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McCaskill v. Holmes

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 9, 2017

STEPHEN DOUGLAS MCCASKILL, Plaintiff,
v.
HOLMES, RHONDA, ETHEN, and LORREAL Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. Chief District Judge.

         Plaintiff Stephen Douglas McCaskill, an inmate in Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests declarative relief. 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 1, 2016, at 2 pm Plaintiff showed Officer Holmes his thumb, which had green gunk under the nail, and told her he was experiencing pain. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 45). Plaintiff requested that Holmes send him over to health care, but Holmes told him that the situation was not an emergency. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff then explained that he previously had MRSA, but Holmes remained unmoved. Id. She also squeezed his thumb, causing Plaintiff to almost pass out from the pain. Id.

         At 5 pm that day, Plaintiff showed his unit officer his thumb and the unit officer sent him over to health care. Id. Plaintiff then spoke to nurse Rhonda, and explained that he had clipped his nails the week prior and had broken the skin. Id. Plaintiff further stated that he initially thought the incident was minor, but 7-8 days had passed without the thumb healing and he was now in excruciating pain. Id. He also pointed out the green discoloration. Id. Rhonda told him his condition was not an emergency and asked him if he wanted to fill out a sick call slip. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). Plaintiff and Rhonda argued, and he walked out of health care without receiving medical attention. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         On January 2, 2016, Plaintiff saw Nurse Ethan during the medication line at 5:30 am. Id. Plaintiff complained of excruciating pain in his thumb to Ethan, but Ethan told him he needed to fill out a sick call slip. Id. At 7 am, Plaintiff once again complained to Holmes and Florentine, who sent him over to health care. Id. Plaintiff requested a wheelchair because he believed he might pass out from the pain, but the sergeant offered to walk him over personally instead. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Nurse Lorreal gave Plaintiff pain medication. (Doc. 1, p. 6). She also stated that she did not believe his pain and the discoloration under his thumb nail were related. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Lorreal told Plaintiff that she put him in to see the doctor, but to date, Plaintiff has not seen the doctor. (Doc. 1, p. 8).

         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 judicial officer of this Court. The following claim survives threshold review:

Count 1 - Holmes, Rhonda, Ethan, and Lorreal were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's thumb infection when they ignored his complaints of excruciating ...

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