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Saddler v. Aldridge

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 20, 2017

DARIUS SADDLER, Plaintiff,
v.
ALDRIDGE, STROUD, REED, and MCCOLLUM Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HERNDON, District Judge.

         Plaintiff Darius Saddler, an inmate in Vienna Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests compensation. 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 such relief.

         An 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. 2009).

         Upon 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 summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         On July 10, 2016, Plaintiff submitted a request slip to the health care unit at Vienna complaining of pain in his ear and jaw area. (Doc. 1-1, p. 1). Dr. Aldridge conducted a dental screening on July 19, 2016, and told Plaintiff he had a hole in one of his teeth. Id. Plaintiff reported to Aldridge's office on July 26, 2016 to have the tooth extracted. Id. Aldridge attempted to pull the tooth straight out, without success. Id. Aldridge and Stroud, his assistant, informed Plaintiff that they would have to drill the tooth in half in order to extract it. Id. Plaintiff experienced severe pain and discomfort when the drilling started. Id. As a result of his pain and discomfort, Plaintiff's body began making uncontrollable jerking movements. Id. Aldridge asked Plaintiff why he was jerking. (Doc. 1-1, p. 2). Plaintiff told him that he felt pain and the jerking was uncontrollable. Id. Aldridge told him to get out. Id. Plaintiff refused because he was bleeding and the procedure was incomplete. Id. Aldridge stood over Plaintiff and balled his fist in a threatening manner. Id. Reed and McCollum ultimately escorted Plaintiff out of the dentist's office. Id. Plaintiff did not receive any medication for pain or infection, any mouth rinses, any salt, or any packing to address the bleeding in his mouth. Id.

         On August 11, 2016, Plaintiff was transported to Dr. Heine in Paducah, Kentucky to complete the procedure. Heine told Plaintiff he had an infection and irritation. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into 2 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 following claim survives threshold review:

Count 1 - Aldridge and Stroud were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious dental needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they began an extraction procedure they were unequipped to complete, ignored his complaints of pain during the procedure, and kicked him out of the incomplete ...

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