United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
NICHOLAS D. TERRELL, Plaintiff,
MADISON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT., DR. BLANKENSHIP, NURSE MARTY MAJOR, and NURSE BRANDI, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Gilbert United States District Judge
currently incarcerated at the Madison County Jail (“the
Jail”), has brought this pro se civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims
that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to a serious
medical condition. This case is now before the Court for a
preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A .
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations
as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th
Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally
construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751
(7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A.
August 30, 2016, at the Madison County Jail, Plaintiff was
seen by Dr. Blankenship and Nurse Brandy. (Doc. 1, p. 12).
Plaintiff informed them that he had been shot. His medical
records reflect that the shooting happened on August 21 or
22. (Doc. 1, p. 17). Upon examining Plaintiff, Blankenship
and Brandy said that it looked like a “graze” and
not a bullet wound. They gave Plaintiff Motrin and band-aids
while they waited for his hospital records.
continued to have pain in his wounded leg. On September 10,
2016, Plaintiff saw Brandy again and explained his belief
that he had a bullet lodged in his thigh. Brandy again
responded that Plaintiff had not been shot, but only grazed.
She ordered x-rays and continued him on Motrin and band-aids.
September 12, 2016, x-rays were taken. Plaintiff could see
the fragment in the images. (Doc. 1, pp. 12-13). He requested
pain medication, but was denied (he does not say by whom).
Plaintiff was told that he would be called back when the
x-ray results were in.
September 23, 2016, Plaintiff sent a request to the Captain,
asking him to look into the x-ray status as Plaintiff was
still in pain. On September 27, a response came back saying
that the x-rays did not reveal a bullet, as reflected in
Plaintiff's original records. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 13).
Plaintiff disputes this comment, however, because the
original records “clearly state left thigh retained
round.” (Doc. 1, pp. 13, 19-20). Plaintiff includes an
x-ray report dated August 22, 2016, as well as other medical
records, stating that a bullet fragment was identified in his
upper medial left thigh. (Doc. 1, p. 15, 21). Based on this
contradiction, he claims Jail officials knowingly lied to him
about the bullet wound.
exhibits include a request dated September 29, 2016, from
Nurse Major for Plaintiff's hospital records, which
states, “Please send records that bullet was or was not
removed from inmate's left femur for [date]
8-22-16.” (Doc. 1, p. 35).
continued to suffer pain as time went on. On October 24,
2016, his public defender requested Plaintiff's medical
records from the Jail. On November 3, 2016, Nurse Major saw
Plaintiff. She told him he did not have a bullet in his
thigh, but put him on 300 mg Neurontin. This medication did
not help Plaintiff.
November 10, 2016, Plaintiff was called to see Dr.
Blankenship and Nurse Major again. They continued to insist
that Plaintiff had not been shot and did not have a bullet in
his leg. Plaintiff told them that he had an entry wound but
no exit wound, and asked where the bullet went. Another set
of x-rays was taken on November 15, 2016. A correctional
officer who was present saw the bullet in the x-ray, as did
the technician. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7; 13). The report from the
x-ray stated: “Bullet medial left upper thigh
compatible with given history.” (Doc. 1, pp. 13, 43).
on these events, Plaintiff claims that Blankenship, Major,
and Brandy knowingly lied about his bullet wound and refused
to give him proper medical care. (Doc. 1, ...