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Stull v. M. Siddiqui

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 30, 2017

AARON P. STULL, #S13367, Plaintiff,


          Herndon, Judge

         Plaintiff Aaron Stull, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings the instant civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against four of his medical providers at Menard. (Doc. 1). In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was denied timely and adequate medical care for his type 2 diabetes. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-17). He brings an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Doctor Siddiqui, Doctor Coe, Nurse Practitioner Moldenhauer, and Nurse Hawkins. (Doc. 1, pp. 15-17). Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against the defendants. (Doc. 1, p. 18).

         The Complaint is subject to preliminary review under 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). The Complaint survives screening under this standard.

         The Complaint

         During his incarceration at Menard in 2013, Plaintiff was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after blood tests revealed elevated blood glucose levels. (Doc. 1, p. 4). In an effort to bring his blood sugar levels within normal range, i.e., between 80 and 130, Plaintiff was prescribed Metformin twice daily. Id. His prescription was increased from 500 milligrams to 1000 milligrams after weekly “blood accu checks” showed persistent elevated blood sugar levels. Id. Plaintiff routinely received 30-day supplies of this medication between 2013 and 2017. Id. By working closely with a member of Menard's nursing staff, Plaintiff was able to effectively manage his condition. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         In early 2017, however, his prescription for Metformin expired. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff submitted a refill request to the prison's health care unit. Id. When he received no response, Plaintiff submitted additional requests to no avail. Id. By March 16, 2017, his blood sugar levels approached 400. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Nurse Practitioner Moldenhauer reviewed Plaintiff's lab work, but took no action to treat him. (Doc. 1, p. 15).

         The nurse's notes dated April 24, 2017, indicated that Plaintiff's blood glucose levels were still elevated. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Beneath a similar notation dated May 10, 2017, Doctor Coe indicated that he would issue Plaintiff a prescription refill. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 15). Although the doctor issued Plaintiff a refill for Metformin, he failed to refill his prescriptions for ibuprofen (800 mg) and Capzasin HP, which Plaintiff used for pain relief. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 7).

         A note in his medical records dated May 11, 2017, indicated that Plaintiff's blood glucose levels had risen to 458. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 7). Doctor Siddiqui reviewed these lab results and added a note to “See Patient” on May 15, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff continued requesting prescription refills and medical attention through June 2017 without receiving any response to his requests. Id.

         By June 6, 2017, Plaintiff began suffering from vision loss. (Doc. 1, p. 5). An optometrist examined his eyes and recommended new prescription eyeglasses. Id. The optometrist noted that ...

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