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Driver v. IDOC

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 3, 2018

VICTOR DRIVER, #B-14516, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Victor Driver, an inmate currently housed at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, filed this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff brings allegations pertaining to an alleged excessive force incident and deliberate indifference to his resultant injuries. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint (Doc. 1) 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 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

         On January 8, 2018, Plaintiff was struck in his right eye with the top from a water bottle. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Shortly after contact, Defendant Estes, a correctional officer approached Plaintiff and asked if “he really hit” Plaintiff in the eye. Id. Plaintiff indicated that he had been hit in the eye. Id. Plaintiff's eye was swollen and very painful. Id. Additionally, when Plaintiff wiped his eye with his shirt, he saw blood on his shirt. Id. According to the Complaint, there have been three other incidents of officers “popping” inmates in the eyes with the tops of their water bottles. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Additionally, Plaintiff claims that, on “different days of the week, ” other inmates have observed Plaintiff being hit in his eyes by Officer Estes and other correctional officers. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         Officer Estes sent Plaintiff to the Healthcare Unit for treatment because (1) Plaintiff asked for medical treatment and (2) Officer Estes saw that “what he had done to his eye was very bad.” (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5). After arriving at the Healthcare Unit, Plaintiff waited 15 minutes for treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff was treated by Farris, a nurse. Id. Nurse Farris gave Plaintiff eye drops, pain medication, and an ice pack. Id. Then Plaintiff was returned to his housing unit, still in pain. Id. Plaintiff saw Nurse Farris again on February 2, 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 6). She gave Plaintiff more pain medication and eye drops. Id. Plaintiff alleges that this treatment was not helpful, but he does not indicate that he told Farris that the treatment was not helpful.

         Plaintiff was also told (by someone) that he would see a specialist on February 7, 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 6). However, to date, Plaintiff has not seen a specialist. Id. Plaintiff also claims that, to date, he has not been seen by a physician. (Doc. 1, p. 8).

         Plaintiff generally alleges that on a sick call request he described pain in his eye and associated headache, but nothing was done to help the pain issues. (Doc. 1, p. 6). This claim, however, is not associated with any specific medical visit or provider.

         Plaintiff also references a follow-up medical examination that occurred on January 10, 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 5). But, Plaintiff does not describe who treated him on this day or what type of treatment he received. On January 12, 2018, although Plaintiff's eye was still painful, Plaintiff returned to work. Id.

         Plaintiff contends that his eye is still painful and causes headaches. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). Plaintiff claims that when the bottle cap hit him it lacerated his eye and almost “put his eye out.” (Doc. 1, p. 7). He also claims that he suffered broken blood vessels behind his right eye and that he has lost eyesight in his right eye. Id. Additionally, Plaintiff's eye is discolored and very sensitive to outside air. (Doc. 1, p. 8).

         Dismissal of ...

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