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Gakuba v. Otey

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 4, 2018

PETER GAKUBA, Plaintiff,
v.
KRISTIE OTEY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Peter Gakuba, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”).

         Specifically, Plaintiff alleges he was injured during court-ordered medical testing for sexually transmitted diseases (“STD”). After an initial screening of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915A, Plaintiff was allowed to proceed on the following counts:

Count 1 - Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Nurse Jane Doe #2 for using a swab test instead of a urine test on Plaintiff on September 15, 2015.
Count 2 - Eighth Amendment claim against Nurse Jane Doe #1 for failing to intervene and stop Nurse Jane Doe #2 from using a swab test instead of a urine test on September 15, 2015.
Count 7 - Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Nurses Jane Doe ##1-4, Nurse Otey (Nurse Jane Doe #5), Lieutenant Brookhart, Major Rains, Major Erickson, and John Does ##1-2 for responding to Plaintiff's requests for medical treatment by recommending that he “drink plenty of water” or by denying the request.

         Currently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Count 7 against Defendants Erickson, Rains, and Brookhart (Doc. 24), for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Plaintiff did not respond to Defendants' Motion.

         Factual Background

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on September 15, 2015, he was awakened and ordered to go to Robinson's health care unit (“HCU”) for court-ordered STD testing (Doc. 1 at 5). There, he met with two Nurse Practitioners (“Jane Doe ##1-2”) who drew his blood (Id.). Nurse Doe #2 then inserted a long cotton swab into Gakuba's penis, causing him intense pain (Id.). He strenuously objected to the procedure and insisted that a urine sample could have been used in lieu of a swab. (Id.). Because Nurse Doe #2 chose the more invasive procedure, Gakuba suffered from pain, burning and stinging in his urethra that persisted long after the procedure was completed (Id.).

         Gakuba met with Lieutenant Brookhart and Major Rains later the same morning (Id.). He complained of a suspected perforation to his urethra (Id.). They instructed him to return immediately to the HCU for treatment (Id.). When he did, Gakuba was seen by two unknown nurses (“Jane Doe ##3- 4”) and a third nurse (“Jane Doe #5”) who he also refers to as “Nurse Kristie Otey” (Id.). Nurse Doe #3 assured Gakuba that bloody urine and acute burning were normal (Id.). She recommended that he drink plenty of water (Id.). He did not agree with this recommendation (Id.). He insisted that the procedure resulted in a perforation or laceration of his urethra and that the recommendation to drink more water-like the procedure itself-was “wrong” (Id.).

         Gakuba met with Lieutenant Brookhart again in October and/or November 2015 and pleaded for treatment (Id.). During the meeting, Gakuba produced a Ziploc bag full of bloody tissue that he had saved (Id.). Lieutenant Brookhart told Gakuba that DNA evidence must be preserved in a dry paper envelope (Id.). The officer nevertheless sent him back to the HCU for further treatment (Id.).

         In the HCU, Gakuba was seen by Major Erickson and Nurse John Doe #1 (Id.). They conducted an external examination of his penis (Id.). Nurse Jane Doe #6 stood observing (Id.). Gakuba insisted that he needed an immediate referral to an urologist for treatment of a suspected perforation or laceration to his urethra (Id.). He was never referred to a specialist (Id.).

         Discussion

         Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for dismissal if a Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In considering a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded allegations in the Complaint and draws all possible inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., 507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007) (quotations omitted). A plaintiff need not set out all relevant facts or recite the law in his or her Complaint; however, the plaintiff must provide a short and plain statement that shows that he or she is entitled to relief. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Thus, a Complaint will not be dismissed if it “contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Additionally, “[a]llegations of a pro se Complaint are held ‘to less ...


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