United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ANTHONY DONALDSON, No. B88413, Plaintiff,
JOHN BALDWIN, JACQUELINE LASHBROOK BETSY SPILLER, ASSISTANT WARDEN EDWARDS, MAJOR ALLEN, MAJOR CLELLEND, MAJOR ADAMS, CAROL MCBRIDE, TERRI CHAPMAN, LT. PEARCE, COUNSELOR HARTMEN, WEXFORD HEALTH CORPS. CHRISTINE BROWN, DR. SHAH, MARSHA HILL, and MAJOR MALCOLM, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge.
Anthony Donaldson, an inmate in Pinckneyville Correctional
Center (“Pinckneyville”), brings this action for
deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. The bulk of Plaintiff's claims stem
from an altercation Plaintiff had with a correctional officer
identified as Major Allen. In connection with these claims,
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages from John Baldwin (director,
IDOC), Jacqueline Lashbrook (warden), Betsy Spiller
(assistant warden), Edwards (assistant warden), Allen
(major), Clellend (major), Adams (major), Carol McBride
(lieutenant), Terri Chapman (sergeant), Pearce (lieutenant),
Hartman (counselor), Wexford Health Corps. (corporate
healthcare provider), Christine Brown (healthcare
administrator), Shah (doctor), Marsha Hill (nurse), and
Malcolm (major). 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
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.
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
to the Complaint, on July 18, 2015, Plaintiff was assaulted
by Allen (“July 18 Incident”). (Doc. 1, p. 10,
¶ 1). Specifically, Plaintiff states he was asleep in
his bunk when he began to have a seizure. Id.
Plaintiff's cell mate, Aaron Petre, alerted staff to
Plaintiff's condition. Id. When Plaintiff awoke
from his seizure, he was disoriented and realized he was on
the floor with his hands behind his back. (Doc. 1, p. 10,
¶ 2). Plaintiff heard an unidentified officer indicate
that Plaintiff was waking up. (Doc. 1, p. 10, ¶ 3). At
that point, Allen approached Plaintiff while “hollering
a whole bunch of stuff.” Id. Plaintiff was
still disoriented and was unable to fully appreciate his
surroundings. Id. Allen instructed two unidentified
prison officials to get on both sides of Plaintiff and stand
him up. Id. As Plaintiff was being pulled up, Allen
continued to yell at Plaintiff. Id. Allen then said
“fuck this” and punched Plaintiff in the left
side of his face, knocking him unconscious. Id. When
Plaintiff regained consciousness, he was in pain and observed
Allen standing over him. (Doc. 1, p. 10, ¶ 4). Allen
told Plaintiff if he lifted his head his “whole fucking
face would be in the pavement.” Id. Allen
continued to threaten Plaintiff and instructed an officer to
take “[Plaintiff's] ass to healthcare.”
Id. Plaintiff was fearful of Allen, which prompted
him to say to the “escorting officer, ”
“Please get me out of here before he continue to
further hurt me.” Id. Plaintiff does not
expressly state whether he was taken to healthcare at this
point in time. However, throughout his Complaint, Plaintiff
alleges that he has been denied medical care for injuries he
received during the July 18 Incident. (Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶
thereafter, Plaintiff asked Hartman, a counselor, to obtain
grievance forms for Plaintiff regarding the July 18 Incident.
(Doc. 1, p. 10, ¶ 5). Counselor Hartman failed to
respond to this request. Id. As a result, on August
1, 2015, Plaintiff began a hunger strike. Id.
Plaintiff also spoke with Pearce and Clellend, informing them
that he feared for his life and believed someone in the
facility was going to kill him. Id.
declaring his intent to begin a hunger strike, Plaintiff was
transferred to a cell in the segregation unit. (Doc. 1, p. 10
¶ 6; Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶ 11). The water in
Plaintiff's new cell was shut off. Id. Plaintiff
remained in that cell, without running water, for 5 days.
Id. Plaintiff does not specify who was responsible
for shutting off the water in his cell.
days of being confined to a cell in the segregation unit with
no running water (and 3 days into his hunger strike),
Plaintiff was visited by Spiller and Adams. Id.
Spiller and Adams came to Plaintiff's cell to discuss the
hunger strike. Id. Plaintiff explained his
“situation” to both Defendants and informed them
that his water had been shut off. Id. Specifically,
Plaintiff stated he was feeling light headed, suffering from
blurry vision, and believed he was going to pass out from
dehydration. (Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶ 6). Spiller responded by
stating “so what you're on a hunger strike what
makes you think I care?” Id. Plaintiff also
stated that he had been assaulted by Allen, he had been
denied medical care for the injuries he sustained as a result
of Allen's assault, and his requests for grievance forms
were being ignored by Hartman. (Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶ 7). In
response to Plaintiff's allegations, Spiller said
“You're not supposed to feel safe here. This is
prison. This is how you pay society back.” Id.
Spiller then walked away. (Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶ 8).
following day, Hill and Chapman arrived at Plaintiff's
cell with 3 trays of food. (Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶ 9).
Defendants began dumping the food in a trash can and one of
them said “ya see you stupid fuck we don't give a
damn about you or if you ever eat again.” Id.
Hill and Chapman returned the next day. (Doc. 1, p. 11,
¶ 10). Plaintiff was asked to provide a urine sample.
Id. Chapman, once again, knocked over food trays and
stated “What, you still think we give a damn about
you?” Id. At that point, Chapman walked away.
visited Plaintiff on the sixth day of his hunger strike.
(Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶ 11). At this time, Plaintiff was still
housed in the in a cell without running water. Id.
Shah had Plaintiff transferred to a cell in the healthcare
unit (“HCU”). Id. After being
transferred to the HCU, Plaintiff continued his hunger
strike. (Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶¶ 11-13). Plaintiff was
visited by Spiller who made comments regarding
Plaintiff's continued hunger strike. (Doc. 1, p. 11,
August 11, 2015, Lashbrook, Clellend, and Adams arrived at
Plaintiff's HCU cell. (Doc. 1, p. 11, ¶ 14).
Plaintiff again reported that he had been assaulted by Allen,
denied medical care for injuries sustained during the
assault, and denied access to the grievance process. (Doc. 1,
p. 12, ¶ 14). Lashbrook responded by saying
“he's not supposed to issue out grievances to
offenders seeking to write grievances on my officers.”
times during his stay in the HCU, Plaintiff spoke with his
therapist regarding his anxiety and emotional state. (Doc. 1,
p. 12, ¶ 15). Plaintiff's therapist informed him
there was a process that had to be followed and maybe, if he
would end his hunger strike, she could convince the proper
officials to review Plaintiff's allegations. Id.
August 18, 2015, as Plaintiff's hunger strike continued,
he was visited by Lashbrook, Clelland, and Malcolm. (Doc. 1,
p. 12, ¶ 16). Lashbrook stated “You're real
adamant about this hunger strike. You still waiting on
Springfield? You know don't nobody care if you
the hunger strike, Plaintiff was also visited by Edwards.
(Doc. 1, p. 12, ¶ 17). Edwards told Plaintiff that no
matter how long his hunger strike continued, Edwards would
not contact Springfield and would not instruct his staff to
clear Plaintiff as a hunger strike patient. Id.
Edwards told Plaintiff to “just go ahead and continue
to hurt yourself.” Id.
further alleges that Brown and Wexford failed to provide him
with the proper protocols for a hunger strike patient and
failed to provide appropriate medical care. (Doc. 1, p. 12,
¶ 18). Plaintiff indicates the hunger strike lasted a
total of 24 days and during that time he was under
Brown's watch. Id.
January 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding the
July 18 Incident. (Doc. 1, p. 13, ¶ 19). The grievance
was ignored and Plaintiff reported the same to Spiller and
Lashbrook. (Doc. 1, p. 13, ¶¶ 20-22).
February 13, 2016, Plaintiff declared a hunger strike to two
correctional officers and Webb. (Doc. 1, p. 13, ¶ 23).
Plaintiff does not provide any further allegations or details
in relation to the hunger strike initiated in February 2016.
February 28, 2016, Plaintiff informed Spiller that he was in
need of a crisis team and a phone call because he had just
learned that his grandparents had passed away. (Doc. 1, p.
13, ¶ 24). The request was denied. Id.
March 24, 2016, Plaintiff was called for an interview with
internal affairs regarding the July 18 Incident. (Doc. 1, p.
13, ¶ 25).
March 25, 2016, Plaintiff wrote a letter to Lashbrook
informing her he feared for his health and safety. (Doc. 1,
p. 13, ¶ 26). Plaintiff also stated that he suffered
from seizures and requested placement in a cell with
emergency buttons. Id. The letter was ignored.
April 25, 2016, Plaintiff was sleeping in his cell and
suffered from a seizure. (Doc. 1, p. 13, ¶ 27). When
Plaintiff regained consciousness he was in the HCU.
Id. Lashbrook was standing over Plaintiff.
Id. Lashbrook, without cause, had the medical staff
administer charcoal and pump Plaintiff's stomach.
seeks monetary damages in relation to his claims. (Doc. 1, p.
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
15 counts. The parties and the Court will use these
designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion
regarding their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in
the Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled
under the Twombly pleading standard.
Count 1-Eighth Amendment claim against Allen for excessive
force during the July 18 Incident.
Count 2-Eighth Amendment claim against Allen for deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs in
relation to the July 18 Incident
Count 3-Eighth Amendment claim against Lashbrook for
directing unidentified medical staff to administer charcoal
and pump Plaintiff's stomach absent medical necessity,
thereby interfering with or delaying medical treatment
Count 4-Fourteenth Amendment claim against Lashbrook for
directing unidentified medical staff to administer charcoal
and pump Plaintiff's stomach
Count 5-Eighth Amendment claim against Spiller, Adams, Hill,
Chapman, Shah, Lashbrook, Clellend, Malcolm, Edwards, Brown,
and Wexford for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's
serious medical needs during a hunger strike
Count 6-Eighth Amendment claim against Spiller, Adams,
Lashbrook, and Clellend for deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs in relation to the July
Count 7-Eighth Amendment claim against Spiller for deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's mental health needs on
February 28, 2016
Count 8-Eighth Amendment claim against Lashbrook for
deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical
Count 9-Lashbrook violated the Americans with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et
seq., and/or Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504, 29
U.S.C. §§ 794-794e, by failing to accommodate
Plaintiff's disability-related needs when he refused to
place Plaintiff in a cell with an emergency call button
Count 10- Eighth Amendment claim against Hill, Chapman,
Lashbrook, and Edwards for verbal threats and harassment