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Willimas v. Brown

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

July 8, 2013

KEVIN WILLIAMS, # B-81986, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTI BROWN, VIPIN SHAH, and DONALD GAETZ, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

G. PATRICK MURPHY, District Judge.

Plaintiff Kevin Williams, currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center ("Pinckneyville"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1). Plaintiff, a chronic asthmatic, claims that upon his arrival at Pickneyville in January 2012 his rescue inhaler was confiscated as contraband. In March 2012, Plaintiff suffered an asthma attack and, without a rescue inhaler, was forced to use the panic alarm in his cell. When Plaintiff subsequently requested an inhaler from Defendant Dr. Vipin Shah, he was told that he would have to wait six months to receive one. According to Plaintiff, Dr. Shah also reprimanded nurses for trying to give Plaintiff an inhaler. Two days later, Plaintiff had to again be treated for his asthma, and he was again denied an inhaler; to this day, he has not been given an inhaler.

Plaintiff claims that Dr. Shah and the Pinckneyville Health Care Unit have been deliberately indifferent to his serious, life-threatening medical condition, in violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Dr. Shah, Health Care Unit Administrator Christi Brown, and Pinckneyville Warden Donald Gaetz are named as defendants. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, an investigation by an outside party, and the termination of Dr. Shah.

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). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross "the line between possibility and plausibility. Id. at 557. 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 supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under Section 1915A.

The Complaint

As already indicated, the complaint asserts the following claim(s):

Count 1: Defendants Dr. Vipin Shah, Health Care Unit Administrator Christi Brown, and Warden Donald Gaetz were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff Kevin Williams' serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth ...

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