United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN CHIEF JUDGE
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. This case is now
before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 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.
alleges that on February 6, 2018, he injured his knee while
playing basketball at Centralia. (Doc. 1, pp. 2-3). He could
not walk, and was taken in a wheelchair to the Health Care
Unit, where he was given a knee brace, crutches, and
Ibuprofen. The injury was bad enough that Plaintiff was
housed in the infirmary until a doctor could see him. (Doc.
1, p. 3).
next day (February 7, 2018), Dr. Garcia saw that
Plaintiff's knee was swollen and discolored. He ordered
an x-ray, changed/increased Plaintiff's pain medication,
extended his stay in the infirmary, and scheduled Plaintiff
to see Dr. Santos (medical director). (Doc. 1, p. 3).
February 13, 2018, Plaintiff saw Dr. Santos and told him that
he could not put any weight on the injured knee, which was
still swollen and painful. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Santos opined that
the injury was merely a knee sprain. He extended
Plaintiff's stay in the infirmary and told him to take it
easy for 3 weeks for the injury to heal.
February 20, 2018, Santos examined Plaintiff again and
performed several range of motion exercises. Those caused
Plaintiff severe pain, and he asked Santos to stop. Santos
instructed Plaintiff to perform daily exercises while using
crutches. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
later, Santos took away Plaintiff's crutches and gave him
a cane. Plaintiff's knee was still visibly swollen and
bruised. Plaintiff stayed in the infirmary, and reported
daily to the nurses that the pain prevented him from walking
or doing the prescribed exercises. Id.
February 26, 2018, Santos planned to release Plaintiff
because he “looked fine, ” but then gave
Plaintiff one more day in the infirmary after Plaintiff
begged for more time because of the pain and continued
swelling. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
March 7, 2018, Dr. Garcia examined Plaintiff and concluded
that an MRI was needed for further diagnosis, because
Plaintiff's condition had not improved. Garcia forwarded
the MRI request to Santos. On March 12, 2018, Plaintiff met
with Santos, who agreed that an MRI was required due to
Plaintiff's continuing pain and inability to put weight
on the knee. Santos forwarded the MRI request to Wexford
Health Sources, Inc./Collegial (“Wexford”). (Doc.
1, p. 5).
March 23, 2018, Santos informed Plaintiff that Wexford denied
the MRI request. Plaintiff asked Santos to “go over
their head” because he could barely walk, but Santos
said he could not. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). Santos ordered therapy
to help Plaintiff “deal with it.” (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Walker (grievance officer) denied Plaintiff's emergency
grievance over the MRI denial. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 13). Walker
noted that Plaintiff had been given a physical therapy