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Gills v. Funk

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 9, 2014

JARYAN GILLS, # R07179, Plaintiff,
v.
ARTHUR FUNK, LOUIS SHICKER, S.N. WAOBAIS, ROBERT L. SHEARING[1], NIKKI MALLEY, FAHIM, SHAPARD, FUENTES, HARRINGTON, ATCHISON, and UNKNOWN PARTIES, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jaryan Gills, an inmate currently housed in Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff takes issue with the medical care he received (or was denied) while he was housed at Menard Correctional Center between June 6, 2011, and April 25, 2013. He may also be alleging a continuing violation, but that is not clear. Plaintiff's initial complaint was dismissed without prejudice because Plaintiff failed to state a viable claim against any named defendant ( see Doc. 7).

Plaintiff Gills' amended complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review 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.

The Amended Complaint

According to the amended complaint[2], when Plaintiff entered the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2011 he was suffering from an inguinal hernia and had four bullets lodged in his body. Because surgery has not been performed, Plaintiff has remained in pain.

The amended complaint asserts that "all defendants" were put on notice of Plaintiff's condition by way of oral and written complaints, letters and grievances. "Defendants failed in their duty" and were deliberately indifferent because Plaintiff, who was in great pain, had to walk up and down stairs to get to higher galleries, and climb up and down from a high bunk. All defendants also purportedly "have full authority to make recommendation[s] and final decisions[s] [but] failed to do so. More specifically, they collectively denied Plaintiff a low bunk, low gallery, a hernia belt and surgery. See Doc. 8, p. 3.

The only individualized allegations are that defendants Malley, Harrington and Atchison, as supervisors with knowledge, approved and condoned the delay in treatment, which Plaintiff asserts is sufficient personal involvement ( see Doc. 8, p. 4). Plaintiff stresses the duty under the Eighth Amendment to care for prisoners who cannot care for themselves, and he highlights a news article regarding delayed medical treatment for prisoners. Plaintiff also emphasizes that he is not claiming a mere difference of opinion regarding medical care; rather, "treatment delayed is treatment denied" (Doc. 8, p. 2).

Based on the allegations of the amended complaint, and without regard to legal merit, the Court recognizes the following claim:

Count 1: Between June 6, 2011, and April 25, 2013, all Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff Gills' serious medical needs, including ...

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