United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, DISTRICT JUDGE
Christopher Owens, an inmate in Centralia Correctional
Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for deprivations of his constitutional rights. In his
Complaint, Plaintiff claims Defendant Bednarz has been
deliberately indifferent to his serious mental health issues
in violation of the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments, as well
as Illinois state law. (Doc. 1). 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
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 Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: on March 26, 2016, Plaintiff spoke with
Defendant Bednarz about his depression and overall mental
health. (Doc. 1, p. 4). That day, while speaking with
Bednarz, Plaintiff agreed to take Paxil for his depression
and mental health issues. Id. Plaintiff began going
to the medication line and taking the medication he received
shortly thereafter. Id. Over the next several weeks,
Plaintiff's “depression started worsening due to
the medication.” Id. Plaintiff's
“mood and level of agitation started to become
extremely unpredictable because of the new medication.”
began to have “uncontrollable thoughts of violently
lashing out and severe thoughts of suicide, worsening
depression, and hopelessness.” Id.
week of May 13, 2016, Plaintiff sent a request slip to mental
health to speak with someone about his declining mental
health and the issues he was having as a result of his new
medication. Id. At this point, Plaintiff was also
experiencing muscle stiffness and “complications in
[his] thought process including confusion.” (Doc. 1, p.
5). Plaintiff's abdomen and chest also “felt as if
they were stuffed full of fuzz which caused this Plaintiff
difficulty breathing.” Id. Plaintiff believes
these symptoms were a result of the new medication he was
spoke with a Mental Health Professional (“MHP”)
and informed him of the issues he was experiencing as a
result of the medication. Id. Plaintiff also
“informed a nurse at medline that something was wrong
with [his] medication.” Id. On May 20, 2016,
Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance with the help of
another inmate. Id. On May 21, 2016, Plaintiff spoke
with Defendant Bednarz. Id. He informed Bednarz
“of the complications [he] was having with [his]
thought process.” Id. Before Plaintiff was
able to fully explain his difficulties, Bednarz told
Plaintiff that “he noticed in [his] medical file that
[he] was not being given the medication that [he] had
consented to take and that [he] was being given a medication
that [he] had not consented to take.” (Doc. 1, pp.
5-6). Bednarz told Plaintiff that he was being given Prozac
by mistake. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
had written Plaintiff a prescription for Prozac on March 26,
2016 without giving Plaintiff the information necessary for
him to give informed consent to taking it and without him
having consented to take it at all. Id. Plaintiff
then explained to Bednarz that he was experiencing adverse
side effects, including worsening depression, suicidal
thoughts, confusion, and difficulty breathing. Id.
Bednarz then informed Plaintiff that he was going to increase
Plaintiff's Prozac dosage, despite Plaintiff telling him
that it was causing him harm which included suicidal
thoughts. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Bednarz then increased
Plaintiff's dosage of Prozac, even after he acknowledged
that Plaintiff never consented to take it in the first place.
Id. Plaintiff discontinued taking the medication
after speaking with Bednarz. Id.
a day or two of quitting the medication, Plaintiff began
having new complications, including abnormal dreams, violent
nightmares, and thrashing in his sleep. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
Plaintiff began experiencing increased anxiety and insomnia
and did not get much sleep for at least two weeks.
Id. Plaintiff also “began experiencing
uncontrollable body movements, mostly [his] arms jerking and
[having spasms] but also in [his] legs.” Id.
During the week of May 23, 2016, Plaintiff requested a crisis
team because of the withdrawal symptoms he was experiencing.
Id. Plaintiff was referred to Bednarz. (Doc. 1, p.
informed Bednarz of the side effects he was experiencing.
Id. When he was a teenager, Plaintiff took Prozac
and it caused him to experience many of the same side effects
he experienced after taking it again in 2016. Id.
Plaintiff was also committed to a psych ward because of the
adverse side effects of the Prozac he took when he was a
teenager, including severe agitation, aggression, suicidal
thoughts, and more. Id. Because of this experience,
Plaintiff “would never have consented or agreed to take
Prozac.” Id. In fact, “[i]n IDOC on a
previous occasion, [Plaintiff] had informed another
psychiatrist that [he] would not consent to Prozac because of