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Ingramm v. Ahmed

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 5, 2019

KENDRICK H. INGRAM, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
DR. F. AHMED, NICHOLAS R. LAMB, MICHAEL S. DEIMEL, J. FREEMAN, KEVIN KINK, MS. CUNNINGHAM, and DR. BROOKHART, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE .

         Plaintiff Kendrick H. Ingram, Sr., an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he became ill after being subjected to unsanitary conditions in the cafeteria, and that Defendants failed to properly treat his associated gastrointestinal problems. In connection with these claims, he seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief (unspecified medical treatment), presumably at the close of the case.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a 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 must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: In July 2017, after being subjected to unsanitary conditions in the cafeteria, Plaintiff suffered from gastrointestinal symptoms (stomach pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea). (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 7). Plaintiff's first two requests for medical attention were ignored by unspecified individuals in the healthcare unit. (Doc. 1, p. 5). On August 1, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by a nurse (not a defendant in this action). The unspecified nurse refused to accept Plaintiff's stool sample and apparently failed to provide any treatment. Id. Over the next few weeks, Plaintiff lost 35 pounds and suffered from severe pain and gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in his stool. Id. On August 25, 2017, after providing stool and urine samples to Dr. Ahmed, Plaintiff was diagnosed with an intestinal infection and was referred to an outside specialist. Id. Plaintiff was examined by the specialist on November 7, 2017 and was scheduled for a colonoscopy in February 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Prior to the colonoscopy, Plaintiff was on a liquid diet for approximately 16 hours. After the colonoscopy was performed, Plaintiff was informed that officials at Lawrence should have had Plaintiff on a liquid diet for at least 48 hours prior to the procedure, and Plaintiff had to be scheduled for a second colonoscopy. Id. Dr. Ahmed subsequently apologized to Plaintiff for the mistake. Id.

         On February 17 and 18, 2018, while waiting for his second colonoscopy, Plaintiff became ill and repeatedly requested emergency medical attention. Id. Officer Freeman ignored Plaintiff's repeated pleas for medical attention. Id. This placed Plaintiff in a “desperate situation” and resulted in Plaintiff being charged with staff assault. Id.

         On February 19, 2018, Plaintiff went on a hunger strike. Id. He told Warden Kink and Major Wheeler that he wanted them to (1) reduce or strike the assault charge from his record; (2) “speed up” his colonoscopy appointment; and (3) give him a “special shop” so he would not have to endure unsanitary conditions in the cafeteria in the future. Id. Warden Kink and Major Wheeler granted two of his three requests. Id. Unfortunately, however, Plaintiff does not specify which requests were granted. Id. Plaintiff's second colonoscopy was performed on May 1, 2018, but there was no follow-up. The Complaint does not include any additional allegations regarding the alleged lack of follow-up.

         Plaintiff seeks damages for the suffering he experienced from July 25, 2017, through May 1, 2018. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). He also seeks further medical treatment for the gastrointestinal symptoms he experienced because of unsanitary conditions in the cafeteria.

         Preliminary Dismissals

         Defendants Warden Lamb, Warden Brookhart, and Officer Deimel are not referenced in the body of the Complaint. Merely naming a party in the caption of a complaint is not enough to state a claim against him. Collins v. Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). Further, Plaintiff's failure to assert a specific act of wrongdoing as to these individuals does not meet the personal involvement requirement necessary for § 1983 liability. See Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995). Accordingly, these Defendants will be dismissed from the Complaint without prejudice.

         The body of the Complaint directs allegations against Major Wheeler and an unspecified nurse. These individuals, however, are not identified as defendants in the case caption or list of defendants. Accordingly, any claims Plaintiff intended to bring against Major Wheeler and the unspecified nurse are dismissed without prejudice. See Myles v. United States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into two counts:

Count 1: From July 25, 2017, through May 1, 2018, Dr. Ahmed, Warden Kink, and Administrator Cunningham were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical condition in ...

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