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Croom v. Lashbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 14, 2017




         Plaintiff Christopher Croom brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that allegedly occurred in Menard Correctional Center. Plaintiff seeks declarative relief, monetary damages, and injunctive 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.

         Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is severable.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff was sent to segregation at Menard Correctional Center on February 13, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff's cell was filthy and his mattress was urine-stained, but plaintiff only received “some type of watered-down liquid” once a week to clean it. Id. Plaintiff received the same amount cleaning supplies in segregation as he did in general population. Id. Plaintiff was also deprived of personal hygiene items, like toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant, and a change of clothes for 10 days, until he received his personal property. Id. Plaintiff asked a C/O for hygiene products, but the C/O responded “ask your homeboys” and “don't come to seg.” Id. Plaintiff was not permitted to shower for 18 days. Id.

         Plaintiff was assigned to a two-man cell with 36 square feet of space. Id. There is no room to exercise in those cells. Id.

         The meat at Menard contains soy product. Id. As a result of eating the soy, Plaintiff alleges that he has experienced severe stomach pain, gas, constipation, and rectal bleeding. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Plaintiff had x-rays of his stomach taken after he was “given 2 cups of milk of magnesium laxative.” Id. The x-ray showed constipation and gas. Id. Plaintiff has requested a blood test for hypothyroidism and thyroid hormones, as well as a soy-free diet, but Tripp refused to give him the blood test. Id. P.A. Moldenhaur refuses to prescribe Plaintiff a medical diet. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he experiences stomach pain and suffering every day and that he has lost weight from attempting to avoid soy. Id.

         On March 3, 2017 at approximately 12:35 am, plaintiff attempted to jump into the top bunk in his cell and fell. (Doc. 1, p. 10). He landed on the back of his head and split his elbow on the lower bunk on the way down. Id. The bunks do not have ladders, and the top bunk is approximately 5 ft. off the ground. Id. Plaintiff's cellmate called for help, as there was no call button the cell. Id. Plaintiff waited 15 minutes before a guard came to the cell. Id. John Doe 2, the shift sergeant came to the cell and then left to consult medical. Id. Doe 2 returned and told Plaintiff “medical said they are not coming because it is not an emergency.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that the medical staff could not have known it was not an emergency because they failed to assess the situation in person. Id. Plaintiff received a pass to outpatient care at 8:00 am. (Doc. 1, p. 11). He alleges he was barely able to walk as a result of the incident. Id. He tried to complain to Tripp about the incident, but Tripp told him that she was only there to take his blood pressure. Id. After complaining about his neck and back, Tripp looked at the back of plaintiff's neck and told him there was nothing she can do. Id. She refused to put plaintiff on the list to see the doctor and told plaintiff to put in a sick call slip. Id. Despite putting in 9 sick call slips, plaintiff was not seen until over 3 weeks later. Id. Plaintiff was given an x-ray, which was “unremarkable.” Id. Plaintiff was never given a prescription for the pain, and had to take ibuprofen. (Doc. 1, p. 12). He alleges that he still experiences pain and stiffness in his neck and back. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that the guards refuse to pass out grievance forms. Id. The law library staff also refuses to copy grievances. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that he submitted 13 grievances to counselor Rodely in March and April 2017, and that Rodely only responded to 2 of them. (Doc. 1, pp. ...

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