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Joness v. Lenear

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 1, 2017

KEIAHTY JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
LENEAR, JOHN DOE, JANE DOE, and DR. COE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff Keiahty Jones, an inmate in Danville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants were, among other things, deliberately indifferent to his serious medical issues during his time at Lawrence Correctional Center, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (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 allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: On December 26, 2015, Plaintiff notified Defendant C/O Lenear that he was experiencing back spasms and needed medical attention. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Lenear told Plaintiff to “suck it up” and “stop complaining” and refused to get him medical treatment. Id. 10 to 20 minutes later, Lenear returned and asked Plaintiff if he was ready for work. Id. Plaintiff told Lenear that he was in too much pain to work and that he would risk suffering greater injury if he was forced to do so. Id. Plaintiff also told Lenear that he was being treated for an unrelated injury that caused back spasms and required Plaintiff to wear a brace. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Lenear told Plaintiff that if he did not comply with Lenear's order to go to work, Lenear would write Plaintiff a ticket. Id. Lenear also told Plaintiff that his supervisor, John Doe, said Plaintiff had to work and would face disciplinary action if he refused. Id.

         In fear of retaliation, Plaintiff went to work at the dietary hall. Id. His work included pushing and lifting trays, which put tremendous pressure on Plaintiff's lower back and caused sharp pains to shoot down Plaintiff's right leg. Id. Plaintiff informed Lenear that his spasms were unbearable while he was working, but Lenear told Plaintiff he had no choice but to work. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Plaintiff asked to speak with Lenear's supervisor, but Lenear walked away without providing the supervisor's name, though he did tell Plaintiff his supervisor was a lieutenant. Id.

         Later, while carrying breakfast trays up the stairs, Plaintiff experienced unbearable pain to his lower back, upper back and both legs. Id. While on the stairs again, Plaintiff's back went into a violent spasm, and Plaintiff's body buckled under the weight of the milk and juice carts he was carrying. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff fell down most of the stairs, hitting his head and injuring other parts of his body. Id. A carton of milk also fell onto his back after the fall, exacerbating Plaintiff's pain. Id. Plaintiff was transported to the health care unit on a stretcher. Id.

         In the health care unit, Plaintiff was asked by Defendant Jane Doe, a nurse, about his pain. (Doc. 1, 15). When he replied that he was in too much pain to move, Nurse Jane Doe left him on the stretcher for hours and later returned with one Motrin for his pain and a 3 day medical lay-in. Id. Plaintiff told Nurse Jane Doe that Motrin does not work for the pain he experienced, to which she responded that Plaintiff's pain was sciatic nerve pain and that he should take the Motrin. Id. Although Plaintiff continued to insist that Motrin would not relieve his pain, Nurse Jane Doe refused to give him a different type of pain medication. Id. Plaintiff believes he would not have experienced continued pain had Nurse Jane Doe prescribed him pain medication other than Motrin. (Doc. 1, p. 16).

         From December 26, 2015 through December 29, 2015, Plaintiff was denied breakfast because Lenear ordered inmate Hutchins not to provide it to him. (Doc. 1, p. 17). Lenear made this order because he thought Plaintiff fell intentionally on December 26th. Id. This deprivation caused Plaintiff stomach and hunger pains. Id.

         On December 30, 2015, Plaintiff was examined by Defendant Doctor Coe for his injuries. (Doc. 1, p. 18). Coe prescribed Plaintiff crutches, dimethazone, Tylenol 3, a muscle relaxer, naproxen, an analgesic balm and a back brace. (Doc. 1, pp. 18-19). Coe also extended Plaintiff's medical lay-in to January 9, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff informed Coe that he had been experiencing headaches, dizziness, fatigue and loss of concentration and memory since sustaining a head injury during the fall on December 26, 2015. Id. Coe replied that Plaintiff's symptoms were consistent with post-concussive disorder. Id. When Plaintiff asked if Coe could treat him for these symptoms, Coe told Plaintiff that they would go away on their own and that Plaintiff would have to live with them. Id.

         Several days later, Plaintiff began experiencing severe cramps, stomach pains, hardened bloody stool and vomiting. (Doc. 1, p. 20). Plaintiff notified Coe about the issue and Coe told him that there was nothing he could do about it and that Plaintiff would have to wait until he went home to deal with it with another doctor. Id. Coe denied all further treatment of Plaintiff after this exchange. Id. Plaintiff continues to suffer from emotional pain and distress, depression, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, loss of concentration and memory, leg pain, chronic upper back pain, chronic lower back pain and loss of sleep. (Doc. 1, pp. 22-23).

         Plaintiff claims the defendants' actions were extreme and outrageous and taken with the intent to cause, or were in reckless disregard of the probability that their conduct would cause severe emotional distress to the Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 23). Plaintiff seeks ...


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