United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge.
Ebrahimi Darvosh,  who is serving a life sentence at Menard
Correctional Center (“Menard”), has brought this
pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff claims that Defendants have been
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical conditions,
and have denied him accommodations that he should receive
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act
(“RA”). This case is now before the Court for a
preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 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.
coming to Menard, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Cook
County Department of Corrections, where he was issued a cane
and orthopedic footwear, as well as a lower bunk permit and
extra mattress. (Doc. 1, p. 2). He has heart problems,
chronic pain, and impaired balance and mobility. Id.
At Stateville Correctional Center, Plaintiff's permits
were continued, and he was issued a crutch.
Plaintiff arrived at Menard, he was issued a permit to
accommodate his medical/mobility needs, but was not allowed
to have an assistive walking device. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 12).
After about 6 months, he was “stripped” of his
previously-issued permits, which were replaced by a permit
confining him to be fed in his cell. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 13).
Plaintiff asserts that this action was taken in retaliation
for a grievance he filed 2 months after his arrival at
Menard. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 29-30).
requested to have his cane or crutches returned, but Angela
Crain (Menard ADA Coordinator) has refused this
accommodation. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 14-15). However, one of
Plaintiff's attached documents (a permit dated June 18,
2018) indicates that he was recently given permission to have
a crutch in his cell. (Doc. 1, p. 16).
sought help from Dr. Siddiqui (Menard Medical Director), who
sent him to an outside specialist at Prairie Cardiovascular.
This doctor “confirmed” that Plaintiff needs
mobility accommodations and that he “has serious
medical and heart problems.” (Doc. 1, p. 3). Plaintiff
attaches the specialist's preliminary report, dated May
18, 2018, which notes that Plaintiff has ongoing angina, and
recommends he start taking Imdur. (Doc. 1, p. 17). Further,
he “absolutely needs to continue aspirin and Plavix
uninterrupted until September 2018 . . . . He has high risk
factors for reocclusion of stents.” (Doc. 1, p. 18).
Due to Plaintiff's age (66) and “recurrent heart
disease, ” the specialist recommends switching to a
“high intensity statin” or increasing
Plaintiff's dosage of Zocor. Id. He notes that
Plaintiff needs 30 minutes of exercise per day, and requests
he be given a cane for support since he has difficulty
asserts that Dr. Siddiqui denied and delayed his access to
proper medical care, and that Wexford Health Care Sources
(“Wexford”) “recommended other alternative
care.” (Doc. 1, p. 3). Long before Plaintiff's 2018
visit to Prairie Cardiovascular, he wrote a grievance (dated
February 28, 2017) asking to see a heart specialist and to be
put back on clopidogrel(Plavix), because when he was taken off
that medication, his chest pain increased and was
“severe at times.” (Doc. 1, p. 23). The
counselor's response to this grievance states that the
matter was previously addressed in grievances dated in May
and December 2016. Id.; (Doc. 1, pp. 29-32).
Plaintiff also references a March 23, 2017, medical referral,
which indicates that a cardiology consultation was
considered, but denied by Dr. Ritz of Wexford. Dr. Ritz
recommended alternative care, consisting of an EKG and chest
x-ray. (Doc. 1, p. 26).
April 9, 2018, Plaintiff wrote a letter (“Exhibit
P”) to Medical Director Siddiqui stating that the
outside specialist (Dr. Vinch) had recommended Plavix to
prevent his heart condition from deteriorating, but this
recommendation had been ignored. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 27).
Plaintiff added that his pain is unbearable, and he
“constantly pass[es] out, ” which sometimes
causes injury. (Doc. 1, p. 28). Dr. Siddiqui, however, has
refused to listen to the specialist, and Wexford refuses to
fill the recommended prescription even though Plaintiff's
other medications are not working. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
26, 2018, Crain had Plaintiff's crutch confiscated and
destroyed. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 15, 19). Plaintiff had told Crain
that he had problems with his shoulder and elbow when using
the crutch, and he requested a cane. (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 15).
However, Crain and Siddiqui refuse to issue Plaintiff a cane,
leaving him susceptible to falls because he has no means to
support himself. Plaintiff notes that other handicapped
individuals at Menard have canes which allow them to access
all areas of the prison. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
a cane or other assistive device, Plaintiff is unable to
access the cafeteria or any areas of the prison requiring
long walks on unsteady surfaces. He also is in danger of
falls and injury in the shower or other
non-handicapped-accessible areas of the prison. (Doc. 1, p.
4). Plaintiff asserts that Baldwin (IDOC Director) and
Lashbrook (Menard Warden) are in violation of the ADA for
failing to either modify the physical barriers in the prison
or provide him with mobility assistance. Id.
Further, Plaintiff has no access to rehabilitation or
cardiovascular machines or assistance to maintain physical
requests declaratory relief, a preliminary and permanent
injunction ordering Defendants to provide him with an
assistive walking device and medications for his heart
condition, and a transfer to a facility that can provide for
those needs. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He also seeks compensatory and
punitive damages. Id.
with the Complaint, Plaintiff filed a “Memorandum of
Law in Support of Preliminary Injunction.” (Doc. 1-1).
However, Plaintiff has not filed a separate motion for a
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: Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Dr. Siddiqui and Crain, for
refusing to provide Plaintiff with a cane or other ...