United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections currently
incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center
(“Centralia”), has brought this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff claims that Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to a serious medical condition. The Complaint is
now before the Court for a preliminary review pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A.
Section 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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).
these standards, the Court finds that some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A.
September 9, 2017, Plaintiff was working at his job in the
Dietary Department. (Doc. 1, p. 3). His supervisor, Dulle,
instructed Plaintiff to operate the meat slicer machine.
Plaintiff told Dulle that a wheel was missing from the slicer
and it may not work properly, but Dulle told Plaintiff that
it had not caused any problems and he should not worry about
it. As Plaintiff began cutting with the meat slicer, it
jumped and cut off the top portion of Plaintiff's little
finger on his left hand. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 11). Dulle
immediately sent Plaintiff to the Health Care Unit
Shaw, Jane Doe #1, and Jane Doe #2 examined Plaintiff's
finger. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 11). They poured saline water and
peroxide on the injury to attempt to stop the bleeding, which
caused severe pain. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff asked Shaw if
he would be sent to an outside hospital. Jane Doe Nurse #1,
at Shaw's request, called Correctional Officer Rose to
ask permission to send Plaintiff to a hospital, but Rose
denied the request. Rose reportedly decided that the injury
“did not meet the criteria for an emergency medical
furlough.” (Doc. 1, p. 4). Shaw threw away the severed
tip of Plaintiff's finger after it was determined that
Plaintiff would not be sent for outside treatment. (Doc. 1,
pp. 7, 23). Plaintiff begged Shaw and the Jane Doe Nurses #1
and #2 to explain the situation to Rose so he might allow
Plaintiff to go to the hospital, but they refused. Shaw
bandaged Plaintiff's finger and sent him back to the
Kilgore in Dietary noticed that Plaintiff's finger was
“squirting out blood, ” and notified a sergeant,
who immediately took Plaintiff back to the HCU. Nurses
Brewer, Jane Doe #3, and Jane Doe #4 washed Plaintiff's
finger with saline and peroxide again, and re-bandaged his
finger. They instructed Plaintiff to keep the finger elevated
and returned him to his housing unit. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 12).
around 9:00 p.m. that evening, Plaintiff notified the housing
unit officer that his finger was bleeding uncontrollably
through the bandage; Plaintiff was sent back to the HCU for
the third time. Brewer and the Jane Doe Nurses #3 and #4 told
him that nothing could be done, and that even changing the
bandages could cause an infection. They sent him back to his
cell without any treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
next day (September 10, 2017), Plaintiff was awakened by the
pain, and he had blood running down his arm. (Doc. 1, pp. 6,
12). He was sent to the HCU where the same treatment was
given. Later, blood began squirting through the bandage
again, and he returned to the HCU. On Plaintiff's way to
the HCU, Plaintiff told Sergeant Boyle that his finger was
still bleeding. Boyle called the shift commander, Major
MacAbee, who summoned Plaintiff to his office. (Doc. 1, p.
6). MacAbee looked at Plaintiff's finger, and immediately
called the warden. The warden called in the Director of
Nurses (Knebel) to examine Plaintiff's finger. When she
did, she determined that emergency medical treatment was
necessary, and Plaintiff was rushed to the hospital, where he
received treatment. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7, 13-18).
asserts that Rose's refusal to allow him to be sent to
the hospital immediately after his injury caused him
unnecessary pain and blood loss by delaying proper treatment.
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Shaw, Brewer, and the Jane Doe Nurses #1-4
failed to properly treat his serious injury and delayed his
access to necessary treatment. Id. Plaintiff asserts
he continues to “experience painful complications in
his left finger that often travels down to his hand” as
a result of the injury and allegedly inadequate treatment.
(Doc. 1, p. 8).
filed a grievance over the way his injury was handled, but
Walker (grievance officer) denied it, as did Lahr
(Administrative Review Board). (Doc. 1, p. 7, 19-21, 23-24).
requests compensatory and punitive damages against all
Defendants. (Doc. 1, p. 9).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into the
following counts. The parties and the Court will use these
designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is ...