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Armour v. Santos

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 11, 2018

ROY L. ARMOUR, # K-89058, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. SANTOS, DAVID STOCK, PATTY THULL, JOHN R. BALDWIN, WEXFORD, and CENTRALIA CORRECTIONAL CTR., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Roy L. Armour, currently incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center (“Centralia”), brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging Defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition. Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         Under § 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         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 “no reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.” 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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements.” Id. At the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         Applying these standards, the Court finds that one of Plaintiff's claims survives threshold review under § 1915A.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (“ACL”), and possible tear of the posterior horn medial meniscus in his left knee. (Doc. 1, p. 8). On or about November 18, 2017, he consulted Dr. Santos about the results of a MRI conducted on his knee at Bromenn Medical Center in Bloomington, Illinois, which reported the above diagnosis. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff attached a radiology report dated February 2014 from Bromenn Medical Center to his Complaint. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Based on that report, Dr. Santos told Plaintiff he would make a referral for possible surgery. Id.

         About a month later, Plaintiff was informed that he would be sent out on a medical writ to have surgery. However, it turned out that he was being offered physical therapy instead. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff refused to sign the paper to have physical therapy, reasoning that he did not need it until after having knee surgery.

         A couple days later, Dr. Santos called Plaintiff in to tell him that Wexford would not allow the surgery because it would be too costly. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5). Plaintiff filed grievances over the disallowance of surgery, but they were denied. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-12).

         Presently, Plaintif has pain from the torn ACL which extends all the way to his foot when he walks. He alleges that he is “in pain all day every day.” (Doc. 1, p. 10).

         In addition to Dr. Santos and Wexford, Plaintiff includes as Defendants Centralia Warden Stock, Patty Thull of the IDOC Administrative Review Board, IDOC Director Baldwin, and Centralia Correctional Center. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2). As relief, Plaintiff requests surgery to correct his left knee condition, however, he has not filed a separate motion seeking injunctive relief. (Doc. 1, p. 6). He also seeks compensatory damages. Id.

         Merits Review Pursuant to 28 ...


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