United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
BILLY J. FINNEY, # B-88695, Plaintiff,
ALFONSO DAVID, BRUCE RAUNER, DORSEY McGEE, BLAKE WOODS, JEFFREY DENISON, LORA LeCRANE, LOUIS SHICKER, JOHN BALDWIN, and WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge
currently incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center
(“Shawnee”), has brought this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff claims that Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical condition. The Complaint
is now before the Court for a preliminary review 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.
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).
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 finds that some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A.
March 12, 2016, Plaintiff sought medical attention for a
large knot that had formed on the back of his scalp. He had
been experiencing severe headaches, night sweats and chest
pains at the time. (Doc. 1-1, p. 6). He described his
symptoms to Nurse McGee, who checked his vital signs.
However, McGee refused to examine the knot on Plaintiff's
scalp. McGee did call in another nurse (Woods) to examine
Plaintiff's chest and breathing. As a result, Woods
scheduled Plaintiff for a chest x-ray.
March 15, 2016, Plaintiff again sought treatment for the knot
on his scalp, which was growing larger. He was still
experiencing severe headaches and had begun to sweat
continuously and to turn pale. Woods refused to examine the
knot but upon taking Plaintiff's temperature, noticed
that it was high enough to warrant keeping Plaintiff in the
infirmary. (Doc. 1-1, p. 7).
had the chest x-rays on March 16, 2016. Dr. David told
Plaintiff that the x-rays showed a large mass in his right
lung. Plaintiff told Dr. David about the excruciating pain he
was having from the knot on his head. Dr. David examined the
knot, but told Plaintiff it was only fat tissue and that it
did not require any medical treatment. (Doc. 1-1, p. 7).
three occasions between March and May 2016, Plaintiff told
Dr. David that he was still constantly having severe
headaches and requested treatment for the lump on his scalp.
Dr. David became agitated and told Plaintiff that it was only
fat tissue and that Plaintiff would have to seek treatment
for it after he was paroled. David, McGee and Woods
deliberately failed to document in Plaintiff's medical
records that he had complained about the lump/knot on his
scalp. Only on April 7, 2016 did an unknown nurse record that
complaint. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 7-8).
between March and the end of May 2016, Plaintiff submitted 5
grievances complaining about the medical staff's failure
to treat the lump/knot on his head. (Doc. 1-1, p. 11; Doc.
1-2, pp. 19-24). Shawnee Warden Denison replied to one of
these and determined that Plaintiff's complaint did not
constitute an emergency. Plaintiff never received a response
to his other grievances. Plaintiff also complained several
times to Nursing Director LeCrane about the lack of
treatment, to no avail. (Doc. 1-1, p. 12).
the x-ray that disclosed the lung mass, Dr. David sought and
obtained approval from Wexford Health Sources, Inc. to send
Plaintiff out to have a CT scan of his chest. This test was
performed on March 18, 2016. Plaintiff was taken to Memorial
Hospital of Carbondale on several other occasions between
March and June 2016 for a PET scan and other tests. A lung
specialist (Dr. Bambra) diagnosed him with pulmonary
Blastomycosis Hemoptysis and referred him to the infectious
2, 2016, Plaintiff saw Dr. Bobo, an infectious disease
specialist. She examined the knot on Plaintiff's scalp
after he told her how long it had been there, that it was
growing larger and that he had been regularly coughing up
blood. (Doc. 1-1, p. 9). Dr. Bobo immediately admitted
Plaintiff to the hospital where he had a CT scan of the head.
This test showed that the Blastomycosis infection had spread
from Plaintiff's scalp into his skull. He underwent
surgery to remove the infection. Due to its advanced stage,
Plaintiff needed a metal plate to replace a piece of his
skull. Plaintiff now suffers from tremors, numbness in his
right arm and leg and has lost most of the vision in his
right eye. Plaintiff's surgeon and Dr. Bobo told him that
had he ...