United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ROBERT E. MORRIS, #R71372, Plaintiff,
DR. TROST, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert Morris, an inmate who is incarcerated at Menard
Correctional Center, filed a civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional
rights. See Morris v. Lee, et al., No.
17-cv-00857-NJR-DGW (S.D. Ill.) (“original
action”). He brought several unrelated claims against
different groups of defendants in the original action. (Doc.
1, original action). On October 24, 2017, this Court severed
the claims into two additional cases. (Doc. 7, original
action; Doc. 1, instant case) (“Severance
Order”). The instant case addresses a single Eighth
Amendment claim against Doctor Trost, a doctor at Menard who
allegedly cancelled a medical permit for two mattresses that
was issued to Plaintiff at Stateville Correctional Center.
(“Count 1, ” original action). (Doc. 1, p. 7).
Plaintiff claims that Doctor Trost “deliberately”
disregarded his permit and, in doing so, committed medical
malpractice. (Doc. 2, pp. 10, 15-21). He seeks monetary
damages against the doctor. Id.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Eighth Amendment claim in Count 1 and a related Illinois
medical negligence claim in Count 2 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
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.
Complaint indicates that Plaintiff suffers from chronic back
pain. (Doc. 2, pp. 10, 17-19). During his incarceration at
Stateville Correctional Center, he received a medical permit
for two mattresses. (Doc. 2, pp. 10, 15-21). Doctor Obasi,
the prison medical director, issued a one-year permit on
March 15, 2016. (Doc. 2, pp. 10, 17).
transferring to Menard on November 26, 2016, Plaintiff met
with Doctor Trost on December 7, 2016. (Doc. 2, p. 10). The
doctor took notice of the permit and also noted that it
expired on March 15, 2017. Id. Without examining
Plaintiff's back or considering his complaints of chronic
pain, Doctor Trost decided to cancel the permit. Id.
As a result, Plaintiff suffered from “excruciating pain
and agony.” Id. He filed a grievance seeking
reinstatement of the permit. (Doc. 2, pp. 18-19). In the
grievance, he rated his back pain as an “11” on a
scale from “1” to “10, ” where
“10” represents the highest level of pain.
Id. He also requested physical therapy. Id.
Plaintiff's grievance was denied. (Doc. 2, pp. 20-21).
Plaintiff now claims that Doctor Trost committed medical
malpractice when cancelling his permit and subjecting him to
ongoing pain. (Doc. 2, p. 10).
facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in
this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court deems it
appropriate to re-characterize the severed claim in
Plaintiff's pro se Complaint (Doc. 2) into the
following two counts:
Count 1 - Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Trost for failing to honor the two
mattress medical permit issued when Plaintiff was