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Lynom v. Hanes

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 31, 2017

TERRENCE LYNOM, Plaintiff,
v.
LT. HANES, JEREMY MOUNT, TRAVIS A. SCOTT, and NURSE SHIRLEY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, currently incarcerated at Jefferson County Justice Center, brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff raises claims of deliberate indifference to medical needs and conditions of confinement based on incidents that occurred while Plaintiff was detained at the Jefferson County Jail. The Complaint is now before the Court for a preliminary review 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 April 27, 2017, while incarcerated at the Jefferson County Jail, Plaintiff was placed in segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 7). The entire time Plaintiff was in segregation, he was exposed to bug infestations and unsanitary conditions that included exposure to waste water (containing urine and feces) and black mold. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8).

         The segregation cell was infested with bugs and had old food trays, containing mold and rotten food. (Doc. 1, p. 7). When Plaintiff attempted to move the food trays, bugs scattered throughout the cell. Id. The cell included a sink with a faucet. Id. The water from the faucet was brown and smelled of rust. Id. Plaintiff asked “staff” for a new cell and cleaning supplies, but his requests were denied. Id. The “staff” indicated they were too busy to assist Plaintiff. Id.

         On May 7, 2017, presumably while Plaintiff was in the same segregation cell, Plaintiff's cell was flooded with waste water containing feces and urine from another cell. Id. The waste water was coming under Plaintiff's cell door and up through the toilet. Id. Plaintiff sought help from “staff.” Id. Plaintiff was told to place his blanket and sheets on the floor to soak up the waste water. Id. Later, “staff” came in and placed more blankets on the floor to soak up the waste water. Id. Plaintiff was never given any cleaning supplies to sanitize his cell following the waste water incident. Id. Additionally, waste water leaked into his cell on more than one occasion, always with the same response from jail staff. Id.

         Plaintiff spoke directly to Lt. Hanes and, on at least one occasion, Lt. Hanes inspected the segregation cells and observed the unsanitary living conditions. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8). However, Lt. Hanes took no action to remedy the conditions. Id.

         As a result of these conditions, Plaintiff began to develop a rash and was suffering mentally. (Doc. 1, p. 8). When Nurse Shirley[1] was doing rounds, Plaintiff showed her the rashes he had gotten since living in the cell. Id. He also spoke to her about his poor mental health. Id. He indicated he needed treatment, was suffering from “emergency mental health problems, ” and was a danger to himself and others. Id. On one occasion, Plaintiff “wrote down on paper what was happening to him.” Id. Nurse Shirley did not provide Plaintiff with any treatment. Id.

         Defendants Mount and Scott are identified as defendants in the caption and list of defendants. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-3). However, the body of the Complaint does not direct any allegations against (or even mention) either Defendant.

         Discussion

          Dismissal of Defendants ...


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