United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, District Judge
Kenneth Hamilton, an inmate in East Moline Correctional
Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly
occurred at Shawnee Correctional Center
(“Shawnee”) and Centralia Correctional Center
(“Centralia”). In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims
the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical issues in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
(Doc. 1). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
(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).
part of screening, the Court is also allowed to sever
unrelated claims against different defendants into separate
lawsuits. See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir.
2007). In George, the Seventh Circuit emphasized that the
practice of severance is important, “not only to
prevent the sort of morass” produced by multi-claim,
multi-defendant suits “but also to ensure that
prisoners pay the required filing fees” under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act. Id. This practice is
encouraged. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has recently
warned district courts not to allow inmates “to flout
the rules for joining claims and defendants, see Fed.R.Civ.P.
18, 20, or to circumvent the Prison Litigation Reform
Act's fee requirements by combining multiple lawsuits
into a single complaint.” Owens v. Godinez, 860 F.3d
434, 436 (7th Cir. 2017). See also Wheeler v. Talbot, 695 F.
App'x 151 (7th Cir. 2017) (district court should have
severed unrelated and improperly joined claims or dismissed
one of them). Consistent with George, Owens, and Wheeler,
unrelated claims will be severed into new cases, given new
case numbers, and assessed separate filing fees.
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: Plaintiff met with Defendant Woods seeking
treatment for his foot problems, because his feet began to
crack and swell. (Doc. 1, p. 3). On March 21, 2016, Woods
prescribed Plaintiff with Miconazole, an anti-fungal cream.
Id. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff met with Defendant
Terry to report unusual complications from the Miconazole.
(Doc. 1, p. 3). Terry scheduled Plaintiff to meet with David.
Id. When he did, he told David that his feet became
more swollen and painful and his toenails thickened, turned
black, and began to peel and fall off after he began using
the Miconazole. Id. David told Plaintiff that the
Miconazole did not cause the reported symptoms and encouraged
him to continue using it. Id. Plaintiff continued
using the Miconazole. Id. He continued reporting to
David that it was not helping with the pain, bleeding,
discoloration, and peeling of his nails. Id. David
told him to continue using it. Id.
later, Plaintiff met with Defendant Pittayathikhan, who told
him to cease using the Miconazole. Id. Instead,
Plaintiff was prescribed Lamisil and Clotrimazole.
Id. The Lamisil was originally prescribed for 12
weeks, but Pittayathikhan “failed to monitor
Plaintiff's prescription causing him to self-administer
the Lamisil for months.” Id. Plaintiff later
met with David and Pittayathikhan who told him they forgot to
discontinue his Lamisil after 12 weeks. (Doc. 1, p. 4). They
also discovered that Plaintiff had developed an infection
that went untreated for months. Id. “As a
result of the overuse of Lamisil and the untreated infection,
Plaintiff developed limited motion in his legs due to the
infection in his foot.” Id. This resulted in
Plaintiff being removed from his job assignment because he
could barely move, “excess weight gain resulting in the
diagnosis as a diabetic, ” and a persistent abnormal
heartbeat and enlarged heart. Id.
October 25, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred to Centralia.
Id. He met with Defendant Santos and was diagnosed
with foot ulcers. Id. Santos discontinued
Plaintiff's antibiotics and “did not provide him
with any substitution to relieve him of the pain, swelling,
and infection.” Id. Plaintiff told Santos he
had a medical order from the Shawnee doctor for special
medical shoes, but Santos told him to buy shoes from
commissary. Id. “Plaintiff was left to walk
around in painful shoes purchased from the inmate
commissary.” (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff told Defendants
Seip, Dennison, and Knauer about his treatment and how he was
“overdosed on Lamisil” which resulted in him
developing a heart condition and contracting a diabetic
condition. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). “Seip, Dennison, Smoot,
and Knauer were made aware of Plaintiff's predicament by
way of his grievance and other correspondences.” (Doc.
1, p. 6). Seip, Dennison, and Knauer ruled that the
defendants had acted with routine and careful medical care,
and they, along with Smoot, neglected to investigate or
attempt to intervene in Plaintiff's treatment. (Doc. 1,
pp. 5-6). “Plaintiff continues to experience extreme
levels of pain, discomfort in his feet, and heart
problems.” (Doc. 1, p. 5).
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into 2 counts. The
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. The ...