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Boonee v. Wexford Health Sources Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 28, 2017




         Plaintiff Michael Boone, an inmate at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawneed”), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks declarative relief and damages. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(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 such relief.

         An 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. 2009).

         Upon careful review of the Amended Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff suffers from Type-II diabetes, hypertension and neuropathy. (Doc. 14, p. 6). He entered Shawnee Correctional Center on August 21, 2013. (Doc. 14, p. 7). Once there, Defendant David reduced Plaintiff's Metformin prescription which was issued to treat his diabetes. (Doc. 14, pp. 7-8). As a result, Plaintiff's diabetes worsened. (Doc. 14, p. 8). David also increased Plaintiff's dosage of Glipizide, which had an additional negative impact on Plaintiff's diabetes. Id. On March 11, 2014, David returned Plaintiff's medication levels to what they were prior to his incarceration at Shawnee. Id. Plaintiff's diabetes improved once his medication levels were restored.

         On November 28, 2014, Defendant Caldwell reduced Plaintiff's Neurontin prescription which he had been taking to address the neuropathy in his feet. Id. On December 17, 2014, Plaintiff complained that the reduction in medication caused him to experience more severe pain in his feet. Id. Although Caldwell restored the previous dosage that same day, Plaintiff attributes a stumble he experienced on December 24, 2014 to the reduction in medication between November 28, 2014 and December 17, 2014. (Doc. 14, p. 9).

         Plaintiff received a low gallery/low bunk permit and a slow walk permit on January 30, 2015. Id. Ultimately, the low bunk/low gallery permit was made indefinite on September 18, 2015. (Doc. 14, p. 10). His slow walk permit was repeatedly renewed until August 1, 2017. Id.

         In 2016, Defendants John Doe #19 and #20 changed the policy at Shawnee to require that inmates with slow walk permits lead line movements as a method of ordering and controlling the pace of other inmates. (Doc. 14, p. 11). When Plaintiff is at the front of the line, he receives threats from other inmates about the slow pace he sets. Id. Plaintiff filed a grievance on this issue, and Defendant Swalls threatened him with segregation if he continued to complain. Id.

         Plaintiff originally filed this lawsuit on July 10, 2017in the Central District of Illinois. (Doc. 14, p. 11). Judge Baker issued an Order screening the original Complaint and transferring the case to this district on August 14, 2017. (Doc. 14, p. 12).

         Plaintiff met with David on August 23, 2017 and informed him that he had filed a lawsuit naming him as a defendant. Id. David told Plaintiff that, due to a change in IDOC policy, he would not renew Plaintiff's low bunk/low gallery permits or his slow walk permit. Id. Plaintiff alleges that David made the decision without reference to his physical symptoms and in retaliation for Plaintiff filing the instant action. (Doc. 14, pp. 12-13).

         After the case was transferred to this district, Plaintiff moved to file an Amended Complaint and leave was granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). The Amended ...

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