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Hood v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 17, 2015

TERRY HOOD, No. A73193, Plaintiff,
v.
ALFONSE DAVIS, SHERRI LYNN, ERIC A. PFAU, DR. V. SHAH, CHRISTINE BROWN, ROBERT J. HILLIARD, and GREGORY S. RHINE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Terry Hood is an inmate currently housed in Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights with respect to his medical care while he was housed at Shawnee Correctional Center and Pinckneyville Correctional Center.

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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). 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, when Plaintiff Hood arrived at Shawnee Correctional Center in 2011 his medical records clearly revealed that he had been prescribed Robaxin[1] for back pain, as well as other medications, such as Prozac[2]. Dr. Alfonse Davis refused to renew the Robaxin prescription, instead prescribed naproxen[3]. In late February or early March he was also prescribed indomethacin[4] at the direction of Dr. Davis, but Plaintiff does not know why (Doc. 1, p. 9).

In May 2013, Plaintiff sought renewal of his naproxen prescription. He was issued several "mandatory" call passes to see Dr. Davis, but they were all cancelled. Plaintiff wrote to Assistant Warden Robert J. Hilliard, who indicated that he would respond to Plaintiff after reviewing "the file" ( see Doc. 1, p. 31). Two weeks later, Plaintiff received notice from Health Care Unit Administrator Sherri Lynn that Plaintiff was scheduled to see the doctor ( see Doc. 1, p. 32). During this same general time period, Plaintiff wrote a grievance regarding not being able to renew the naproxen prescription. C/O Eric A. Pfau, who is not a doctor, but who was purportedly "posing as a counselor, " responded by explaining that the protocol was to treat back pain intermittently with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen, but that the side effects prohibited continuous use of such drugs ( see Doc. 1, p. 21).

Plaintiff was never seen by a physician for a refill of Robaxin or naproxen, although in October 2013 he saw a doctor to secure a refill of his inhaler. In February 2014, Dr. Davis prescribed ibuprofen[5], rather than naproxen ( see Doc. 1, pp. 8, 31). According to Plaintiff, he remained in pain during the entire period.

On April 11, 2014, Plaintiff was transferred from Shawnee to Pinckneyville Correctional Center. According to Plaintiff, he was transferred as punishment, so that Plaintiff could not appeal the denial of his grievance regarding Dr. Davis's unprofessional behavior. At Pinckneyville, Plaintiff began experiencing unspecified "side effects" of the mysterious indomethacin prescription, which Plaintiff perceives as retaliation and deliberate indifference by Dr. Davis.

At Pinckneyville, Plaintiff continued his efforts to secure a prescription for Robaxin or naproxen, but Dr. Shah denied his request-supposedly due to the "working relationship" between Dr. Davis and Dr. Shah (Doc. 1, p. 11). Shah also did not discontinue the mysterious indomethacin drug prescribed by Dr. Davis, but instead mandated physical therapy. Pinkneyville's Health Care Unit Administrator, Christine Brown knew that Dr. Shah had refused to prescribe Robaxin, but apparently did nothing. Plaintiff also takes issue with Dr. Shah replacing his usual prescription for Seroquel[6] with Risperdal[7].

Plaintiff further takes issue with the fact that a health assessment was not performed within two weeks of his arrival at Pinckneyville, which Plaintiff asserts is the "generally accepted standard of care" (Doc. 1, p. 10). He also complains that, although inmates are supposed to receive free copies of 500 pages of medical records, he was charged $20 in violation of procedures outlined in the Orientation Manual.

Plaintiff characterizes the seven named defendants as all acting negligently, unprofessionally and with deliberate indifference, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Compensatory and punitive damages are sought, as well as injunctive relief in the form of a transfer to Dixon Correctional Center for mental health treatment.

Discussion

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects prisoners from being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. U.S.CONST., amend. VIII. See also Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435, 439 (7th Cir. 2010). Eighth Amendment protection extends to conditions of confinement that pose a substantial risk of serious harm, including health and safety. See Estate of Miller, ex rel. Bertram v. Tobiasz, 680 F.3d 984 (7th Cir. 2012). Prison officials can violate the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual punishment when ...


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