United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court for consideration is the First Amended
Complaint filed by Plaintiff Robert Sloat. (Docs. 9, 9-1,
9-2). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution located in Greenville, Illinois
(“FCI-Greenville”). He brings this action against
the United States pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act
(“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b),
2671-2680. Plaintiff alleges that he was denied necessary
dental surgery and dentures for more than 4 years at
FCI-Greenville, and that federal officials allegedly knew of
and disregarded his urgent dental needs (Doc. 9-2, pp. 1-9).
Plaintiff now seeks monetary damages against the United
States for the negligence and/or deliberate indifference of
these officials. (Doc. 9, p. 6).
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
First Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
(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.
factual allegations offered in support of the First Amended
Complaint are set forth in an exhibit that Plaintiff refers
to as a “Brief” in his Statement of Claim (Doc.
9, p. 5) and as a “Motion for Leave to File First
Amended Complaint” on the face of the exhibit (Doc.
9-2, pp. 1-6). Plaintiff alleges that he underwent a dental
screening at FCI-Greenville on April 9, 2012. (Doc. 9-2, pp.
1-2). “Health Services” determined that he was
missing all 32 teeth and was also suffering from bleeding and
infected gums. Id. Plaintiff indicated that he
suffered from pain and problems chewing, swallowing and
digesting food. Id.
6, 2012, Plaintiff received a recommendation for a form of
pre-prosthetic surgery referred to as “tori removal and
mandibular [a]nterior vestibuloplasty.” (Doc. 9-2, p.
2). On August 12, 2012, Doctor Hartnagel ordered radiographs,
recommended removal of the mandibular “bilateral,
” and requested further pre-prosthetic evaluation.
Id. Months passed without further treatment.
Id. On December 11, 2012, Plaintiff submitted a
written inquiry regarding the status of his case and
indicated that he was still waiting for oral surgery and
dentures. Id. Years passed without surgery or
August 7, 2015, Plaintiff returned to Health Services. (Doc.
9-2, p. 2). During the appointment, he complained of
continued difficulty chewing and eating. Id.
Plaintiff explained that he had been waiting for dentures for
nearly 4 years. Id.
August 12, 2015, the Chief Dental Officer once again
determined that Plaintiff needed “[b]ilateral
[m]andibular, and [t]ori [r]emoval” along with
“[m]andibular [a]nterior [v]estibuloplasty.”
(Doc. 9-2, p. 2). Surgery was tentatively scheduled for
November 2, 2015. Id. Plaintiff's dental records
from that date reveal the same diagnosis as the one he
received on June 6, 2012. (Doc. 9-2, p. 3). Doctor
Hartnagel's records include a similar note dated October
9, 2015. Id. On the same date, Plaintiff's case
was finally referred to the regional office for approval.
Id. On or around November 18, 2015, Plaintiff
underwent a “neurosurgery procedure.”
Id. At some point between November 2015 and July
2016, he underwent a second surgery that Doctor Swanson
originally said Plaintiff could undergo at the same time as
his first surgery. Id.
finally received dentures on July 7, 2016. (Doc. 9-2, p. 3).
However, they did not fit and required modification.
Id. Plaintiff's dentures have since caused ...