United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JACOB D. TEDRICK, # S-05770, Plaintiff,
FAYETTE COUNTY JAIL, TYLER BUTTS, JON TORBECK, and BRYAN GLIDDEN, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert, United States District Judge.
brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 while he was incarcerated at the
Fayette County Jail (“the Jail”). He claims that
Defendants failed to protect him from exposure to another
inmate's blood, and caused him to ingest drain cleaner
that was placed in his cup.
October 6, 2017, after Plaintiff attempted to amend his
Complaint in a piecemeal fashion, the Court ordered him to
submit a proper amended complaint if he wanted his additional
allegations to be considered. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff was given a
deadline of November 6, 2017, to submit his proposed amended
pleading. That deadline has come and gone, and Plaintiff has
not tendered an amended complaint. Therefore, the Court shall
proceed to conduct the required preliminary review under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A on the original Complaint. The additional
material Plaintiff submitted on October 2, 2017, did not
constitute a proper amended complaint and shall not be
considered. (See Doc. 8).
§ 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 some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A.
names the Fayette County Jail, Officer Tyler Butts, Officer
Jan Torbeck, and Jail Administrator Bryan Glidden as
Defendants in this action. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2). The factual
summary below is gleaned from Plaintiff's 2-page
statement of claim, as well as from a number of grievance
forms he included as exhibits to the Complaint.
statement of claim, Plaintiff writes that on August 24, 2017,
he and 2 fellow inmates were “forced to clean up Hep-C
blood” after another inmate (Abshner) suffered a
seizure and cut his face. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6, 11). Plaintiff
states that “Inmate blood [was] everywhere Hep-C
exposed everywhere in cell.” (Doc. 1, p. 5). The
officers on duty refused to clean up the blood. (Doc. 1, pp.
5, 11). Officers would not give the inmates any gloves or
masks to safeguard them from infectious diseases. Officer
Butts claimed that he was never trained on safety procedures
for cleaning up blood. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Because the officers
would not move Plaintiff or the other inmates from the
contaminated cell, and refused to clean up the blood,
Plaintiff and his cellmates were forced to clean up the blood
themselves without any protective gear. (Doc. 1, pp. 5,
Plaintiff informed the Jail Administrator (presumably
Glidden) of the incident. He provided Plaintiff with testing
for Hepatitis-C and HIV, and informed Plaintiff that he would
have to take another set of tests a month later. (Doc. 1, p.
August 28, 2017, while Plaintiff was out of his cell for an
attorney visit, an unnamed officer “poured liquid fire
drain cleaner in a cup” for another inmate to use in
the sink in their cell. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11). The officer used
Plaintiff's cup for the drain cleaner. Plaintiff later
took a drink out of the cup, and severely burned his lips and
tongue. He was taken to the emergency room to be treated.
Plaintiff claims that Butts “brought the toxic chemical
to C-block” where Plaintiff was housed, but then did
not “oversee the operation at hand.” (Doc. 1, p.
10). Plaintiff asks, “Why did inmates get access to the
fatal acid that caused chemical burn[s] to [his] mouth and
nose[?]” Id. In a response to Plaintiff's
grievance over the matter, Glidden noted, “Officer
Butts observed the chemicals going down the drain. The matter
is still being looked into.” (Doc. 1-1, p. 1).
seeks compensation for the officers' actions that put his
life in danger, by refusing to give Plaintiff gloves for the
blood cleanup, and for his chemical burn injuries. (Doc. 1,
p. 12). He also wants jail officers to be trained on
procedures to handle a blood spill. Id.
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: Fourteenth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Defendants for exposing Plaintiff
to another inmate's blood and thus to serious infectious
diseases including Hepatitis-C;
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Butts for allowing toxic drain
cleaner to remain in Plaintiff's drinking cup, where