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Finney v. David

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 14, 2016

BILLY J. FINNEY, Plaintiff,


          MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Billy Finney, an inmate in Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests declarative relief and $10, 000, 000 in damages. (Doc. 1, p. 17). 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 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).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff began feeling ill on March 12, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 7). He experienced chest pains, shortness of breath, headaches, and night sweats. (Doc. 1, p. 7). He also had a lump or knot on his scalp, near the back of his head. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff met with L.P.N. McGee, who checked vital signs and examined Plaintiff's lungs. (Doc. 1, p. 7). McGee asked N.P. Woods for a second opinion. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Woods scheduled x-rays for March 15, 2016, and gave Plaintiff a pain reliever. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff's x-ray was ultimately cancelled and rescheduled for March 16, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         However, Plaintiff began feeling worse on March 15, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff's symptoms included fever, sweat, headache, paleness, and excruciating pain. (Doc. 1, p. 7). He also alleges that the knot on his head was bigger. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff was admitted to the health care unit. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff's x-ray showed a large mass in his right lung. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Dr. David spoke to Plaintiff about the mass, but when Plaintiff inquired about the lump on his head, David told Plaintiff that the lump was nothing more than fatty tissue and needed no medical attention. (Doc. 1, p. 7). David repeated this assertion two weeks later when Plaintiff saw him for tuberculosis testing. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff requested that David at least drain the lump, but David refused. (Doc. 1, p. 8).

         Plaintiff continued to experience headaches and chest pains. (Doc. 1, p. 8). David referred him to Dr. Gurpreet Singh Bambra, a lung specialist, at the Carbondale Hospital. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Bambra ordered PT scans and a biopsy. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff pointed out the lump on the back of his head to Bambra; Bambra stated that a CT scan needed to be performed on the lump, but that he lacked David's approval to do so. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Bambra ultimately ordered a biopsy of Plaintiff's lungs. (Doc. 1, p. 8). When Plaintiff returned to the hospital for a biopsy, he once again asked about the lump on his head, but Bambra told him he still needed approval from Shawnee before he could do anything about the lump. (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         Plaintiff saw David again at Shawnee and confronted him with Bambra's assessment that the lump was filled with fluid and a CT scan needed to be done. (Doc. 1, p. 9). R.N. Aqular was present at this meeting. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Once again David stated that the lump was nothing more than fatty tissue, and reiterated his intention not to treat it. (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         Plaintiff was eventually diagnosed with Blastomycosis, a disease where fungus grows in the lungs. (Doc. 1, p. 9). After receiving a diagnosis, Plaintiff once again brought up the lump on his head with David. (Doc. 1, p. 9). David refused to treat it, and discounted Plaintiff's complaints of headaches and chest ...

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