Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Townes v. David

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 12, 2017

HENRY L. TOWNES, B05916 Plaintiff,
v.
ALFONSO DAVID, TAMMIE PITTAYATHIKHAN, KAREN SMOOT, MELISSA PHOENIX, and JEFFREY DENNISON, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Michael J. Reagan Chief Judge

         Plaintiff Henry L. Townes, currently incarcerated in Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”), brings this pro se action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. According to the Complaint, Defendants exhibited deliberate indifference to a serious risk to Plaintiff's health. Specifically, Plaintiff contends he suffers from type 1 diabetes, sleeping disorders, and has a documented history of falling out of bed. According to Plaintiff, upon being transferred to Shawnee, he repeatedly informed various officials about his medical conditions and the risk of assigning Plaintiff to a top bunk. Plaintiff's complaints were disregarded and, in January 2017, Plaintiff fell out of the top bunk. The fall caused Plaintiff to break his wrist and required emergency surgery. Plaintiff further contends that he is currently being denied physical therapy for his broken wrist.

         In connection with his claims, Plaintiff names David Alfonso, the medical director, Tammi Pittayathikhan, a nurse practitioner, Karen Smoot, a healthcare administrator, Melissa Phoenix, a member of the administrator review board, and Jeffery Dennison, Shawnee's warden. Plaintiff seeks 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.

         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

         On December 8, 2016, Plaintiff, a 58 year-old with type 1 diabetes, sleep disorders, and a history of falling out of bed, was transferred to Shawnee. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). Because of his preexisting medical conditions, Plaintiff had a low bunk permit at the transferor prison. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff was not contacted or examined by medical staff when he arrived at Shawnee. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff relayed his medical conditions to security personnel and requested a bottom bunk. Id. Nonetheless, Plaintiff was assigned to a top bunk. Id.

         Plaintiff wrote to David, the medical director, informing him of the following: (1) he is 58 years old; (2) he is a type 1 diabetic; (3) he has sleep disorders; (4) he has a history of falling out of bed; (5) he had a bottom bunk permit prior to being transferred to Shawnee; and (6) he was assigned to a top bunk at Shawnee. Id. Plaintiff urged David to review his medical records. Id. Several weeks passed without contact from medical staff and without a response from David. Id. On or around January 10, 2017, Plaintiff wrote a second letter, this time to David and Pittayathikan, a nurse practitioner. Id. The letter relayed Plaintiff's concerns regarding his medical condition and being assigned to the top bunk. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff also indicated that he had not seen medical staff since his arrival at Shawnee. Id.

         On January 15, 2017, Plaintiff wrote Smoot, the healthcare administrator, regarding his preexisting conditions and his concern about being assigned to a top bunk. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 12). Plaintiff also indicated that he had not been seen by any medical personnel since his arrival at Shawnee. Id. Smoot did not respond. Id.

         On or about January 17, 2017, Plaintiff submitted an emergency grievance to Dennison, the warden, informing him of the top bunk assignment, Plaintiff's medical history, and the fact that Plaintiff had not been seen by medical staff since his arrival. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 8, 13). Plaintiff requested a low gallery, low bunk and slow walking permit. Id. Dennison did not respond. Id.

         On or about January 18, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Pittayathikhan. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff informed her that he was a diabetic with sleeping disorders, he had a history of falling out of bed, and he had a bottom bunk permit at Vienna. Id. Pittayathikhan indicated she did not have authority to issue a bottom bunk permit. Id. Plaintiff contends that was a lie because Pittayathikhan previously issued a bottom bunk permit to his cellmate. Id.

         On January 26, 2017, while sleeping, Plaintiff fell out of the top bunk and broke his wrist. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). Plaintiff's wrist required emergency surgery and insertion of a metal plate and screws. (Doc. 1, pp. 9, 14). ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.