United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge.
Jonathan Vidlak is currently incarcerated at the United
States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois
(“USP-Marion”). He brings this action pursuant to
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388
(1971), and the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”),
28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671-2680. (Doc. 1). In the
Complaint, Plaintiff claims that he was exposed to mercury at
USP-Marion on September 11 and 14, 2015. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
Plaintiff asserts that the prison's electrical work
supervisor, Justin Cox, improperly disposed of fluorescent
light bulbs on those dates and took no steps to protect
inmates from the risk of heavy metal poisoning. Id.
He now sues Supervisor Cox for deliberate indifference under
Bivens and for negligence under the FTCA. Plaintiff
seeks monetary relief. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
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 the supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A. Portions of this action are subject to
September 11, 2015, Plaintiff was assigned to work in
USP-Marion's electrical shop. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Justin Cox,
the electrical work supervisor, improperly disposed of used
and burned out fluorescent light bulbs by breaking them that
day. (Id.; Doc. 1-1, p. 9). Supervisor Cox knew or
should have known that the bulbs contained mercury.
Id. However, he took no steps to protect inmates
from the risk that mercury exposure posed to their immediate
or future health. Id. Following the initial
incident, Supervisor Cox did not evacuate the area or reroute
foot traffic. Id. Instead, he ordered inmates,
including Plaintiff, to assist in the cleanup. Id.
September 14, 2015, Supervisor Cox ordered inmates, Plaintiff
included, to improperly dispose of the remaining bulbs by
breaking them against the side of a trash can. Id.
He did not issue them personal protection equipment.
Id. As a result of both incidents, Plaintiff claims
that he was exposed to an unnecessary risk of heavy metal
facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in
this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court has
organized the claims in ...