United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court.
Nolen Chambers, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings
this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his constitutional
rights. In his First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claims that
he has been denied adequate medical care for a heart
condition since 2015. (Doc. 12). He seeks monetary relief.
(Doc. 12, p. 11).
First Amended Complaint is now subject to 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 First Amended Complaint survives screening under
claims that Menard officials have denied him adequate medical
care for a heart condition for two years. (Doc. 12). Since
April 9, 2015, Plaintiff has allegedly been “left to
intentionally suffer and nearly die several times.”
(Doc. 12, p. 4). On that date, Plaintiff collapsed in his
cell at Menard and was rushed to St. Elizabeth Hospital.
(Doc. 12, p. 5). He underwent a heart catheterization, which
revealed arterial blockage. (Doc. 12, pp. 4-5). One artery
was ninety percent obstructed, requiring the immediate
placement of a stint. Id. Another was thirty or
forty percent blocked. Id.
was sent back to Menard with orders to take his prescription
medication. (Doc. 12, p. 5). He spent “days”
“begging and pleading” with the head warden,
medical director, medical staff, and security staff before he
was given his medication. Id.
allegedly spent the next two years complaining about various
medical issues to Menard's security staff, medical staff,
counselors, medical director, and wardens. (Doc. 12, p. 5).
He requested treatment for dizziness, headaches, fatigue,
sweats, body sores, rashes, a hernia, back problems, chest
pain, and numbness in his extremities. (Doc. 12, p. 4).
Plaintiff made these complaints in person and in grievances.
Id. However, the staff “d[e]liberately tried
to kill . . . Plaintiff by ignoring intentionally” his
healthcare needs. (Doc. 12, p. 6).
of improving during this two-year time period,
Plaintiff's health declined. (Doc. 12, p. 3). In February
2017, he met with Doctor Satwoni about his heart condition in
Sparta, Illinois. (Doc. 12, pp. 3, 5). Plaintiff was referred
to St. Elizabeth Hospital for another heart catheterization
on February 23, 2017. (Doc. 12, p. 3). He was diagnosed with
four blocked arteries. (Doc. 12, p. 7). Plaintiff underwent
quadruple bypass surgery on February 27, 2017. Id.
He maintains that the surgery could have been avoided if he
had received adequate medical care during the preceding two
surgery, Plaintiff returned to Menard on March 7, 2017. (Doc.
12, p. 7). At the time, he suffered from pain and stress.
Id. Even so, Plaintiff was placed into a “cold
naked room” with two beds that were three feet off the
floor. Id. He was issued a “totally worn out
mattress” that smelled of urine and feces. Id.
He was denied pain medication, therapy, and a kosher
diet. Id. He was subjected to
“hostile” treatment by medical staff.
March 13, 2017, Doctor Trost and Nurse Walters entered the
room around 8:00 a.m. (Doc. 12, pp. 7-8). In an attempt to
wake Plaintiff, the doctor “kick[ed] things around
[while] cursing.” (Doc. 12, p. 7). Nurse Walters
checked Plaintiff's blood pressure, while stating that he
“shouldn't be up here.” (Doc. 12, p. 8). In
response, Doctor Trost said, “[W]e will get him out of
here with good ridd[a]nce.” Id.
two hours, Plaintiff was ordered to gather his belongings and
prepare to move. (Doc. 12, p. 8). Plaintiff protested,
stating that he should not be forced to return to the general
prison population until he was well enough to function and
defend himself. Id. He asked to return to the
hospital instead, but Doctor Trost and Nurse Walters ignored
his request. Id.
Plaintiff exited the infirmary, a security staff sergeant
confiscated his “breathing exercise machine” and
a pillow that was used to prevent pain while coughing. (Doc.
12, p. 8). When Plaintiff questioned the sergeant, he was
threatened with disciplinary action. Id. He returned
to his old cell with a cellmate, where he was left
“weak and vulnerable.” Id.
could not walk to the chow hall during this time period.
(Doc. 12, p. 9). When he asked to have a kosher tray
delivered to his cell, correctional officers denied his
requests. Id. He was subjected to cell shakedowns,
in retaliation for his requests for food service.
Id. Plaintiff asked the medical director and Doctor
Trost to issue him a permit for a temporary lay in, a low
bunk, and feeding assistance. Id. They laughed at
the request and told Plaintiff he did not need the permits.
March 7 and April 8, 2017, Plaintiff was also denied pain
medication for his chest and heart pain by “every nurse
and med-tech he stopped and asked” even though he was
prescribed the medication. (Doc. 12, p. 9). The pain was so
bad that Plaintiff eventually convinced an inmate trustee to
speak with a member of the nursing staff on his behalf.
Id. He was rushed to Chester Memorial Hospital and
treated for pain before being sent back to the prison. (Doc.
12, p. 10). The outside treatment did little to control his
claims that the conduct of defendants caused his health to
deteriorate over a two-year period. He suffered
unnecessarily. He seeks only monetary relief against the
defendants. (Doc. 12, p. 11).
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 deems it
appropriate to organize the claims in ...