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Pagan v. Illinois Department of Corrections

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 10, 2016

JUAN PAGAN, No. M43947, Plaintiff,
v.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, and DR. SHAH, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN CHIEF JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Juan Pagan is an inmate currently housed at Pickneyville 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 housed at Robinson Correctional Center. Plaintiff originally filed his Complaint on October 9, 2015. (Doc. 1). It was dismissed without prejudice on November 3, 2015. (Doc. 7). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on November 16, 2016. (Doc. 8).

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Amended 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 any reasonable person would find meritless. 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 Amended Complaint

         On August 28, 2014, Plaintiff played basketball on the yard at Robinson. (Doc. 8, p. 5). He suffered a severe sprain in his left foot. (Doc. 8, p. 5). While he received first aid, he had to wait three days to see a doctor with only an elastic bandage and OTC pain relievers. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Plaintiff saw Defendant Shah, who taught Plaintiff how to avoid putting pressure on his foot. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Shah provided no other treatment at that time. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Shah reviewed the x-ray with Plaintiff on September 12, 2014 and told Plaintiff that his foot was not fractured, only sprained. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Plaintiff alleges that a subsequent x-ray from March 6, 2015 shows a fracture of the second metatarsal. (Doc. 8, p. 5).

         Although Shah ordered another x-ray on October 24, 2014, he represented that the x-ray likewise showed no facture or dislocation. (Doc. 8, p. 5). It also appears that someone issued Plaintiff walking crutches and special boots. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Plaintiff was allowed to keep his job as a porter. (Doc. 8, p. 5).

         Plaintiff requested an MRI, but was denied. (Doc. 8, p. 6). He also requested to see an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation, but that request was also denied. (Doc. 8, p. 6). Plaintiff cannot walk or stand for long periods of time without pain. (Doc. 8, p. 6). Plaintiff’s foot is also unstable, and he alleges that there is a visible crack in his middle toe. (Doc. 8, p. 6). Health care has not addressed Plaintiff’s requests for follow up care. (Doc. 8, p. 6).

         Discussion

         Previously, the Court dismissed Plaintiff’s Complaint because he failed to request a remedy, as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(3). (Doc. 7). Plaintiff has now corrected that error and requested compensatory damages, as well as injunctive relief. (Doc. 8, p. 7).

         After reviewing the Amended Complaint, the Court finds that Plaintiff has stated one Count against Shah, which shall be used in all further filings and documents in this Court:

Count 1: Shah was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         The Eighth Amendment 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 their conduct demonstrates “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).

         A medical condition need not be life-threatening to be serious; rather, it can be a condition that would result in further significant injury or unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain if not treated. Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620 (7th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff has alleged that he suffers consistent pain while walking and standing as a result of his ankle injury. This makes his allegation ...


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