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Podkulski v. Trost

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 9, 2018

STEVE PODKULSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
TROST, BUTLER, WILLIAMS, LYRCIA, JOHN DOE #1, JOHN DOE #2, and JANE DOE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Steven Podkulski, a former inmate of Menard Correctional Center, brings this action seeking damages for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Because Plaintiff has been released from custody, the Court will conduct a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), which provides:

Not withstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal --
i. is frivolous or malicious;
ii. fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
iii. 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 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 Complaint

         Plaintiff originally filed suit on November 27, 2017. (Doc. 1). On February 7, 2018, the Court determined that two of Plaintiff's claims were not properly joined to the action pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 18 and 20 and severed those claims into separate actions. (see Doc. 7). Three of Plaintiff's claims proceed in this action.

         Plaintiff alleges that he arrived at Menard on May 6, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 3). He experiences difficulty walking due to a neurological issue and uses a wheelchair. Id. Despite this, Trost, Butler, Williams, and Lyrcia allowed his wheelchair to be taken away from him. Id.

         Plaintiff also suffers from seizures. Prior to his time at Menard, Plaintiff had been prescribed the seizure medication “Onfi, ” but Trost would not approve the medication because he was allegedly deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's seizures. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that as a result of his condition, he suffers from both urinary and fecal incontinence, yet Trost, Butler, Williams, and Lyrcia made no provision for him to have hygiene supplies or use anything but his personal sink for cleaning purposes. Id. Plaintiff alleges that for at least a one week period, he had nothing to clean himself with but water and his hands, and that during the same time period, he had to use his hands to eat his meals. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he was denied medical treatment because Menard has a policy of cutting medical care to save on costs. (Doc. 1, p. 5).

         On May 26, 2016, Plaintiff was in the receiving area when he had a seizure, which left him covered in feces and urine. (Doc. 1, p. 4) Jane Doe Nurse and John Doe #2 left him lying in his waste for a few days, despite the fact that Plaintiff told them he could not move. Id. Plaintiff's food was thrown into ...


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