United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert, United States District Judge
currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”), has brought this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff claims that Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to a serious medical condition. This case is now
before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint
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.
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. 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). Although 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
survive threshold review under § 1915A.
has suffered from testicular cysts since at least 2015. (Doc.
1, p. 5). The cysts are painful, and he had been prescribed
some pain medication prior to the events giving rise to this
action. On August 30, 2017, Blum (nurse practitioner)
examined Plaintiff and confirmed that he had 2 cysts on each
testicle. At that time, Plaintiff had not received pain
medication for 2 months, and he asked Blum to renew the pain
prescription. Blum refused to renew the medication, however,
because Blum “knew” Plaintiff was “not in
pain.” Id.; (See also Doc. 1, pp.
August 30, 2017, Blum told Plaintiff that he would seek
approval for Plaintiff to have another ultrasound test for
this problem. Plaintiff had previously undergone an
ultrasound test related to the cysts on June 16, 2015. (Doc.
1, p. 5).
made the referral for the ultrasound, to evaluate whether the
cysts had grown and to try to find out why Plaintiff was in
pain. However, on September 21, 2017, Wexford Health Sources,
Inc. (“Wexford”), refused to approve the
ultrasound test. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff asserts that
Wexford has implemented a practice/custom of cutting costs by
“denying or suspending prescription medication,
expensive procedures, specialized diagnostic testing, [and]
specialist referrals, ” and that this cost-cutting
practice caused Blum to provide inadequate care for
October 5, 2017, Plaintiff was taken to the Health Care Unit
because his pain was so bad he could barely walk. Blum saw
Plaintiff and ordered a urine test for prostatitis. (Doc. 1,
p. 6). Blum ordered 60 tablets of ibuprofen for Plaintiff to
treat his pain, but Plaintiff did not receive the medication
until the next day. Blum did not order any refills of the
relief, Plaintiff asks to be given “proper treatment
for testicular pain, ” and seeks monetary damages.
(Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff did not file a motion for
injunctive relief when he filed this action.
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into the
following counts. The parties and the Court will use these
designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice.
Count 1: Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Blum, for refusing to renew
Plaintiff's pain medication on August 30, 2017, and for
delaying Plaintiff's ...