United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief District Judge.
is a federal inmate currently incarcerated at the
FCI-Greenville. In this pro se action, he seeks
relief under the Federal Tort Claims Act for the medical
negligence/malpractice of several prison medical providers,
who failed to diagnose or properly treat his fractured left
ankle. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
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).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
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. 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 Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751
(7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court concludes that this action is
subject to summary dismissal. However, Plaintiff shall be
given an opportunity to comply with the Illinois state law
requirements for medical malpractice actions, if he wishes to
further pursue the dismissed claim.
4, 2011, Plaintiff injured his left leg and ankle while
playing softball. He sought treatment at Greenville's
Health Services Department. His left ankle was extremely
swollen and painful. Nurse Thomason wrapped the ankle and
instructed Plaintiff to return to sick call the following
day. (Doc. 1, p. 1).
x-ray was performed, which was reported on June 6, 2011, to
show no fracture. Plaintiff was issued crutches but was
denied a wheelchair. (Doc. 1, p. 2).
15, Plaintiff sought treatment for extreme pain and swelling.
PA Adesanya gave him Motrin and requested an MRI of the
21, 2011, Plaintiff returned to health services with severe
pain. He then learned that the June 6, 2011, x-ray report
should have been interpreted as “positive” for a
fracture. The failure to properly treat the broken ankle for
over four weeks subjected Plaintiff to extreme pain.
later, on January 4, 2012, Plaintiff continued to have
extreme pain in his injured ankle. An orthopedist (Dr. Sola)
recommended an MRI. The Complaint does not disclose whether
that test was performed. (Doc. 1, p. 2).
months later, on June 13, 2012, Plaintiff again sought
treatment from the prison health services for pain and
soreness in the left ankle. He states that Greenville
Hospital had suggested he receive physical therapy, but only
two sessions were provided before health services terminated
problems have continued through the date he filed the
Complaint. On an April 19, 2013, visit to health services, he
learned that he had torn ligaments as well as the fracture of
the ankle. (Doc. 1, p. 3). On July 24, 2015, Plaintiff again
reported to health services with severe pain. As a result, PA
Schneider suggested more physical therapy. However, no
physical therapy was ever ordered. Plaintiff continues to
experience pain and swelling in the injured ankle.
asserts that these events demonstrate a breach in the duty of
care owed to him by Greenville health services staff. They
delayed proper diagnosis and treatment, failed to properly
treat his injury, and caused him unnecessary pain and
suffering. Further, he claims to have developed permanent