United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. Yandle United States District Judge.
Kent Stubbs, an inmate at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Menard”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff's claims involve alleged health and
safety violations based on how food is prepared and served at
Lawrence. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff has sued
Nicholas Lamb (Warden) and seven food service/dietary
supervisors, including Mr. Densmore (Food Service Manager),
Mr. Kone (Food Service Manager), Christopher Waltz (Dietary
Supervisor), Brook Armstrong (Dietary Supervisor), Lisa
Kittle (Dietary Supervisor), Sherri Newnell (Dietary
Supervisor) and Mrs. McVee (Dietary Supervisor). Plaintiff
seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief. (Doc. 1, p.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
Plaintiff's 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.
incarcerated at Lawrence, Plaintiff has become sick on
several occasions after eating in the chow hall. (Doc. 1, p.
9). Plaintiff's symptoms have included nausea, severe
diarrhea and vomiting. Id. Plaintiff believes his
bouts of illness are caused by food contamination and
unsanitary conditions in the chow hall and kitchen at
Lawrence. Id. The following are Plaintiff's
specific allegations pertaining to health and safety issues
in the kitchen and chow hall at Lawrence.
chow hall floor is often covered with trash and food.
Plaintiff has observed mice running in and out of large holes
in the chow hall walls to retrieve food and trash from the
floor. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Id. On one occasion,
Plaintiff saw several mice retrieving food from the chow hall
working in the kitchen have reported that there is a
“serious” rodent infestation in the kitchen where
food is being prepared. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Mice have been
observed “running around” the kitchen area,
beneath the stoves/hot boxes and inside the coolers.
Id. Inmates have observed mouse droppings in
food/drink crates and in food preparation materials.
Id. Plaintiff has also seen signs of rodent nesting
beneath the steamers on the food service line. (Doc. 1, p.
December 13, 2016, Plaintiff found a mouse dropping stuck to
the bread roll on his lunch tray. (Doc. 1, p. 9). He showed
the mouse dropping to another inmate and he agreed it was
indeed a mouse dropping. Id. On the same day,
another inmate reported finding a mouse dropping on his milk
has been served food on dirty trays with black buildup and
leftover food residue. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Food trays are
prepared in advance and left sitting out well before inmates
arrive to eat. (Doc. 1, p. 10). During the summer months,
Plaintiff has observed flies swarming around the prepared
food. Id. The chow hall has been shut down “a
few times” because maggots were found on the serving
line. Id. Plaintiff also claims that food is not
maintained at a safe ...