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Allen v. County of Williamson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 22, 2014

BILL ALLEN, #B81538, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF WILLIAMSON, NURSE MARILYN, SCOTT ASHERMAN, BENNIE VICK, and UNKNOWN PARTY, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STACI M. YANDLE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Bill Allen, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Big Muddy River Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1). In the complaint, Plaintiff claims that he was denied medical care in 2012-13 at Williamson County Jail in Illinois. Plaintiff now sues Williamson County and four of its officials for monetary damages.

The Complaint

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Plaintiff is a heroin addict, who also suffers from high blood pressure (Doc. 1, p. 6). On October 2, 2012, he was arrested and detained at the Williamson County Jail ("Jail") in Illinois. At the time of his arrest, Plaintiff was addicted to heroin. He began suffering from symptoms of withdrawal soon thereafter. However, he received no medical treatment for these symptoms while staying in the Jail's observation room.

After his transfer to the general inmate population on October 5, 2012, Plaintiff saw "Nurse Marilyn" in the hallway. He informed her that he needed medication to regulate his severe hypertension. Nurse Marilyn indicated "that there was nothing that she could do" (Doc. 1, p. 6).

During an intake interview and examination approximately one week later, Plaintiff again informed Nurse Marilyn that he was suffering from severe hypertension (Doc. 1, p. 7). She noted that his blood pressure was high, but attributed this to his withdrawal from heroin. Nurse Marilyn instructed Plaintiff to have someone bring his medication to the Jail. Plaintiff informed her that this was not possible. Still, Nurse Marilyn failed to provide Plaintiff with medication or refer him to another healthcare provider for proper care.

Plaintiff also informed Officer Scott Asherman that he needed medication to control his hypertension. Officer Asherman told Plaintiff that he could meet with a physician for $10.00. Plaintiff agreed to pay this amount (Doc. 1, p. 8). However, no appointment was scheduled.

Plaintiff filed numerous medical request slips and grievances between November 2012 and June 2013. In response to these requests for medical care, his blood pressure was checked again. However, no medication was prescribed.

By the time Plaintiff transferred to Menard Correctional Center ("Menard") on November 12, 2013, his blood pressure had reached "stroke level[s]." Following an examination during intake, Plaintiff was transported to the hospital. There, he remained for two days, until medication restored his normal blood pressure levels.

Plaintiff now sues Williamson County and four of its officials, including Bennie Vick (sheriff), Nurse Marilyn, [1] Officer Asherman, and an Unknown Party, for depriving Plaintiff of adequate medical care for his heroin withdrawal and hypertension during his detention at the Jail. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages (Doc. 1, p. 9).

Merits Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen prisoner complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court is required to dismiss any portion of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

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 ...


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