United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.
Julius Washington, an inmate at Graham Correctional Center,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly
occurred at Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”). Plaintiff claims that the
defendants subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of
confinement and were 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,
(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.
makes the following allegations in his Complaint (Doc. 1): On
September 21, 2016, while working in the Pinckneyville
dietary department as an assigned cook, Plaintiff stepped
onto a water drainage grate which then flipped inward,
causing Plaintiff to fall knee deep into the drain. (Doc. 1,
p. 7). The fall also caused Plaintiff's arm to get stuck
inside of a cooking kettle until he was able to pull it free
and regain his balance. Id. This contact with the
contents of the cooking kettle, which occurred while the
kettle was cooking on high, caused Plaintiff to burn the skin
completely off his forearm. Id. Plaintiff believes
Defendant Harris, a T/A Dietary Manager, Defendant Lashbrook,
the Pinckneyville Warden, and Pinckneyville itself
“knew of these unsafe grates but refused to fix
Plaintiff was helped out of the drain by fellow inmates, he
sought help from a kitchen supervisor, but none were around.
(Doc. 1, p. 8). He eventually found CFFS Wilson and told him
what had happened and requested medical attention.
Id. Wilson called Defendant Health Care Unit
(“HCU”) and informed then “an inmate had
gotten burned and needed medical attention.”
Id. Plaintiff was then sent to the HCU where a
doctor and “five to six nurses” examined him and
agreed he had a “pretty good burn.” Id.
Defendant Nurse Mary Rogers began Plaintiff's treatment
and told him “that the burn would need daily treatment
until it healed.” Id. She also told Plaintiff
that he would be added to the inmate call pass line to make
it to his daily treatment. (Doc. 1, pp. 8-9). When Rogers
finished treating Plaintiff, he was sent back to his housing
unit and then back to work, where he learned another inmate
had been burned. (Doc. 1, p. 9).
September 22, 2016, Plaintiff and the other inmate who was
burned, Mourey, began daily treatment for their burns.
Id. Defendant Nurse Tina Neff treated Plaintiff that
day and informed him that he would need three weeks of daily
treatment for his second degree burn. Id. She also
told Plaintiff and Mourey that they “should start
getting [their] call passes to come over for [their]
treatment and not to worry of the hassle trying to make it
over without a pass.” Id. On September 23,
2016, Mourey received one week's worth of call passes,
and Plaintiff received none. Id. Plaintiff explained
to his cell house officer that he needed to be sent for his
daily treatment and that he did not have a call pass yet.
After the officer checked on Plaintiff's claims,
Plaintiff was sent to the HCU. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-10).
arrived at the HCU, Plaintiff explained to Neff how he had
trouble making it to his treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Neff
responded that Defendant Rogers “probably never got
around to submitting [Plaintiff] for the call pass line and
she said not to worry she would do it herself.”
about a week, Plaintiff had still not been added to the call
pass line. Id. He was having trouble trying to leave
his cell house without a call pass for his daily treatment.
Id. Because of this, he filed a grievance on
September 28, 2016. Id. Plaintiff also wrote
Defendant Warden Lashbrook a letter that day
“explaining everything to her, that [he] was burned in
the dietary department and that [he] needed daily treatment
for [his] burn and that health would not add [him] to the
call pass line, and [he] had issues going over without a call
pass.” (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11). Plaintiff submitted another
grievance on October 10, 2016 after he did not receive a
timely response to his first grievance. (Doc. 1, p. 10).
Plaintiff was later ...