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Franklin v. Shah

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 27, 2017

PATRICK FRANKLIN, #M-06682, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. SHAH, DAVID RAINS, and IDOC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Michael J. Reagan, U.S. Chief District Judge.

         Plaintiff Patrick Franklin, an inmate in Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical issues in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (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 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).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: when Plaintiff arrived at Robinson in August 2016, he requested a bottom bunk because of weight problems. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff's counselor, Ms. Carrell, gave him a bottom bunk immediately. Id. In April 2017, Plaintiff was moved to a top bunk because the bottom bunk was needed for an inmate in a wheelchair. Id. Plaintiff has since requested to be moved to another bottom bunk by writing request slips to health care. Id. The request slips stated that Plaintiff is “overweight, 350 plus pounds, and [has] issues with climbing and hurting [himself].” Id. Dr. Shah responded to the request slips stating that Plaintiff should exercise and lose weight. Id.

         On April 12, 2017, Plaintiff hurt himself by falling down the ladder in the middle of the night while he was trying to get down to go to the bathroom. Id. He went to healthcare for his injury and saw Shah. Id. Plaintiff told Shah that he was in pain and that his elbow and arm were making a loud popping sound. Id. Shah responded by telling Plaintiff to buy pain medication at the inmate commissary. Id. As of September 1, 2017, Plaintiff was “still seeking medical attention Dr/Physc Dr.” Id. Plaintiff “feel[s] Dr. Shah should have responded to [his] needs in a respectful manner and signed off on a bottom bunk to prevent [Plaintiff] from getting hurt.” Id. Plaintiff also “feel[s] that Warden Rains and IDOC should have a policy in place that prevents these problems of overweight people that have problems of climbing on the top bunk.” Id. Plaintiff has been receiving help from other inmates to get into the top bunk at night. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate a single count in this pro se action. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of this count does not constitute an opinion regarding its merit.

Count 1 - Defendants showed deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical need for a low bunk permit and pain associated with an injury he sustained climbing down from his top bunk, in ...

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