziness, headaches, and weakness. Additionally, the medical staff does not provide Plaintiff with adequate care for his COPD. Plaintiff also recently learned that he has kidney problems which should have been treated long ago. The medical staff does not give Plaintiff timely medical examinations or treatments. Defendant Isaacs (health care administrator) was placed on notice of Plaintiff's untreated conditions, but ignored his needs.

Plaintiff filed a grievance on May 11, 2010. Defendant Benton, who is responsible for the administration of Menard's grievance procedures, did not respond to this grievance within the time frame required by the administrative rules governing the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Defendant Evans also ...

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