United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
BENNY T. SOUTHARD, # S-00819, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD MEDICAL, DR. SHAW, ILLINOIS DEPT. of CORRECTIONS, and PINCKNEYVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Benny Southard, currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville
Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”), has
brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. He claims that the defendants were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition.
The Complaint is now before the Court for a preliminary
review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir.
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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true,
see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir.
2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally
construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751
(7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that Plaintiff's claims
against some defendants survive threshold review under §
August 2015, during a previous incarceration (which also
appears to have been at Pinckneyville), Plaintiff was
seriously injured in an attack by another inmate. (Doc. 1, p.
7). Plaintiff's nose and face were badly broken. He was
held in segregation for 3 days with no treatment while the
matter was investigated, and was then taken out of
segregation with no disciplinary action against him.
Plaintiff asserts that because his release date was so close
at that time, the medical department did nothing to treat
him. Plaintiff wrote to the warden, who came to see him in
his cell and was shocked by the condition of his face. The
warden took him to medical, where a doctor employed by
Wexford Medical put in a request for Plaintiff to be seen by
an outside specialist. (Doc. 1, p. 7). However, the Wexford
Medical Board denied this request 3 times.
and Wexford ignored all of Plaintiff's requests and
grievances seeking medical care. (Doc. 1, p. 7). On September
17, 2015, Plaintiff was released from prison, without
receiving any medical treatment.
his release, Plaintiff sought medical treatment on his own
and underwent plastic surgery to begin to repair the damage
to his face. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff claims that he had to
wait over 6 months to allow his face to heal before surgery
could be performed because of Wexford's failure to give
him any care at Pinckneyville. The surgery involved taking
cartilage from Plaintiff's ribs to repair his face so he
could breathe. Further surgery was planned but had not been
2017, Plaintiff went back to prison and was housed at
Pinckneyville. Once again, Pinckneyville officials refused to
answer Plaintiff's grievances. He believes that they are
engaging in the same stall tactics as before in order to put
off taking any action before Plaintiff's upcoming release
date of November 10, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
has nerve damage in his face because of Wexford's refusal
to send him to an outside hospital or specialist. The Wexford
Board denied those referral requests 3 times, even after the
warden “got on Dr. Shaw, who put [Plaintiff] in to see
[a] specialist one month later.” (Doc. 1, p. 8).
seeks monetary damages for the violation of his rights,
medical malpractice, pain and suffering and for the