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Davis v. Doe

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 5, 2019

DEON DAVIS, Plaintiff,


          Hon. Reona J. Daly, United States Magistrate Judge

         The matter has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly by United States District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), and SDIL-LR 72.1(a) for a Report and Recommendation on the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 25) filed by Defendant Butalid. It is RECOMMENDED that the District Court ADOPT the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, and Defendant's Motion be DENIED.

         Findings of Fact

         Plaintiff Deon Davis, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”). He is proceeding on the following count:

Count 1: Dr. John Doe, Dr. Butalid, and Nurse Practitioner Moldenhauer were deliberately indifferent under the Eighth Amendment for their treatment of Plaintiff's hand and wrist injury.

         The Complaint filed by Plaintiff makes the following allegations against Defendant Butalid, “On December 15, 2016, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Dr. Butalid at the Institutional Health Care Unit and Plaintiff informed Defendant Butalid that Plaintiff is still experiencing severe pain in Plaintiff's left hand, wrist with spasms and numbness in Plaintiff's fingers. Plaintiff then requested to Defendant Butalid that Plaintiff be examined by a medical hand specialist. Defendant Dr. Butalid responded it would have to be approved being deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's need with culpable state of mind violating Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights” (Doc. 1 at 10).

         Defendant Butalid filed a motion to dismiss arguing that Plaintiff's allegations against him are limited to the one statement on December 15, 2016 about the treatment requested requiring approval. Butalid argues Plaintiff failed to state any personal involvement by Butalid in Plaintiff's alleged deprivation. Butalid further argues, in prison litigation cases, seeking approval for specialty treatment outside the prison is not sufficient to state a deliberate indifference claim.

         Plaintiff filed a Response (Doc. 33) arguing his Complaint sufficiently alleged Dr. Butalid was aware of Plaintiff's serious hand and wrist injury and failed to provide adequate medical treatment. Plaintiff further argues the allegations against Butalid should be read as a whole, and the allegations against Butalid should not be extricated from his allegations against the other medical Defendants.

         Conclusions of Law

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint, not its merits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well- pleaded facts in the plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor. AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th Cir. 2011). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of a claim's basis, but must also be facially plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         While Plaintiff's allegations against Butalid may be sparse and inartfully pleaded, they are sufficient to state a claim of deliberate indifference. District Courts are required to give pro se litigants a fair amount of leeway when filing complaints. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 595, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972). It is clear from Plaintiff's Complaint that he alleges he sought, but did not receive, medical treatment from Dr. Butalid for his injured wrist and hand.


         For the foregoing reasons, it is RECOMMENDED that Defendant Butalid's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 25) be DENIED; and that the Court adopt the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and SDIL-LR 73.1(b), the parties shall have fourteen (14) days after service of this Report and Recommendation to file written objection thereto. The failure to file a timely objection may result in the waiver of the right to challenge this Report and Recommendation before either the District ...

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