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Joseph Johnson v. Dr. Saleh Obaisi

September 6, 2012

JOSEPH JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. SALEH OBAISI, LISA LERCHER, AND DR. N. YOUSUF, DEFENDANTS.



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

Thursday, 06 September, 2012 04:53:17 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and incarcerated in Logan Correctional Center, seeks treatment for his fractured hand. The case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

LEGAL STANDARD

The Court is required by § 1915A to review a Complaint filed by a prisoner against a governmental entity or officer and, through such process, to identify cognizable claims, dismissing any claim that is "frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." A hearing is held if necessary to assist the Court in this review, but, in this case, the Court concludes that no hearing is necessary. The Complaint and its attachments are clear enough on their own for this Court to perform its merit review of Plaintiff's Complaint.

The review standard under § 1915A is the same as the notice pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Zimmerman v. Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 571 (7th Cir. 2000). 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

In February 2012, Plaintiff injured his hand defending himself from an assault. Several days later, Dr. Obaisi saw Plaintiff and ordered x-rays and Ibuprofen. The x-ray report was authored by Defendant Dr. N. Yousuf, from "OneRadiology" in Normal, Illinois. Dr. Yousuf wrote:

FINDINGS: Five views of the right hand demonstrate soft tissue swelling about the hypothenar eminence and thenar eminence but no acute regional bony fracture or dislocation is seen.

Minor degenerative changes are seen.

Please correlate clinically.

(2/10/12 radiology report, attached to Complaint.) Based on this report, Dr. Obaisi told Plaintiff that his hand was swollen, not fractured, and that Plaintiff would be alright.

However, Plaintiff continued to experience swelling and severe pain for months. His attempts to obtain further treatment were refused until May 22, 2012, when another x-ray was ordered. Dr. Yousuf's second report stated in relevant part: slight irregularity of what appears to be distal end of the 3rd metacarpal which was poorly visualized on the previous study. Findings may represent a healing fracture. Continued follow-up is recommended. Rest of the bony structures are intact. (5/23/12 radiology report, attached to Complaint.) Plaintiff interprets this to mean that his hand had in ...


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