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Williams v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 25, 2018

TIRNELL WILLIAMS, #B58000, Plaintiff,


          MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Tirnell Williams, an inmate in Pinckneyville Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical issues in violation of the Eighth Amendment and have violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111-213 (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-94e. (Doc. 1). This 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 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 allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: Plaintiff is “unable to use his legs and [has] limited mobility in his left arm.” (Doc. 1, p. 4). He was transferred to Pinckneyville on February 19, 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Defendants Blum and Tina recognized that Plaintiff required a significant amount of catheters, urine bags, diapers, lubricant, and sterile gloves due to his serious medical needs. Id. These supplies prevent irreparable harm that Plaintiff would otherwise suffer. Id. Blum and Tina have not given Plaintiff the sterile gloves, lubricant, urine bags, and catheters he needs, forcing him to reuse catheters numerous times. Id.

         On March 26, 2018, Defendants Thompson, Smith, McBride, and Brown placed Plaintiff in segregation under investigative status in an inaccessible cell “incapable of accommodating [Plaintiff's] disabilities.” Id. The cell did not have soap, towels, toothpaste, or a toothbrush. Id. Defendants “recognized that the cell was inaccessible, ” in that it was without bed rails or a wheelchair accessible bed, toilet, or shower. Id. Plaintiff told Thompson, Smith, McBride, and Brown that they were violating the ADA. Id. On April 1, 2018, Reeder and three unknown nurses denied Plaintiff his urine bag, catheters, and lubricant, causing Plaintiff to reuse the same catheter from April 1, 2018 to April 9, 2018. Id.

         On March 29, 2018, Defendant Brutalet “was manipulated by security to take Plaintiff off of his seizure and pain med[ication].” (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff told him that he was making “a deadly and malicious error.” Id. Because of Brutalet's actions, Plaintiff has had numerous seizures. Id. On March 31, 2018, Plaintiff had an epileptic seizure and fell out of bed. Id. His seizure is attributable to Brutalet taking his medications, and he fell because Brown, Thompson, McBride, and Smith chose to house Plaintiff in an inaccessible unit for the mentally ill. Id. Defendant Reeder responded to Plaintiff by checking his vitals only. Id. He failed to place Plaintiff on the doctor's call list, and Plaintiff did not have a pen to request a doctor. Id.

         “At all times relevant, each individual defendant was aware of Plaintiff's inadequate medical supplies and that he needed an accessible shower, toilet, and bed with rails for his safety and to accommodate his disability.” Id. As a result of the defendants' deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's needs, he has suffered from “severe pain, unnecessary medical complications, emotional distress, and continuous seizures.” Id. These individuals who have failed to provide Plaintiff adequate healthcare and have assigned him to an inaccessible housing unit were employees of Baldwin and Jaimet during the relevant time. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         Plaintiff is a diabetic, but “medical staff refused to treat Plaintiff's diabetes.” (Doc. 1, p. 8). When he arrived at Pinckneyville, his medical records indicated that his sugar level was at 82. Id. Blum told Plaintiff that he did not need anything. Id. Plaintiff's levels are not being monitored. Id. After Brutalet took Plaintiff off his seizure medication, Plaintiff had five seizures, so he began buying his seizure medication from other inmates to help prevent them. Id.

         Plaintiff got a urinary tract infection. Id. He submitted numerous requests to Brown, Brutalet, and Thompson. (Doc. 1-1, p. 7). He ultimately bought antibiotics from another inmate, which cured it. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Tina told Blum that Plaintiff did not need lubricant or sterile gloves upon his arrival February 19, 2018, despite the fact that Plaintiff's medical records indicate he requires them. Id. Plaintiff has never received gloves, and he only received lubricant as of April 10, 2018. Id. He uses the gloves when he discharges his excrement, and without them, he has been forced to use his exposed finger. Id. Plaintiff also uses the gloves to “cath” himself, which is standard. Id. The lack of gloves and the fact that he was forced to use the same catheter close to 40 times led to his infection. Id.

         The above information has been sent to Defendants Brown, Thompson, and Brutalet. Id. Plaintiff told Brown and Thompson that the information is in his medical records. Id. He also sent Brown and Thompson messages each day after he was taken off his seizure medication. (Doc. 1-1, p. 5). Both responded by telling Plaintiff that there was no space for him because there were no ADA cells for inmates in segregation. Id.; (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         “Plaintiff is not able to receive law library being in [segregation].” (Doc. 1, p. 9). When he sends requests, he is told that he has to wait until he gets out. Id.

         The medical staff has a custom under which inmates turn in their used catheters once per week. Id. This forces inmates to keep used catheters in their cell without a biohazard bag, or any bag, resulting in a repugnant odor. Id. Diapers also just lay around the cell until inmates are able to throw them away when they come out. (Doc. 1, p. 9); (Doc. 1-1, p. 1).

         Jaimet erred in appointing Brown as the ADA Coordinator. (Doc. 1-1, p. 1). “The law states Warden of Programs is the facility ADA Coordinator, which is Defendant Thompson.” Id. Jaimet did not know this until Plaintiff told him. Id.

         The bag Plaintiff receives is an overnight urine bag, “which is not to be reused.” Id. Plaintiff received one overnight bag with two connectors for an entire week. Id. Staff refuses to give him more. Id. Plaintiff is only able to use his bag for two days because when he cleans his body, the connectors have to come off. Id. His medical records indicate that he “cath[s] 4 to 6 times a day” and needs 21 catheters per week. Id. Instead, he is forced to reuse them 10 times until he receives more. Id.

         Plaintiff has sent numerous requests to each defendant but has been ignored. (Doc. 1-1, p. 2). Plaintiff is not able to shower, and he does not have a medical call button. Id.

         On April 13, 2018, Plaintiff went to sick call. (Doc. 1-1, p. 3). He saw Nurse Laura and told her that he had four seizures after March 29, 2018. Id. She told him that there was nothing they could do. Id. Plaintiff told her that his levels needed to be checked, but she responded that there was nothing they could do and that he had a seizure clinic scheduled for June. Id.

         Plaintiff also requested diabetes treatment, a shower and bed with rails, a box to place soiled diapers and used catheters, and treatment for diaper rashes and “excruciating pain.” Id. He was told to fill out another sick call request. Id. He was also told to contact Brown and Thompson about his shower, bed rails, and box request. Id. The nurse did not address ...

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