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Brewer v. Santos

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 11, 2017

MICHAEL BREWER, Plaintiff,
v.
VENERIO SANTOS and ARNEL GARCIA Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Michael Brewer, an inmate in Centralia Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests 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 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).

         The Complaint

         On January 7, 2016, Plaintiff attempted to climb onto his bunk, when his wrist gave out on him and he fell backward into the wall behind him. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff tried to catch himself, but ended up catching his finger on the edge of the wall. Id. He submitted a sick call slip. Id.

         On January 12, 2016, Plaintiff saw Dr. Santos for a routine check of his asthma. Id. While there, he mentioned that he was experiencing pain in his right fifth digit and showed Santos his disfigurement. Id. Santos told Plaintiff it was a sprain and suggested that Plaintiff ice the injury. Id. Plaintiff told Santos he had been icing the injury, to little effect. Id. Santos replied that Plaintiff was not a doctor, and that his finger was sprained. Id. He denied Plaintiff an x-ray or any pain medication. Id. He also suggested that Plaintiff should cancel his sick call request so that he would not be charged an additional $5 co-pay to hear the same thing. Id. Relying on this advice, Plaintiff refused his health care visit 2 days later. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         But Plaintiff's finger did not heal, and so on approximately January 21, 2016, he put in another request slip. Id. Dr. Garcia saw Plaintiff on January 27, 2016, at which time Plaintiff recounted his prior conversation with Santos. Id. Garcia also concluded that the finger was sprained, and told Plaintiff to ice it. Id. Garcia also denied Plaintiff an x-ray, but gave him some pain medication for his finger. Id.

         Plaintiff still failed to improve, and he was seen in the health care unit again on April 13, 2016 in response to his request for an x-ray. Id. This time, his request was granted. Id. Santos told Plaintiff that the x-ray showed that Plaintiff had a chipped facture to his right fifth digit finger. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Santos further told Plaintiff that his finger had to be reset and straightened to heal properly. Id. As of February 23, 2017, Plaintiff had received no other treatment and continued to experience pain and suffering. Id. His finger is also disfigured, and he has trouble gripping and holding items. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into 1 count. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a ...


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