United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
VINCENT E. SMITH, #R11677, Plaintiff,
JOHN DOE 1, JOHN DOE 2, JOHN COE, MARTIN PHILLIPS,  ANNE TREDWAY, STEVE DUNCAN, and LORIE CUNNINGHAM, Defendants.
Vincent E. Smith, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN, District Judge.
Vincent E. Smith, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Lawrence Correctional Center ("Lawrence"), brings
this pro se action for alleged violations of his
constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983 (Doc. 1). He
alleges that the conduct giving rise to his claims occurred
at Lawrence. Smith's claims appear to potentially stem
from two distinct issues-a beating by prison guards, and
deliberate indifference to a medical condition. Smith makes
numerous claims in relation to these two issues, all falling
within the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. In connection
with these claims, he names John Doe 1 (orange crush
officer), John Doe 2 (orange crush officer), John Coe
(doctor), Martin Phillips (health care administrator), Anne
Tredway (assistant warden), Steve Duncan (warden), and Lorie
Cunningham (health care director of nursing). Plaintiff seeks
both monetary compensation, and injunctive relief ordering
the prison to provide him with adequate medical care.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915A. Under Section 1915A,
the Court is required to promptly screen prisoner Complaints
to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. Â§ 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. Â§ 1915A(b).
part of screening, the Court is also allowed to sever
unrelated claims against different defendants into separate
lawsuits. In George v. Smith, the Seventh Circuit
emphasized that the practice of serverance is important,
"not only to prevent the sort of morass" produced
by multi-claim, multi-defendant suits "but also to
ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees"
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. George, 507
F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). Severed counts will be divided
into new actions, given new case numbers, and assessed filing
Plaintiff alleges that in July 2014, John Doe 1, an officer
participating on an orange crush tactical team, came to his
cell and began beating him (Doc. 1 at 6). John Doe 1 slammed
the Plaintiff's head into the concrete wall multiple
times ( Id. ). Meanwhile, John Doe 2 merely looked
on and failed to attempt to stop the abuse ( Id. ).
After the assault, Plaintiff was given ice for the lump on
his head and accompanying headache ( Id. at 7).
Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that, prior to the
assault, he never had head pain ( Id. ).
subsequently visited the medical unit on numerous occasions
to treat head pain and vision issues ( Id. at 7-11).
Initially, in September 2014, a doctor opined that the head
pain could be caused by an ingrown hair ( Id. at 7).
Plaintiff grieved this diagnosis because he felt it was
incorrect ( Id. ). In September 2014, he experienced
head pain, dizziness, blurry vision, and pressure in his head
and chest, for which he pressed the emergency button in his
cell ( Id. ).
to the Complaint, in October 2014, Plaintiff saw Defendant
Doctor Coe and informed him that he was suffering head pain
as a result of John Doe 1's assault ( Id. at
7-8). Plaintiff alleges that Coe's ongoing course of
treatment for his head pain was unsuccessful (Doc.
9-11). He saw Coe on numerous occasions for pain and pressure
in his head, as well as accompanying vision impairment (
Id. ). Coe investigated the symptoms by pressing on
the side of Plaintiff's head and face and by shinning a
light in his eyes on multiple occasions ( Id. ).
Each time, Coe stated that the head pain was likely the
result of a swollen artery in the Plaintiff's head (
Id. ). Coe attempted to triage the condition by
prescribing a variety of medications, which Plaintiff
continued to report were not working ( Id. ). On one
visit, Coe told Plaintiff that due to budget he could not
organize an MRI or other examination, but that once the
Plaintiff was out of custody he should seek a functional
MRI-the only way to apparently detect the underlying problem
(Doc. 1-1 at 25-26). Coe indicated that absent such a scan,
the best he could do was to provide relief from the symptoms
with medication ( Id. ). Coe then asked the
Plaintiff what type of medication he would like (
Id. ). At some points, the course of treatment
included medication and a permit to have ice packs for his
head (Doc. 1 at 9-11). Plaintiff mentioned that Coe recorded
incorrect information in his medical record, and that he
sought to correct it ( Id. at 7-8).
alleges that Defendant Duncan was aware of the lack of proper
care he was receiving via written grievances and a verbal
conversation ( Id. at 7, 10). Despite being on
notice of the ongoing issue, Duncan did not take any actions
to ensure that the Plaintiff received more comprehensive care
( Id. ). Likewise, Defendant Cunningham was aware of
the lack of adequate care because Plaintiff filed a written
grievance directed to her ( Id. at 10). However, she
did not respond ( Id. ). Plaintiff verbally notified
Defendant Tredway of his medical issues and Tredway averred
that she would look in to the problem, but Plaintiff opined
that no action was ever taken ( Id. at 11).
also alleges that he sent a written grievance to Phillip
Shicker, the Illinois Department of Corrections
("IDOC") medical director, but received no response
( Id. ). Further, he submitted grievances seeking
the names of John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, but was denied access
to that information ( Id. ).
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to divide
the pro se Complaint into the following enumerated
claims. The parties and the Court will use these designations
in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed
by a judicial officer of this Court. ...