United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Maurice McClinton, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated in
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly
occurred at Shawnee Correctional Center
(“Shawnee”). In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims
the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical issues in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
(Doc. 1). He also claims that the defendants denied him
grievance responses in violation of the First Amendment.
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
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.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: at all times relevant to this action, Plaintiff
was housed in segregation unit 1, cell 19, and had a cellmate
named Marius Harris. (Doc. 1, p. 12). On May 29, 2017, at
about 7:00 a.m., Plaintiff was waiting at his door to be put
on the list for outside recreation. Id. Plaintiff
believes he saw C/O Dean write or check his name down in
front of his door. Id. At about 7:30 a.m., Plaintiff
was experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing, so he took
two puffs on his inhaler. Id. By 8:00-8:30 a.m.,
Plaintiff was experiencing an asthma attack. Id. He
stood by his door to notify someone. Id. Around 9:00
a.m., Defendant Waters came to the back of the segregation
unit where Plaintiff's cell was located. Id.
Plaintiff got his attention and told him that he was having
an asthma attack. Id. Waters responded that he would
get the sergeant, though he did not activate the emergency
response or call a Code 3, which left Plaintiff
“hampering for breaths waiting.” Id.
about 11:00 a.m., Defendants Dean, Waters, and Sergeant
Grear, along with inmate Valentine, came to pass out lunch
trays. Id. Plaintiff got Waters's and
Grear's attention and told them that he was having an
asthma attack. Id. Grear responded, “It sounds
like it, ” in a voice mocking Plaintiff's shortness
of breath. Id. He then laughed along with Dean and
Waters like it was a joke. Id. Inmate Valentine went
around collecting lunch trays about an hour later, along with
Dean. Id. Plaintiff asked Valentine why they were
treating him this way, and Valentine told him that
“Grear never works back here, but he never does
anything for anybody.” Id. Valentine then told
Plaintiff that he would try to get him help next shift.
planned to go outside for recreation time and get the
attention of medical technicians there, but he never got the
chance. Id. Instead, at approximately 12:45 p.m.,
while Defendants Waters and Dean were letting inmates out for
recreation, Dean stopped at Plaintiff's cell, looked in
at him, and proceeded to the next cell. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Dean
ignored Plaintiff's attempts to tell him he signed up for
yard. Id. No one came back down his hallway for the
rest of the shift. Id. Plaintiff believes he was
left in his cell because the defendants were watching a
baseball game or “just wanted [him] to suffer or worst
just die.” Id.
approximately 3:00 p.m. that day, Plaintiff waited at his
cell door to notify the guards that he was having an asthma
attack and had been since that morning. Id. As
Defendants Levanti and Botarf were bringing inmates inside
from yard, Plaintiff tried to speak to Levanti but was told
to wait. Id. Once Levanti got to Plaintiff's
door, Plaintiff asked him to notify the nurse that he was
having an asthma attack. Id. Levanti told him that
the nurse would be doing rounds shortly. Id. In
fact, the nurse's rounds were not until an hour and a
half later. Id. At this point, Plaintiff was
wheezing badly, to the point where he had to breathe in a
controlled rhythm to try to eliminate some of his pain.
Id. Plaintiff could not lie down because it made
breathing difficult. Id. At about 4:00-4:30 p.m.,
Defendant Nurse Casey arrived for rounds. Id. When
she was near Plaintiff's cell, Plaintiff got
Levanti's attention to remind him of his distress.
Id. Levanti held up a finger to Plaintiff
acknowledging he remembered his request. Id. Levanti
then whispered in Casey's ear, and Casey proceeded to
Plaintiff's cell. Id.
told Casey he was having an asthma attack and in need of
treatment. Id. She told him that she could only
treat him with doctor's orders but that if he was still
feeling the same way when she returned, she would follow
protocol. Id. She then left Plaintiff to suffer,
struggling for breath. Id. His chest and upper back
were in pain with every breath. Id. Casey returned
an hour or two later. Id. When she walked past
Plaintiff's cell, Plaintiff got Levanti's attention.
Id. He said something in a low voice to Casey and
pointed at Plaintiff. Id. Casey then looked up at
Plaintiff, said no to Levanti, and walked off to continue
rounds. (Doc. 1, p. 15). By this time, Plaintiff was very
weak and tired. Id. He wanted to sit or lie down,
but his labored breathing became more difficult and painful
when he tried to do so. Id. Plaintiff had been
denied medical treatment by Nurse Casey on two previous
occasions as well. Id.
became desperate for medical attention and believed he was
flagged to be denied medical treatment by the first shift
officers. Id. Around 7:00-7:30 p.m., Plaintiff got
Defendant Botarf's attention. Id. Plaintiff told
him that he needed to go to health care because he was having
an asthma attack. Id. Botarf told him that he would
call and left. Id. At 8:00 p.m., he returned.
Id. Plaintiff asked Botarf where health care was at,