United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
GILBERT, District Judge
Troy Smith, an inmate in Centralia Correctional Center,
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 relating to
Plaintiff's alleged overdose on prescribed Lithium. (Doc.
1). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the First Amended 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 First Amended Complaint and any
supporting exhibits, the Court will allow this case to
proceed past the threshold stage.
First Amended Complaint
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 15), Plaintiff makes the
following allegations: Plaintiff has been diagnosed with
Schizophrenia. He met with Defendant Singh for psychotherapy
related to his mental health, during which time Singh
prescribed him with “high critical levels of Lithium
valued at 2.4 (HH), when the average range is 0.6-1.2
mmol/L.” (Doc. 15, p. 3). As he continued to be given
toxic levels of Lithium, “his health began to
deteriorate and he eventually overdosed, leading him to be
transported to an outside hospital.” Id. The
medical staff at SSM St. Mary's Hospital “concluded
that Plaintiff was being administered high critical levels of
Lithium.” Id. Plaintiff's medical
condition was exasperated by Singh's negligence, which
unnecessarily prolonged his deterioration, “as he
suffered memory loss, walked hunched over, lost cognitive
skills, constant hand shivering, pain, and an inability to
feed himself and read and write.” (Doc. 15, p. 4).
Plaintiff still suffers from these symptoms. Id.
point, Plaintiff was assigned to a new psychiatrist,
Defendant Rodos. Id. Rodos did not notify the
medical staff at Centralia that Plaintiff was being
administered high levels of Lithium. Id. Instead, he
continued to allow the medical staff to administer Plaintiff
critical levels of Lithium as his health deteriorated.
Id. Like Singh, Rodos' negligence exasperated
Plaintiff's medical condition. Id.
Santos was the Medical Director at Centralia during the
relevant time. (Doc. 15, p. 5). Plaintiff frequently met with
Santos while he was being administered Lithium. Id.
“Outside of the obvious side effects of the Lithium,
i.e., constant shivering, walking with a lean, loss of
cognitive skills, the Plaintiff informed Defendant Santos he
was losing his memory and was unable to feed himself.”
Id. Despite being notified of these issues, Santos
never ordered a blood test, nor did he stop Plaintiff from
being administered the Lithium, which could have prevented
the overdose. Id. Similar to Singh and Rodos,
Stantos' negligence exasperated Plaintiff's medical
Medical Sources, Inc. (“Wexford”) is contracted
by the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) to provide health services to its
prisoners. (Doc. 15, p. 6). Defendants Krebs and Knebel are
“responsible for discharging its duties.”
Id. Krebs is the Health Care Administrator at
Centralia and Knebel is the director of nurses. (Doc. 15, p.
2). “Defendants Wexford, Krebs, and Knebel are
responsible for the lack of medical/mental health staffing
and resources at Centralia C.C., which threatened serious
harm to Plaintiff and invited medical error.” (Doc. 15,
p. 6). Prior to his overdose, Plaintiff spoke with Krebs and
Knebel about his condition and was told to “‘put
in for sick call' and see the doctor.” Id.
“Krebs and Knebel failed to act in response to
Plaintiff's obvious identified deterioration of health,
which later led to his overdose.” Id. Though
Plaintiff alleges that Wexford, Krebs, and Knebel
“maintained an unconstitutional policy or custom that
prevented Plaintiff from avoidable harm, ” given the
allegations in the First Amended Complaint, it is evident
that Plaintiff intended to allege that these defendants
maintained a policy that failed to protect Plaintiff from
avoidable harm. (Doc. 15, p. 10). Like the other defendants,
Wexford, Krebs, and Knebel's negligence exasperated
Plaintiff's medical condition. (Doc. 15, p. 7).
John/Jane Doe were responsible for administering the high
critical levels of Lithium to Plaintiff. Id.
“Despite disturbing changes to the Plaintiff's
health these defendants continued to administer the
medication to him every day, often laughing and mocking the
changes in his condition.” Id. None of these
defendants expressed concern to their supervisors about