United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.
matter is now before the Court for consideration of the First
Amended Complaint (Doc. 16) filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 by Plaintiff Bobby Joe Lyones, an inmate who is
currently incarcerated at Lincoln Correctional Center.
Plaintiff claims that he suffered permanent damage to his
left eye during his incarceration at Lawrence Correctional
Center (“Lawrence”), when he received inadequate
medical treatment for progressive vision loss from a glaucoma
specialist at Marion Eye Center in 2014. He now seeks
monetary damages against the specialist, Doctor Omugah.
Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
case is before the Court for a preliminary review of the
amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under
Section 1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen
prisoner complaints, including amended complaints, to filter
out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court is required to dismiss any portion of the amended
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).
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). 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.
Conversely, a complaint is plausible on its face “when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although the Court is
obligated to accept factual allegations as true, see
Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), some
factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that
they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's
claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir.
2009). Additionally, courts “should not accept as
adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of
action or conclusory legal statements.” Id. At
the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro
se complaint are to be liberally construed. See
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821
(7th Cir. 2009).
2009 and 2014, Plaintiff underwent multiple eye surgeries to
correct progressive vision loss (Doc. 16, p. 5). He was
initially seen by an unidentified eye doctor at Lawrence. The
doctor referred him to Doctor Oak, a surgeon at Marion Eye
Center in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Doctor Oak recommended
surgery on Plaintiff's left eye. The doctor explained
that surgery would obviate the need for eyeglasses. Plaintiff
agreed to the recommended procedure (id.).
surgery was not successful. Doctor Oak installed the
wrong-sized lens in Plaintiff's left eye. He performed
corrective surgery and, in the year that followed, regularly
met with Plaintiff for follow-up appointments at Marion Eye
Center. Even so, Plaintiff's vision continued to
2010, Doctor Oak introduced Plaintiff to Doctor Omugah, a
glaucoma specialist. Doctor Omugah examined Plaintiff's
eyes, tested his vision, and reviewed his medical history.
The allegations disclose no other contact with Doctor Omugah
until four years later, when Plaintiff met with the doctor to
discuss treatment of pressure buildup in his left eye
(id.). On October 7, 2014, Doctor Omugah placed
“a tube” and “two implants” in
Plaintiff's eye during a surgical procedure that lasted
eight hours (id. at 6). Following surgery, Doctor
Omugah instructed Plaintiff to avoid using his
“glaucoma eye drops” (id.).
complied and avoided the use of eye drops. In the weeks that
followed the surgery, however, he suffered from increasing
pain and pressure in his eye. The amended complaint does not
indicate that Plaintiff made any attempt to notify the doctor
about the symptoms or that the doctor was aware of his
transferred to Cook County Jail two weeks after surgery.
Following his transfer, the pain in Plaintiff's left eye
became so intense that he was sent to Stroger Hospital in
Chicago, Illinois. There, he learned that the surgery
performed by Doctor Omugah was “a failure”
(id.). The intense pain in his left eye was caused
by the buildup of pressure, a condition that the eye drops
were designed to manage (id.).
claims that he suffered permanent damage to his left eye as a
result of Doctor Omugah's treatment decisions. He is now
legally blind and requires the use of bifocals, dark shades,
and a “blind man['s] cane” (id.).
Plaintiff also suffers from constant and intense pain that
includes migraine headaches. Plaintiff attributes his current
condition to the deliberate indifference of Doctor Omugah and
seeks monetary damages against him
amended complaint focuses on a single federal constitutional
claim against Doctor Omugah for exhibiting deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's vision loss in violation of
the Eighth Amendment (Count 1). For the
reasons set forth below, the Court finds that the amended
complaint articulates no viable claim against the doctor. At
most, Plaintiff states a claim of medical negligence against
Doctor Omugah under Illinois state law. Absent a viable
federal constitutional claim against this defendant, the
Court declines to exercise supplemental ...