United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN, CHIEF JUDGE
Jamal Jones, an inmate a Pinckneyville 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 have been deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs 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
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.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: on October 25, 2016, Plaintiff was kicked in the
face, causing severe injuries to his eye sockets. (Doc. 1, p.
6). He began to experience vision loss. Id. He was
taken to the Health Care Unit (“HCU”) where he
was given a “minimal” examination by Defendant
Jane Doe. Id. When Plaintiff complained to Doe of
“severe headaches, ” she told him to “stop
bitching and crying like a baby.” Id. She also
refused to take notes regarding his complaints. Id.
Doe told Plaintiff that he would not receive an x-ray because
there was “no visible reason” to have one taken.
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff requested ice for his injury to
relieve the swelling, but it was refused. Id.
Plaintiff was instead given a low dose of Tylenol, and later
Plaintiff was sent back to his cell after his first visit to
the HCU after his injury without having been given an x-ray,
the fracture in his face began to heal unevenly, leaving
Plaintiff's face disfigured. Id. Both of
Plaintiff's eyes were black, and one of them was shut
completely. Id. Even now, Plaintiff's eyes
“show a dark shadow to them.” Id. The
Tylenol and Ibuprofen Plaintiff was given did not stop or
slow the pain Plaintiff was experiencing - which Plaintiff
classifies as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. Id.
Plaintiff visited the HCU several times, only to be rushed
out without sufficient care. Id. “For a very
long time, [Plaintiff] was denied an x-ray by [Defendant
Christine] Brown.” Id. “In fact, Brown,
Lashbrook, Love, and Baldwin instructed staff to not even
consider treating such an ‘expensive procedure,
'” as is evidenced by a memorandum in the HCU with
a list of over a dozen treatments and conditions that Wexford
instructs its employees not to provide and/or treat, as
“‘expensive' care is not Wexford's
“still has periods of 10-12 hours of severe
headaches.” Id. In fact, once when Plaintiff
was trying to tie his shoes, he became so dizzy he almost
fell over. Id. Plaintiff believes he needs an MRI,
but MRIs are listed on the memorandum as a service that
Wexford does not allow. Id. Plaintiff has instead
suffered from daily headaches and severe depression.
Id. Plaintiff sent a letter to Baldwin about this
“expensive care” memo of Wexford's, but it
went unanswered. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff also filed an
emergency grievance, which was received by the grievance
officer on November 15, 2016 and forwarded to Baldwin on
December 1, 2016. Id. This grievance was denied.
November 3, 2016, Plaintiff was ready to have x-rays taken,
but the corrections officer on his wing told him his pass had
been cancelled. Id. Plaintiff claims “[e]very
cry out he's sent to Lashbrook, Love, Brown, and Baldwin
went unanswered except” his emergency grievance that
Baldwin expedited as an emergency but ultimately denied.
(Doc. 1, p. 8); (Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-4). Notably, the emergency
grievance response from Debbie Knauer of the Administrative
Review Board and Baldwin indicates that Plaintiff “was
to come to x-ray November 3, 2016 but chose to go to
commissary” and Plaintiff's “facial bones
x-rayed [sic] on November 9, 2016.” (Doc. 1-1,
claims he “suffers from severe 10-12 hour headaches,
severe vision loss, severe depression, neck pain, and other
mental injuries[.]” (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff ...