United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
STEVEN E. JOHNSON, # 430881, Plaintiff,
NURSE BONNK, NURSE BARBARA, NURSE KRISTI, C/O SMITH, C/O ZIRCHABACH, and SECURUS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge
brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 while he was incarcerated at the St.
Clair County Jail (“the Jail”). (Doc. 1, pp. 1,
7). He has since been released from the Jail. (Doc. 4).
Plaintiff claims that the sick call system at the Jail is
inadequate, and 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). Although Plaintiff is no longer in
the Jail, this requirement applies to the instant action
because it was filed while he was a prisoner. See Kerr v.
Puckett, 138 F.3d 321, 323 (7th Cir. 1998)
(applicability of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) is
determined as of the date the lawsuit is brought). 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.
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.
states that the Jail has a kiosk on every cell block which
has a sick call button for inmates to use in order to submit
a request for medical attention. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Several
nurses, including Nurse Bonnie,  Nurse Barbara, and Nurse
Kristi, instructed Plaintiff to use the kiosk sick call
service. The system is provided by Securus. Id.
Plaintiff used the kiosk procedure, but did not receive help
for his medical problems. He believes that the nurse
supervisor (Deborah Hale) stated that she did not think the
system was working, because her office did not receive
requests submitted through the kiosk. Id.
describes a particular incident where he dislocated or
fractured a finger, and was in extreme pain. He told C/O
Zirchabach and C/O Smith about the injury, submitted a sick
call request to Bonnie, and sent a request through the kiosk.
However, Plaintiff never received any medical attention for
the finger injury. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff and other
inmates “set the bone straight” on their own, and
made a cast out of t-shirts and string. Id.
Plaintiff then soaked the finger in hot water each night for
weeks, until the pain finally stopped on May 28, 2018.
another unspecified time, Plaintiff had a swollen leg which
made him unable to walk. Bonnie “refused to look into
[his] issue.” (Doc. 1, p. 5).
seeks monetary damages for the violations of his rights.
(Doc. 1, p. 6).
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 mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice.
Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Smith and Zirchabach, for failing
to summon medical assistance for Plaintiff's injured
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Nurses Bonnk/Bonnie, Barbara, and
Kristi, for failing to provide treatment for Plaintiff's
Count 3: Fourteenth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Securus, for failing to provide a
functional sick call system in ...