United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Ronald Williams, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(Doc. 1). In the Complaint, Plaintiff claims that he was
denied adequate medical care for glaucoma and a bunion at
Lawrence in 2015. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-6). Plaintiff asserts claims
under the Eighth Amendment for deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs against the following defendants: Steve
Duncan (warden), Phil Martin (medical director), L.
Cunningham (healthcare administrator), and John Coe (doctor).
Id. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief
against them. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Complaint is now subject to preliminary review under 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.
2009). The Complaint survives screening under this standard
and is subject to further review.
complains that he was denied adequate medical care for two
medical conditions at Lawrence in 2015. (Doc. 1). First, he
suffered from glaucoma in his right eye that caused painful
pressure and vision loss. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-6). Second, he
suffered from a bunion on his foot that necessitated the use
of special shoes. Id. Plaintiff claims that the
defendants delayed or denied treatment for both conditions.
26, 2015, Plaintiff was allegedly examined by a prison
optometrist, Doctor Brummel. (Doc. 1, p. 4). The optometrist
noted “extremely high pressure” in his right eye
and referred him to Marion Eye Center. Id. He
recommended a “surgical approach.” Id.
still waiting for approval of the referral and/or eye surgery
on June 4, 2015, Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance.
(Doc. 1, pp. 4, 10). In it, he complained of high pressure in
his right eye and blurry vision. Id. Plaintiff also
requested more eye drops. Id. The grievance was
deemed a non-emergency on June 9, 2015. (Doc. 1, p. 10). A
counselor's note dated June 15, 2015, indicates that
Plaintiff was approved for a medical furlough and would
receive eye drops in the “med line.” Id.
The grievance was formally denied on August 14, 2015. (Doc.
1, p. 4). Plaintiff appealed the decision to the
“director” on September 9, 2015. Id.
29 and July 6, 2015, Plaintiff was seen by Doctor Coe for
“severe uncontrolled glaucoma.” (Doc. 1, pp. 4,
14). A medical referral and report prepared by Doctor Coe on
each of those dates indicates that the situation was urgent.
(Doc. 1, pp. 4, 13). The doctor recommended a consultation
with a glaucoma specialist at Marion Eye Center. (Doc. 1, pp.
weeks that followed, Plaintiff sent multiple requests for
medical care to Warden Treadway, “[h]ealthcare, ”
and “[m]ental [h]ealth [s]ervices.” (Doc. 1, pp.
5, 15). He did not receive a response. Id. Plaintiff
alleges that Warden Duncan, Medical Director Martin,
Administrator Cunningham, and Doctor Coe would not approve
the recommendation for surgery. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff did
not undergo surgery at Marion Eye Center until July 28, 2015.
Id. He claims that the two-month delay caused him to
suffer from a “cocked” right eye, vision loss,
and unnecessary pain. Id.
also claims that Doctor Coe ordered him special shoes because
he has a painful bunion on his foot. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 16). The
doctor initially agreed that Plaintiff needed these shoes.
Id. Unfortunately, however, the ones he ordered were
too big for Plaintiff. Id.
30, 2015, Plaintiff was called to the prison health care unit
to pick out a pair of shoes that fit him. (Doc. 1, p. 16).
When he selected a replacement pair, Nurse Collins refused to
give them to Plaintiff. Id. The nurse indicated that
she needed to speak with Doctor Coe about special insoles for
the shoes. Id. Weeks passed, and Nurse Collins never
gave Plaintiff the shoes or followed up with him.
30 and August 2, 2015, Plaintiff filed grievances to complain
about the denial of shoes. (Doc. 1, p. 16). In one grievance,
Plaintiff explained that he saw a shoebox with his name on it
while making his way through the med line, but his name was
marked out and replaced with another inmate's name. (Doc.
1, p. 17). In the same grievance, Plaintiff also indicates
that he wrote to Nurse Collins, Director Martin, and Nancy
Pageant about getting new shoes but did not attach copies of
the written requests. (Doc. 1, p. 16). A response to the
initial grievance dated July 31, 2015, indicates that ...