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Anduze v. Duncan

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 17, 2014

ALEXANDER J. ANDUZE, No. B88839, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVE DUNCAN, R.D. MOORE, LAURA CUNNINGHAM, MS. NEW, MS. DAVIS, and MS. ARNOLD, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Alexander J. Anduze, an inmate in Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on how prison officials responded to two suicide attempts by Plaintiff's cellmate and to Plaintiff's exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

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, in July 2014, Plaintiff's cellmate attempted suicide with a razorblade. Blood covered the cell, as well as Plaintiff and his personal property. Plaintiff was taken to the healthcare unit, but no blood tests were run to see if, for example, Plaintiff had been exposed to HIV or hepatitis. Instead, a correctional officer escorted Plaintiff to a shower and instructed him to wash the blood off his body-without giving Plaintiff any soap or other disinfectant. Plaintiff submitted written requests to the healthcare unit and filed administrative grievances seeking testing for bloodborne diseases, all to no avail.

Although Plaintiff wrote to the Placement Office asking that his cellmate not be returned to their cell, in August 2014, the suicidal cellmate was again housed with Plaintiff. A few weeks later, the cellmate again attempted suicide with a razorblade. After cutting his face and upper body, the cellmate awakened Plaintiff. Because the cellmate was still holding the razorblade, Plaintiff feared that his life was in danger, so he hit the panic alarm in the cell to summon help. When Plaintiff jumped down from his bunk, he slipped on blood and fell to the floor. Covered in blood, Plaintiff again was taken to the health care unit and the whole scenario repeated itself. He was not tested for bloodborne diseases; he was taken to a shower, but he was not given any soap. When Plaintiff returned to his cell, the blood had not been cleaned up, so he was left to clean his cell without any training or the proper solvents and protective equipment-exposing him to bloodborne pathogens a third time. Plaintiff filed another grievance, but he received no response from the grievance officer or Warden Duncan.

After these two suicide attempts, Plaintiff was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD"). Nevertheless, he has not received "proper regular treatment by a social worker, " and "proper prescription medication."

The complaint lists as defendants Warden Duncan, Assistant Warden Moore, Medical Administrator Cunningham and three social workers, Ms. New, Ms. Davis, and Ms. Arnold. Defendants are alleged to have been "deliberately indifferent" and "blatantly negligent." Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and ...


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