United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert District Judge.
Osia Fernandez, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. According to
the Complaint, Plaintiff was diagnosed with numerous food and
drug allergies prior to his incarceration at Robinson. (Doc.
1, pp. 5-9). He claims that Vipin Shah (prison doctor), Phil
Martin (health care administrator), and Wexford Health Care
Sources (“Wexford”) (private medical corporation)
suspended all treatment for his allergies during his
incarceration, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Id. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against these
defendants. (Doc. 1, p. 10).
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(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
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 in 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 supporting
exhibits, the Court finds that the Complaint survives
screening under § 1915A.
July 2016, Plaintiff has sought medical treatment for nightly
bouts of hives resulting from severe allergies. (Doc. 1, pp.
6, 9). He has seen Doctor Shah on several occasions to
discuss his condition. Id. Plaintiff has provided
Doctor Shah with documentation of his food and drug allergies
from his primary physician. Id. Plaintiff explained
that he was diagnosed with these allergies prior to his
incarceration and suffers from “constant[ ] . . .
discomfort, pain, and itching” because of them. (Doc.
1, p. 6). To manage his allergies, Plaintiff's primary
physician prescribed him hydroxyzine for use three times per
day. Id. Plaintiff told Doctor Shah that he
“understood” if the doctor could not issue him
his regular medication, but he requested a “simple
Benadryl (antihistamine)” in its place. Id.
Plaintiff noted that other inmates at Robinson receive
Benadryl. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 9).
response, Doctor Shah instructed Plaintiff to “come to
medical to be seen” whenever he develops hives. (Doc.
1, p. 6). Plaintiff pointed out that this is often not
possible because he experiences flare-ups of his hives and
severe itching around 3:00 a.m. each night. Id. No
inmate is allowed to go anywhere at that time. Id.
In the alternative, Doctor Shah instructed Plaintiff to
purchase “allergy tablets” from the prison
commissary. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7, 9). Plaintiff did so, but
insists that they “do not help at all.” (Doc. 1,
pp. 7, 9). Still, Doctor Shah refused to do anything to treat
Plaintiff's condition, such as conferring with
Plaintiff's primary physician or offering him Benadryl.
has filed detailed grievances to complain about his untreated
allergies. (Doc. 1, p. 7; Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-13). Phil Martin,
the prison health care administrator, is aware of
Plaintiff's untreated medical condition because he has
reviewed these grievances. Id. Even so,
Administrator Martin has taken no action to ensure
Plaintiff's receipt of proper care. Id.
Plaintiff also blames Wexford and Roger
Matticks for the denial of medical care. The
private medical corporation offers incentives to employees
who “stay under budget.” Id. These
policies reward employees for denying inmates medical care
and resulted in the suspension of Plaintiff's treatment
for allergies. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8).
now claims that Doctor Shah, Administrator Martin, and
Wexford violated the Eighth Amendment's proscription
against cruel and unusual punishment by suspending his
treatment for allergies and subjecting him to unnecessary