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Encarnacion Torres, #R74665 v. Warden Lee Ryker

August 14, 2012


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


Plaintiff Torres, an inmate in Cook County Jail, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an incident that occurred when Plaintiff was housed at Lawrence Correctional Center. Plaintiff is serving a twenty year sentence. 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 dismissal.

The Complaint

The following allegations are taken from Plaintiff's complaint. After arriving at Lawrence Correctional Center in August of 2009, Plaintiff began to notice blood present in his stool. Plaintiff requested health care services, but received no response for several months. When Plaintiff saw Defendant Dr. Fenoglio, Fenoglio told Plaintiff "he was fine" and prescribed Metamusal (Doc. 1, p. 6).

Plaintiff's condition continued to worsen after seeing Dr. Fenoglio; he began experiencing dizziness and shortness of breath. By the middle of 2010, Plaintiff began to notice decreased stamina during exercise. At the time of filing, Plaintiff could not without experiencing pain. Plaintiff's stomach became "tight and bloated" and he bled daily through his rectum (Doc. 1, p. 6). By the middle of 2011, Plaintiff's bleeding was severe enough to turn the commode water red during defecation.

Plaintiff states that he requested Defendants (likely indicating Fenoglio and Martin, Lawrence's medical director) perform an MRI or CAT scan. The responses were, allegedly, "he's fine" and "it's too expensive" (Doc. 1, p. 7). As treatment, Defendant Fenoglio only prescribed the initial application of Metamusal and a prostate exam. Plaintiff states that Defendant Fenoglio performed the prostate exam with a finger and "quickly" said "you're fine" (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff continued to bleed after the exam.

At the time of filing, Plaintiff reports experiencing blurred vision, dizziness, weakness, stomach pain, lethargy, anemia, bloody urine and vertigo. He has sent an estimated twenty-five requests and notes to the health care unit seeking treatment. Defendants have responded to these complaints "with utter indifference" (Doc. 1, p. 7). Discussion

The Supreme Court has recognized that "deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners" may constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994); see Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). This encompasses a broader range of conduct than intentional denial of necessary medical treatment, but it stops short of "negligen[ce] in diagnosing or ...

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