United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert Blakey United States District Judge
Jerrold Davis (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at
Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”),
alleges that Defendants, officials at Stateville and the
Illinois Department of Corrections, violated his Eighth
Amendment rights by subjecting him to cruel and unusual
prison conditions. Second Am. Compl. . On August 3, 2016,
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's case for
failure to state a claim. Defs.' Mot. Dismiss .
Defendants argue that, viewed objectively, Plaintiff's
allegations are not sufficiently serious to establish a
constitutional violation. Mem. Supp. Defs.' Mot. Dismiss
. For the reasons explained below, Defendants' motion
has been an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center since
2006. Second Am. Compl.  ¶ 3, Ex. B. Plaintiff
alleges that during his incarceration, Defendants have
subjected him to deplorable living conditions that have
exacerbated his asthma, increased his risk of bone cancer and
fungal diseases, and caused leukemia. Id.
¶¶ 9, 21, 30, 36.
Plaintiff first alleges that Stateville's water supply
includes excessive amounts of “microbiotic, ”
“inorganic, ” and “radioactive”
contaminants; “pesticides and herbicides”; and
“organic chemicals.” Id. ¶ 20.
Plaintiff further claims that the water supply contains
radium, alpha emitters, copper, and lead. Id.
¶¶ 21-24. Plaintiff alleges that, due to these
impurities, the water “is often dark brown” and
“malodorous.” Id. ¶ 25. He asserts
that extended radium exposure may cause bone cancer, and that
the radium and alpha emitters are the cause and aggravators
of his leukemia. Id. ¶¶ 9, 21, 23.
next alleges that Defendants “have allowed numerous
birds to fly freely” throughout the prison's living
units and cafeteria. Id. ¶ 27. Plaintiff claims
that these birds cause communicable and fungal diseases such
as histoplasmosis, psittacosis, alveolitis, avian influenza,
and campylobacteriosis. Id. ¶¶ 28-30.
Additionally, Plaintiff claims that mice “roam in and
out of cells regularly” and that there “are
massive infestations of roaches and spiders” in the
inmates' cells and shower area. Id. ¶ 31.
Plaintiff alleges that the roach infestation resulted in two
roaches being removed from his right ear canal on June 26,
2016, and that he continues to experience “ear pain,
interference with sleep and psychological damage.”
Id. ¶ 32.
Plaintiff claims that inadequate ventilation causes the air
he breathes to be “thick with dust, hair, pest and bird
dander, airborne viruses and wool fibers.” Id.
¶ 35. He further alleges that the vents in numerous
cells are covered with steel plates that prevent air
circulation. Id. ¶ 37. Plaintiff maintains that
the resultant atmosphere exacerbates symptoms from his
asthma. Id. ¶ 36.
Plaintiff alleges that his cell is unsanitary due to
Defendants' refusal to distribute adequate cleaning
supplies on a regular basis. Id. ¶ 39.
Plaintiff claims he is provided disinfectant for his cell
only once a week and must share the disinfectant with the
twenty-nine other cells in his gallery. Id.
¶¶ 42-43. He alleges that, due to these
deficiencies, his cell and shower area cannot be adequately
cleaned and that the resultant toxic mold can result in
neurological damage and cancer. Id. ¶¶
claims that Defendants are aware of the aforementioned
conditions but have refused to adequately alleviate the
problems. Id. ¶¶ 26, 33-34, 38, 48-49.
Plaintiff argues that, combined, these conditions amount to
cruel and unusual punishment and that Defendants' knowing
disregard for Plaintiff's living situation constitutes
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) “challenges the
sufficiency of the complaint for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.” Gen. Elec.
Capital Corp. v. Lease Resolution Corp., 128 F.3d 1074,
1080 (7th Cir. 1997). To survive a motion to dismiss, the
claim must first comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure by providing “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), such that the
defendant is given “fair notice” of what the
claim is “and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
the complaint must contain “sufficient factual
matter” to “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570). That is, the allegations must raise the possibility of
relief above the “speculative level.”
E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs. Inc., 496 F.3d
773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). A claim has facial plausibility
“when the pleaded factual content allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The
plausibility standard “is not akin to a
‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Williamson v. Curran, 714 F.3d
432, 436 (7th Cir. 2013). The “amount of factual
allegations required to state a plausible claim for relief
depends on the complexity of the legal theory alleged,
” but “threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Limestone Dev. Corp. v. Vill. of
Lemont, 520 F.3d 797, 803 (7th Cir. 2008). In evaluating
the complaint, the Court accepts all well-pleaded allegations
as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of
Plaintiff. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
the alleged deprivations of Plaintiff's confinement, to
sufficiently plead a claim under the Eighth Amendment,
Plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) the alleged condition,
viewed objectively, is sufficiently serious; and (2)
Defendants acted with subjective deliberate indifference
towards the condition. Board v. Farnham, 394 F.3d
469, 479-80 (7th Cir. 2005); Delaney v. DeTella, 256
F.3d 679, 683 (7th Cir. 2001).
the first element, prison conditions may be “harsh and
uncomfortable without violating the Eighth Amendment's
prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.”
Dixon v. Godinez,114 F.3d 640, 642 (7th Cir. 1997)
(citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
(1994)). The Eighth Amendment “does not require prisons
to provide prisoners with more salubrious air, healthier
food, or cleaner water than are enjoyed by substantial
numbers of free Americans.” Carroll v.
DeTella, 255 F.3d 470, 472-73 (7th Cir. 2001). Rather,
“extreme deprivations are required to make out a
conditions-of-confinement claim.” Turner v.
Miller,301 F.3d 599, 603 (7th Cir. 2002). Plaintiff
must show that the alleged deprivations, viewed ...