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Getty v. Kim

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 7, 2018

QUENTIN GETTY, #M42745, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Quentin Getty, an inmate in Centralia Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly occurred at Centralia and Big Muddy Correctional Centers. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical issues in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (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: on June 20, 2017, Plaintiff was sent to St. Louis University Hospital to have his shoulder examined by Defendant Kim, an orthopedic. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Kim performed range of motion exercises on Plaintiff's left shoulder to check for stability. Id. During these exercises, Plaintiff told Kim that he was stretching his shoulder too far, causing him a lot of pain. Id. Kim disregarded Plaintiff's complaints and continued to extend his shoulder until it popped. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Plaintiff screamed, and Kim apologized for the accident. Id. Kim X-rayed Plaintiff's shoulder and found it was dislocated. Id. Kim refused to relocate Plaintiff's shoulder, telling him that his institution could get it done faster. Id. Kim told Plaintiff that he could perform surgery in the future, and when Plaintiff told him that he was in severe pain and needed treatment at that time, Kim told him that he did not meet the criteria for immediate surgery. Id. Plaintiff told Kim that he did not want surgery in the future and asked to speak with a supervisor. Id. Kim denied the request. Id.

         Plaintiff had to travel in severe pain for two hours until he returned to the facility. Id. He then had to wait an additional two hours to meet with Dr. Larson. Id. Dr. Larson examined Plaintiff's shoulder and immediately sent him to Crossroads Community Hospital. Id. Plaintiff met with Dr. Zaki Chowdhury who diagnosed his condition as a recurrent dislocation. Id. Chowdhury then relocated Plaintiff's shoulder. Id. The relocation was short-lived, however, and Plaintiff's shoulder dislocated again. Id. After an examination by Dr. Larson, Plaintiff was sent back to Crossroads Community Hospital. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-4). On July 1, 2017, Plaintiff met with Dr. Grant who failed to relocate Plaintiff's shoulder. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff was sent back to Big Muddy, and Dr. Larson sent Plaintiff to St. Louis University Hospital where he met with another orthopedic who eventually relocated his shoulder. Id.

         On July 4, 2017, Plaintiff met with Dr. Larson who ordered him to remain in the prison's infirmary for a week. Id. On July 17, 2017, Plaintiff met with Dr. Larson and informed him that his pain medication was not working, so he was prescribed a different medication. Id. During this time, Plaintiff filed two grievances against Dr. Kim, but Defendant John/Jane Doe never processed them or responded to them. Id. On November 7, 2017, Plaintiff's shoulder dislocated again and was relocated. Id.

         On November 21, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred to Centralia Correctional Center. Id. Plaintiff met with Defendant Santos and told him his history of shoulder issues and that his pain medication was not working. Id. Santos reviewed Plaintiff's medical records and told him that there was no need for further treatment. Id. Plaintiff pleaded with Santos, explaining that he deals with complications and pain daily. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5). Santos told Plaintiff to leave. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff notified Defendant White that John/Jane Doe refused to process his grievances and informed him of his medical issues, but White denied Plaintiff's grievance. Id. Plaintiff's shoulder never recovered and continued to dislocate. Id. This information was sent to Santos who stated that Plaintiff's condition was normal. Id. Plaintiff continues to have restricted movement in his shoulder, which causes him aching ...

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