United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tracy Thomas, an inmate who is currently incarcerated in
Dixon Correctional Center (“Dixon”), brings this
action for deprivations of his constitutional rights at
Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”)
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff originally filed
this action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, and the Northern District
transferred the case to this District on December 18, 2017.
See Thomas v. Doe, No. 17-cv-07811 (N.D. Ill. filed
Oct. 30, 2017) (Doc. 5). In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges
that he was denied adequate medical treatment for a knee
injury and broken arm that he sustained in the prison yard at
Lawrence on or around May 1, 2015. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-11). He
asserts an Eighth Amendment claim against Doctor John Doe,
Warden Duncan, and the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”). (Doc. 1, p. 11). The Court also
recognizes claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.,
and/or Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-794e.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. (Doc. 1, p. 12).
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
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
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.
to the Complaint, Plaintiff injured his knee and arm while
playing basketball at Lawrence on or around May 1, 2015.
(Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff lay on the basketball court for
almost 45 minutes before prison officials arrived to help
him. Id. He told one of the officers that he needed
immediate medical attention, but he was not taken for
treatment. Id. When Plaintiff later asked the
officer why, the officer admitted that he failed to contact
the health care unit (“HCU”) on Plaintiff's
Plaintiff made his way back to the housing unit, his left
knee gave out. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff fell to the floor.
Id. The officer could see that Plaintiff's knee
was red and swollen, and he contacted the nursing staff for
assistance. Id. Several nurses arrived 45 minutes
later and transported Plaintiff to the HCU in a wheelchair.
Id. There, Plaintiff complained of pain in his left
knee and arm. Id. A nurse took his vital signs and
told Plaintiff that he would be seen by a doctor.
unknown doctor (“Doctor John Doe”) examined
Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Doctor Doe said that he was only
concerned about Plaintiff's arm. Id. The doctor
set Plaintiff's arm and gave him pain medication before
sending him back to his housing unit by wheelchair.
Id. The nurse who transported Plaintiff to his
housing unit then took the wheelchair from him. Id.
When Plaintiff insisted that he needed the wheelchair, she
told Plaintiff that he would “have to walk as best as
[he] could.” Id.
was unable to use his left leg to walk, and he soon injured
himself again by falling. (Doc. 1, p. 6). While hopping out
of the shower on one leg with his left arm in a sling,
Plaintiff fell onto his left arm and dislocated it again.
(Doc. 1, p. 7). At the same time, he felt a tearing pain in
his left knee. Id. An officer contacted the HCU on
his behalf, and Plaintiff was transported to the HCU for
time he arrived, Doctor Doe was gone for the day, and
Plaintiff was taken to a local hospital for further
evaluation and treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 7). X-rays confirmed
that Plaintiff suffered from a torn ACL in his left leg and a
broken left arm. Id. The doctor placed his arm in a
soft cast, issued him a knee brace, and prescribed him pain
medication. Id. He also scheduled an MRI of
Plaintiff's left knee and referred him to an orthopedist.
following day on May 2, 2015, Plaintiff attended a follow-up
appointment with Doctor Doe. (Doc. 1, p. 8). At the
appointment, Plaintiff described his more recent injuries and
his treatment at the hospital. Id. He also informed
the doctor about his referral to an orthopedist. Id.
Doctor Doe confiscated Plaintiff's knee brace and told
Plaintiff that he “wouldn't be seeing anyone at
all” if Doctor Doe “had anything to do with
it.” Id. Plaintiff was sent back to his
housing unit without a knee brace or any other medical device
to assist with mobility. Id.
fell 4 or 5 more times after meeting with Doctor Doe on May
2, 2015. (Doc. 1, p. 9). As a result, he suffered additional
injuries to his knee and arm, including a chipped bone in his
arm that ...