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Aguilar v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 9, 2014

RENE AGUILAR, No. B69509, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDY DAVIS, LARUE LOVE, TODD WALSH, and JEFF MOORE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Rene Aguilar, an inmate in Vienna Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an incident where he broke his leg in the course of his prison work assignment.

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). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that "no reasonable person could suppose to have any merit." Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). 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. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

The Complaint

According to the complaint and supporting documentation, on October 19, 2012, Plaintiff was ordered to assist loading pallets of food and drink onto a dump truck for transport across the institution. During transport, Plaintiff was to ride in the back of the truck to secure the cargo. The truck bed was full, it was raining, and when the truck made a sharp, up-hill turn, Plaintiff fell from the truck, breaking his leg.

According to Plaintiff, defendant C/O Jeff Moore ordered him onto the back of the truck, despite a prison policy that did not allow inmates to secure cargo in a moving vehicle. Rather, the normal procedures involved using a freight elevator to move cargo on and off trucks, but the elevator was not functioning. Defendant C/O Todd Walsh was driving the truck at the time of the accident. Plaintiff contends that there was a "clear risk of harm" that was "treated with deliberate indifference, and appropriate safety and corrective measures were not taken (Doc. 1-1, p. 2 (offering the clearest statement of the claim)).

Warden Randy Davis and Assistant Warden of Operations Larue Love are named as defendants, but there are no allegations regarding them in the narrative of the complaint. The signatures on an attached grievance do not appear to be those of Davis or Love, but those signatures not entirely clear ( see Doc. 1-1, p. 3).

Plaintiff asserts that his rights under the Eighth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments have been violated. ...


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