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Willis v. Talbot

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

December 18, 2013

EDDIE WILLIS, Plaintiff,


COLIN S. BRUCE, District Judge.

This cause is before the Court for a merit review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, of Plaintiff Eddie Willis' claims. Willis has also asked the Court for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction.



Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A, the Court is required to carefully screen a complaint filed by a plaintiff who seeks to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court must dismiss a complaint, or a portion thereof, if the plaintiff has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious, " that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. The test for determining if an action is frivolous or without merit is whether the plaintiff can make a rational argument on the law or facts in support of the claim. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint fails to state a claim for relief if the complaint does not allege "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); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009).

In reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true and liberally construes them in plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8; Schatz v. Republican State Leadership Comm., 669 F.3d 50, 55 (1st Cir. 2012)(holding that, in order to determine if a complaint states a plausible claim, the court must take non-conclusory, non-speculative facts as true, draw all reasonable inferences in the pleader's favor, and isolate and ignore statements that simply rehash claim elements or offer only legal labels and conclusions). Instead, sufficient facts must be provided to "state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(internal quotation omitted).



A. Willis' factual allegations are insufficient to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted.

Willis has filed the instant suit alleging violations of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and violations of his rights under Illinois law. As for his constitutional claim that he asserts under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Willis alleges that Defendants Dr. Paul Talbot and Nurse Fabian Witherspoon misdiagnosed and mistreated his diarrhea and that this misdiagnosis and mistreatment caused him to suffer pain and embarrassment.

On February 17, 2013, Willis visited the Health Care Unit in the Danville Correctional Center (where Willis is currently housed) due to suffering from diarrhea. The next day, Willis gave a stool sample to Dr. Talbot who prescribed antibiotics because Dr. Talbot believed that Willis was suffering from an infection that was causing the diarrhea. However, Willis' diarrhea became worse.

On March 4, 2013, Willis again visited the Health Care Unit, and Nurse Witherspoon diagnosed him as being lactose intolerant. Nurse Witherspoon prescribed a generic form of Pepto-Bismol tablets for Willis, but Willis alleges that Nurse Witherspoon instructed him to take more pills than the recommended dosage on the pill box. Willis contends that Nurse Witherspoon and Dr. Talbot should have prescribed a diet of yogurt because, according to Willis, it is the recommended treatment after antibiotic therapy.

On March 7, 2013, Willis again visited the Health Car Unit because the prescribed pills were not remedying his diarrhea. Nurse Witherspoon then prescribed medication outside of the specified time limit recommended by the manufacturer.

On March 11, 2013, Willis was experiencing diarrhea ten to fifteen times a day, and Nurse Witherspoon told Willis to take the whole box of generic Pepto-Bismol regardless of the instructions on the box. When Willis told Nurse Witherspoon of the recommended treatment of yogurt, Nurse Witherspoon advised him that it was not their ...

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