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Smado v. Brookhart

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 5, 2017

SCOTT SMADO, #B03278, Plaintiff,


          STACI M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Scott Smado, an inmate who is currently incarcerated in Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that he was denied adequate medical care for a right hip and femoral neck fracture at Robinson in 2015 and 2016. (Doc. 1). As a result, he suffered from unnecessary pain and infection that necessitated additional surgery. Id. Plaintiff now seeks monetary relief against the defendants. Id.

         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 survives preliminary review under this standard.


         While working in Robinson's commissary on June 12, 2015, Plaintiff fell and injured his hip. (Doc. 1, p. 4). X-rays taken the same day revealed a shattered right hip and femoral neck fracture. Id. Plaintiff underwent surgery at an outside facility the following day. Id.

         He returned to the prison on June 22, 2015. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 6). Plaintiff was housed in Robinson's infirmary until July 1, 2015 and returned for further observation and care several times thereafter. (Doc. 1, p. 4). However, the Complaint does not indicate when or for how long.

         Plaintiff claims that he fell several times between June 22, 2015 and July 1, 2015 and sustained further injuries. (Doc. 1, p. 4). He blames a faulty wheelchair and handicap shower seat for these falls. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 6). The prison-issued wheelchair lacked leg supports, leaving Plaintiff's surgically repaired hip and leg unsupported. (Doc. 1, p. 6). The shower chair had a loose seat and screws. (Doc. 1, p. 7). As Plaintiff attempted to get into and out of the wheelchair, he fell and injured himself “several times.” Id. He also fell from the broken shower chair on June 29, 2015. Id.

         Plaintiff notified Assistant Warden Brookhart that the faulty equipment caused him to fall and sustain further injuries. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 7). He had at least one conversation with her about these issues between June 22, 2015 and July 6, 2015. (Doc. 1, p. 7). He also filed a grievance on or about July 12, 2015 to complain about her inaction. Id. However, Brookhart continued to ignore Plaintiff's complaints and took no action to ensure his safety. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 6-7).

         From July 1, 2015 through October 1, 2015, Plaintiff complained directly to his treating prison physician, Doctor Osmoundson, of ongoing pain, popping and swelling in his right hip. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 8). He requested “medical intervention.” (Doc. 1, p. 8). The doctor allegedly insisted that there was nothing wrong and recommended that Plaintiff simply continue with his exercise program. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 8). Doctor Osmoundson failed to coordinate Plaintiff's postoperative appointments and follow-up treatment with his surgeon. Id. In addition, the doctor instructed Plaintiff to use a cane while his surgeon recommended against its use. Id. At some point, Plaintiff returned to the prison's health care unit for further observation, but Doctor Osmoundson released him back to Housing Unit #6 on September 23, 2015, despite Plaintiff's complaints of continued pain and popping. (Doc. 1, p. 4).

         Plaintiff further alleges that a Physicians' Assistant, Travis James, was also “made personally aware of this ongoing pain and popping” in Plaintiff's right hip between June 13, 2015 and October 12, 2015. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 9). James met with Plaintiff several times following surgery. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Plaintiff requested additional medical care, but James refused to issue any new order because he believed that Plaintiff was “faking ...

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