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Douds v. USA

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 18, 2014

RONALD E. DOUDS, No. 44579-061, Plaintiff,
v.
USA, and, UTILIZATION REVIEW COMMITTEE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STACI M. YANDLE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Ronald E. Douds is an inmate in Greenville Correctional Center ("Greenville"). He brings this action pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671-2680, based on the alleged negligent provision of medical care while he has been at Greenville.

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 June 2010 Plaintiff Douds arrived at Greenville with preexisting leg neuropathy, apparently stemming from a low-back injury. Between November 2010 and September 2012 Plaintiff sustained a series of injuries-most related to his back and neuromuscular issues. Plaintiff sought treatment, but due to alleged medical malpractice and delay his condition worsened, resulting in the loss of feeling and muscle function in his right leg, increased back pain, and an increased risk of "future harm." In September 2011, almost two years after he first sought treatment at Greenville, he was approved for micro-discectomy, which doctors opined would have only a 50% chance of success.

The complaint and an attached memorandum (Docs. 1, 1-1, pp. 22-29) assert two claims:

Count 1: The United States, by and through the Bureau of Prisons and Utilization Review Committee, committed medical malpractice by failing to properly and timely diagnose and treat his medical needs; and
Count 2: Evidence was spoiled and or records requested under the Freedom of Information Act were denied, thereby interfering with and/or delaying the administrative and legal processes.

The United States and the Utilization Review Committee are named as defendants. Plaintiff seeks $1, 500, ...


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