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Bradley v. Dennison

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 25, 2017

DEANDRE BRADLEY, #M05197, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Deandre Bradley, an inmate who is currently incarcerated in Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he sustained a pre-incarceration stab wound near his spinal cord that left him permanently disabled. (Doc. 1). He now requires the use of a walker and/or wheelchair, which he was denied by officials at Shawnee in violation of his constitutional rights. Id. Plaintiff seeks monetary relief against the defendants. (Doc. 1, pp. 8-9). He also requests injunctive relief, in the form of unspecified “medical treatment and care” and timely responses to his requests for the same at Shawnee.[1] (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         Shortly before filing this action on August 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed a similar lawsuit in this District against the same defendants on August 3, 2017. See Bradley v. Dennison, No. 17-cv-00829-SMY (S.D. Ill. 2017). The two suits appeared to be duplicative of one another, and Plaintiff failed to pay a filing fee for this action or seek leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) without prepaying the fee. Therefore, this Court entered an Order requiring Plaintiff to confirm, in writing, his intent to pursue this new case and to pay his $400.00 filing fee or file an IFP Motion. (Doc. 4). The Court deferred its preliminary review of this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A until Plaintiff satisfied both obligations on September 28, 2017. (Docs. 5, 8).

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to § 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 survives preliminary review under this standard.

         The Complaint

         In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he sustained a stab wound near his spinal cord prior to his incarceration. (Doc. 1, p. 1). The injury caused permanent disability. Id. Plaintiff now suffers from limited mobility. Id. He requires the use of a walker to travel short distances and a wheelchair for longer distances. Id. He also requires the use of various medical devices[2]to assist with his digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, circulatory, and respiratory functions. Id. Plaintiff suffers from bouts of stool incontinence that necessitate frequent showers. Id.

         After Shawnee officials denied Plaintiff the use of a walker beginning on March 10, 2017, Plaintiff met with Karen Smoot (health care administrator and ADA coordinator) and Doctor David (prison physician) to discuss his “safety concerns” on March 20, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 1). Following the meeting, Warden Dennison, Administrator Smoot, and Doctor David made the collective decision to house Plaintiff in the health care unit (“HCU”) infirmary. Id. Doctor David also granted Plaintiff permission to shower as needed, take extra time to walk to the shower, and exercise in the infirmary hallways. (Doc. 1, p. 2).

         The corrections and medical staff refused to carry out these orders. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Plaintiff became involved in several verbal altercations with staff when they denied him shower access. Id. On April 30, 2017, staff became physical with Plaintiff twice. Id. Afterwards, he was issued a false disciplinary ticket[3] for attempting to assault a staff member. Id.

         Plaintiff was punished with segregation in the infirmary's isolation cell. (Doc. 1, p. 2). While there, medical and corrections staff continued to deny him shower access. Id. His condition deteriorated to the point that he required a wheelchair to travel approximately ten feet from his cell to the shower. Id.

         Plaintiff spoke with Doctor David on May 9, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 2). The doctor warned Plaintiff that his physical condition would continue to deteriorate, if he did not get up from his wheelchair and exercise. Id. The doctor then canceled Plaintiff's order for a wheelchair and instructed him to use a walker instead. (Doc. 1, pp. 2-3). The same day, Lieutenant Bradford, Sergeant Marvin, and unidentified segregation staff members transported Plaintiff by wheelchair to his new segregation housing assignment in Building One. (Doc. 1, p. 3).

         Between May 5, 2017 and May 24, 2017, Plaintiff was allowed a single shower by security staff. (Doc. 1, p. 3). It took staff two days to provide Plaintiff with property that included bedding and sheets. Id. It took almost five days to obtain necessary medical supplies, including Fleet enemas, external male catheters, and diapers. Id. Plaintiff had no choice but to reuse medical equipment that was intended for a single use. Id. In the process, his penis became severely irritated and developed large “lumps and bumps” that caused him to suffer from physical and emotional pain. Id.

         Plaintiff was also denied the use of a walker in Building One. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Staff told him that it was not allowed in segregation. Id. When Plaintiff moved from his bed to the door for food or medication, he had nothing to support him. Id. Consequently, Plaintiff fell on three separate occasions and injured his right leg, knee, and foot. Id. He suffered from bruising, swelling, and permanent injury. Id. Plaintiff asked staff for immediate medical attention each time, but they ignored him. Id. After several requests, the staff instructed Plaintiff to submit a sick call request. Id. He submitted several requests between May 11, 2017 and May 25, 2017, but he was not seen by medical staff. Id.

         Plaintiff eventually lied and complained of chest pain because he knew that he would be sent to the HCU for treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Once there, he told medical staff about his leg, foot, and penis, but they refused to treat him. Id. When Plaintiff also complained about the denial of a walker, corrections staff told him to “shut up” because he “wasn't allowed to have it.” Id. Medical staff instead recommended that Plaintiff submit a sick call request for the walker. Id. When he did, they ignored his request. Id.

         Plaintiff submitted weekly written and verbal complaints during this entire time period to Warden Dennison. (Doc. 1, p. 2). He complained about being denied access to the prison's programs, services, and activities. Id. Warden Dennison assured him that a meeting would be scheduled to discuss his concerns. Id. It is unclear whether the meeting occurred.

         Warden Dennison did respond to a grievance that Plaintiff filed in late May. (Doc. 1, p. 4). In the grievance, Plaintiff complained about the conditions described above. Id. In response, Plaintiff was moved to a new cell on May 24, 2017. Id. He was not placed in “the safest housing” but was allowed to take showers each day beginning sometime after his transfer. Id. He was also allowed to use a walker. Id. When Warden Dennison visited Plaintiff at his new cell, he allegedly feigned ignorance about Plaintiff's living conditions in Building One. Id.

         On May 26, 2017, Plaintiff received a pass to speak with a mental health provider via telemedicine. (Doc. 1, p. 4). While waiting for the appointment, he spoke with Ethan Wilke, the prison nursing director. Id. After describing his medical conditions, his need for a walker, and his denial of medical care for the leg and foot injury, Wilke directed Nurse Jessica to place Plaintiff on the sick call list. Id. He was seen by Nurse Perkins two days later and given antifungal ...

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