United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Kiearre Reese, currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional
Center (“Menard”), brings this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff claims that Defendants, both medical providers at
Menard, were deliberately indifferent to a serious medical
condition. The Complaint is now before the Court for a
preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Along
with the Complaint, Plaintiff has filed a motion seeking a
preliminary injunction requiring prison officials to provide
him with treatment. (Doc. 3).
§ 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.
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).
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.
asserts 3 Counts in his Complaint. In Count 1, he alleges
that in April 2017, Dr. Trost (the former medical director at
Menard) referred him to an outside medical provider who
diagnosed him with severe hemorrhoids and successfully
treated the condition. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Trost made that
referral, however, only after Plaintiff complained and filed
grievances over a period of time during 2016-2017, in which
Plaintiff explained that he was suffering from severe pain
and inflammation around his rectum and blood in his stool.
after April 2017, Plaintiff's hemorrhoids returned and
became much worse than before. (Doc. 1, p. 5). The tissue
around his rectum is so severely inflamed and painful that
Plaintiff has great difficulty defecating and cannot properly
clean himself. As a result, Plaintiff's body smells of
stool and infection, and his rectal area is draining pus. He
is in so much pain that he cannot sit or comfortably lie
reported his symptoms to Trost and requested treatment. Trost
examined him, determined that the hemorrhoids had come back,
and decided that Plaintiff would need to be treated again at
an outside facility. (Doc. 1, p. 6). However, Trost refused
to make the referral at that time because he thought it
“would make Menard officials look incompetent, ”
and instead decided to “wait for a little while”
before sending Plaintiff for the necessary treatment.
Id. Plaintiff's protests about the delay were
unavailing, and soon after this encounter, Trost was
terminated from his position at Menard. Id.
Plaintiff asserts that Trost exhibited deliberate
indifference to his medical condition by delaying necessary
asserts a claim for deliberate indifference against the John
Doe Defendant, described in the Complaint as an
“Unknown Medical Staff” person. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Plaintiff consulted with this John Doe Defendant (who shall
be designated herein as John Doe #1) following Trost's
termination. Plaintiff explained his symptoms and history of
earlier treatment for hemorrhoids as well as Dr. Trost's
conclusion that Plaintiff's condition again required
treatment from an outside provider. John Doe #1 told
Plaintiff that “there isn't much that can be
done” for hemorrhoids, and gave Plaintiff cream and
ibuprofen, neither of which had been effective in treating
Plaintiff's symptoms when he was given them earlier.
(Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). The cream had even made Plaintiff's
condition worse. John Doe #1 refused to examine Plaintiff in
order to see the severity of his inflammation and drainage of
pus, blood, and stool. John Doe #1 also refused to send
Plaintiff to another provider who could examine and treat
Count 3, Plaintiff identifies Trost and “Unknown
Medical Staffs” as the responsible parties. (Doc. 1, p.
7). This deliberate indifference claim is based on chest
pain, “tightness, ” and severe burning sensations
in his chest, which Plaintiff has been experiencing for 3
years. The pain is so severe that Plaintiff has to stop
walking and bend over in order to relieve the tightness in
his chest, or alternatively to sit up if he is in a
lying-down position. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff has also
suffered from asthma for many years, but believes the chest
pain is unrelated to the asthma because it began more
recently than the onset of Plaintiff's asthma.
has given Plaintiff an asthma pump and acid reflux pills,
which have not relieved the chest pain/tightness/burning.
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff made repeated complaints and sick
call requests, which finally prompted “medical
staff” to order x-rays. (Doc. 1, p. 8). The x-rays,
however, revealed nothing. Subsequently, Plaintiff has
pleaded with unnamed medical staff to approve him for an MRI,
EKG, and an outside specialist consultation, all of which
have been refused. Plaintiff is concerned that he may have a
hereditary condition causing his symptoms, because his uncle
died in Menard in 2011 after suffering from chest pain and
“associated complications.” Id.
relief, Plaintiff seeks damages and an injunction requiring
Menard officials to send him to a specialist to treat his
“known and unknown conditions.” (Doc. 1, p. 9).
Review Pursuant to 28 ...