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Smith v. Singh

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 29, 2017

TROY SMITH, #K88159 Plaintiff,
v.
HARGURMUKH SINGH, J. J. RODOS, WEXFORD HEALTH CARE, and VENERIO SANTOS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Troy Smith, an inmate in Centralia Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 relating to Plaintiff's alleged overdose on prescribed Lithium. (Doc. 1). 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; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: Plaintiff overdosed on Lithium, which was prescribed to him by defendant J.J. Rodos. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Given the SSM St. Mary's Hospital Laboratory Report that Plaintiff provided with the Complaint, he was found to have a Lithium level of 2.4 on December 3, 2015, which was flagged on the report as “high critical.” (Doc. 1-1, p. 6). This amount was twice the highest amount (1.2) in the reference range on the report. Id. Plaintiff claims that this constituted toxic levels of Lithium, from which he almost died. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff claims he suffered pain and suffering and deterioration of health, particularly with respect to his mental health treatment. Id. Plaintiff alleges that defendants Singh, Rodos, Santos, and Wexford Health Care violated his constitutional rights with respect to this incident by failing to monitor his Lithium levels by ordering blood tests. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), the Court finds it convenient to designate a single count in this pro se action. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.

Count 1 - Defendants exhibited deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs related to his overdose on Lithium in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         As to Plaintiff's Count 1, the Supreme Court has recognized that “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners” may constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994); see Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). This encompasses a broader range of conduct than intentional denial of necessary medical treatment, but it stops short of ‚Äúnegligen[ce] in ...


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