United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JERMAINE M. STEWART, Plaintiff,
SUZANN BAILEY, JOHN BALDWIN, TY BATES, JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, LARUE LOVE, MIKE FISHER, and WEXFORD MEDICAL SOURCES, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge
Jermaine Stewart, an inmate in Pinckneyville Correctional
Center, brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff claims the defendants conspired to provide him with
an inadequate diet and were deliberately indifferent toward
his medical problems that arose therefrom. (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff sues Suzann Bailey (food service provider), John
Baldwin (Director of IDOC), Ty Bates (Deputy Director of
IDOC), Jacqueline Lashbrook (prison warden), Mike Fisher
(food service manager), Larue Love (assistant warden), and
Wexford Medical Sources (contracted medical service provider)
for monetary damages. 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
alleges the defendants violated his constitutional rights by
serving him a soy-based diet despite known negative health
risks. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-8). Plaintiff also claims fresh fruit
is served to inmates only once every several months and the
breakfasts each day are very small, consisting of “just
a few spoonfuls of oatmeal or grits, and an egg or small
patty.” (Doc. 1, p. 8) Because the last meal of the day
is served at 4:00pm, and breakfast “is not a meal at
all, ” Plaintiff alleges inmates suffer 12-18 hours of
hunger pangs between supper and lunch each day. (Doc. 1, p.
8). Plaintiff further asserts Bailey, Baldwin, Bates,
Lashbrook, Love, and Fisher acted in conspiracy to maintain a
policy of serving this nutritionally inadequate and harmful
diet in violation of his rights. Id.
contends that since beginning the soy-based diet he has
experienced a number of health issues. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8).
Plaintiff's health issues allegedly include severe
constipation resulting in blood in his stool, stomach pains,
extreme gas, fatigue, a torn anus, depression, and severe
headaches. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff sought medical attention
for his health issues, but one unnamed nurse did not assist
him. Id. Another unnamed nurse told him he could not
get a hormone level check done, claiming “Wexford
don't allow us to do that. It's too expensive and
it's useless.” Id. Plaintiff allegedly
filed two grievances, in October 2015 and September 2016, at
least one of which he sent to the warden. Id.
Plaintiff provides no detail regarding the substance of these
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
4 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.
Count 1-Defendants have been deliberately
indifferent to Plaintiff's medical needs by failing to
treat the symptoms he attributes to his ongoing consumption
of soy products, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 2-Bailey, Baldwin, Bates, Lashbrook,
Love, and Fisher violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment
rights by serving a nutritionally deficient diet consisting
of very little fruit and an inadequate breakfast.
Count 3-Bailey, Baldwin, Bates, Lashbrook,
Love, and Fisher subjected Plaintiff to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement by implementing a soy-based diet
policy, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 4-Bailey, Baldwin, Bates, Lashbrook,
Love, and Fisher conspired together to violate
Plaintiff's rights by implementing a soy-based and
nutritionally inadequate diet policy.
1 and 4 shall de dismissed pursuant to § 1915A for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Count 2 shall proceed against defendants Bailey, Baldwin,
Bates, Lashbrook, Love, and Fisher. Count 3 shall be
dismissed pursuant to § 1915A for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, and on qualified
immunity grounds. Any other intended claim that has not been
recognized by the Court is considered dismissed with
prejudice as inadequately pleaded under the Twombly