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Hart v. David

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 8, 2018

ERIC HART, #Y-21325, Plaintiff,
v.
ALFONSO DAVID, and WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Eric Hart, an inmate currently housed at Taylorville Correctional Center, filed this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that, when he housed at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”), Alfonso David, a physician, exhibited deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, [1] 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

         Sometime prior to May 28, 2017, Plaintiff, a 52-year-old man weighing 300 pounds, fell from the top bunk of his assigned cell. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 10). Upon initial examination, a nurse prescribed ibuprofen for pain and observed that Plaintiff had a decreased range of motion, but no swelling. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Subsequently, Plaintiff continued to experience pain in his back, neck, and hip. Id. On June 5, 2017, after informing healthcare staff that the pain medication was not working, Plaintiff was examined by Dr. David. (Doc. 1, p. 7).[2] Plaintiff described his pain and told Dr. David he feared he would suffer another serious fall if he did not receive a bottom bunk permit. Id. Dr. David provided Plaintiff with Naproxen for his pain. Id. However, his request for a bottom bunk permit was denied. (Doc. 1, p. 8).[3]

         On June 11, 2017, Plaintiff, once again, fell from the top bunk. Id. Plaintiff was unable to move and security staff transported Plaintiff to the infirmary under a “code 3” status. Id. Plaintiff remained in the infirmary for approximately ten days. Id.

         Plaintiff claims that, while he was in the infirmary, Dr. David persisted in a course of treatment that he knew was inadequate and ineffective. Id. Plaintiff also claims that, despite his repeated complaints regarding severe pain, Dr. David delayed appropriate treatment for non-medical reasons. Id. Exhibits attached to the Complaint provide the following additional information with regard to Plaintiff's medical treatment while in the infirmary.

Hart was seen again 6/11/17 for a reported fall and complaining of double vision, head pounding, decreased left hand grasp. Hart was placed in the infirmary and kept there until 6/21/17. While in the infirmary Hart was given Napro[x]yn for his pain and x-rays were taken. The x-rays results showed moderate osteoarthritis but no broken bones. Since discharge from infirmary on 6/21/17 Hart had been given low bunk, low gallery permit and to continue Motrin 600 mg ...

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