United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
Robert Sloat, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at the
Federal Correctional Institution located in Greenville,
Illinois (“FCI-Greenville”), brings this pro
se action against the United States of America and
Department of Justice pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act
(“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b),
2671-2680 (Doc. 1). According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was
denied necessary dental surgery and dentures at
FCI-Greenville for more than four years (Doc. 1, pp. 1-6).
Federal officials were allegedly aware of Plaintiff's
urgent dental needs and ignored them. As a result, he endured
disfigurement, pain, bleeding gums and difficulty eating,
among other things (id. at 6). Plaintiff now brings
an FTCA claim based on the negligence and/or deliberate
indifference of federal officials at FCI-Greenville
(id. at 1-5). He seeks monetary relief
Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
matter is before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen prisoner
Complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must 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). Plaintiff's Complaint
does not survive screening under this standard and shall be
April 9, 2012, Plaintiff underwent a dental screening at
FCI-Greenville (Doc. 1, p. 1). At the time, he was missing
all thirty-two teeth (id. at 1-2). He suffered from
disfigurement, headaches, bleeding gums and infection
(id. at 1-2, 4). He also had difficulty chewing,
swallowing and digesting food. Plaintiff complained about
each of these problems to members of the staff in
FCI-Greenville's Health Services Unit (“HSU”)
many times (id. at 2).
6, 2012, Plaintiff received a recommendation for dentures.
Before he could be fitted for a dental prosthesis, Plaintiff
was told that he would need to undergo “tori removal
and mandibular [a]nterior vestibuloplasty, ” a form of
pre-prosthetic surgery (id.). Doctor Hartnagel met
with Plaintiff to discuss the surgery on August 12, 2012. At
this appointment, Doctor Hartnagel ordered radiographs.
Plaintiff waited several months after the appointment to hear
from Doctor Hartnagel, but he heard nothing from the dentist
or anyone else in the HSU (id.).
December 11, 2012, Plaintiff submitted a written inquiry
regarding the status of his case. Only then did Plaintiff
learn that he had been placed on the waiting list for surgery
and dentures. Almost three more years passed without surgery
or dentures (id.).
August 7, 2015, Plaintiff again visited the HSU to discuss
his dental concerns. At the appointment, he complained of
continued difficulty chewing and eating. Plaintiff explained
that he had been waiting for dentures for nearly four years
August 12, 2015, Doctor Hartnagel noted in Plaintiff's
dental records that he needed “[b]ilateral
[m]andibular, and [t]ori [r]emoval” along with
“[m]andibular [a]nterior [v]estibuloplasty”
(id.). On August 20, 2015, Doctor Swanson indicated
that both procedures could be completed on the same day.
Doctor Hartnagel's records from October 9, 2015, include
a similar note. Plaintiff's case was referred to the
regional office for approval (id. at 3). Surgery was
tentatively scheduled for November 2, 2015 (id. at
around November 18, 2015, Plaintiff underwent what he
describes as a “neurosurgery procedure”
(id. at 3). At some point between November 2015 and
July 2016, he underwent a second surgery. On July 7, 2016, he
was finally provided with dentures. They did not initially
fit and required some modification. Further, Plaintiff claims
that he continued to experience serious dental problems
through the date he filed this action (id.).
However, he does not expand upon this statement. Plaintiff
seeks only monetary damages (id. at 6).
facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in
this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court deems it
appropriate to organize the claim in Plaintiff's pro
se Complaint into the following enumerated count:
Count 1:Defendants, by and through the negligence or
deliberate indifference of federal officials at
FCI-Greenville, are liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act,
28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671-2680, for denying
Plaintiff necessary dental care and dentures for a period of
more than four years beginning in 2012.
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. The designation does not ...