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Robinson v. Kink

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 21, 2019

TREONDOUS ROBINSON, #B-41303, Plaintiff,
v.
KEVIN KINK, JOHN R. BALDWIN, SHERRY BENTON, and FELIX RODRIGUEZ, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

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

         This matter is before the Court for review of Plaintiff Treondous Robinson's First Amended Complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff complains of unconstitutional conditions of confinement resulting in a spider bite at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”). (Doc. 6, pp. 1-52). He seeks money damages and injunctive relief that includes a transfer to Dixon Correctional Center (“Dixon”), a job assignment of his choice, and a single cell for the duration of his confinement. (Id. at p. 18).

         The First Amended Complaint is subject to preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, meritless, 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). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         First Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the First Amended Complaint (Doc. 6, pp. 10-52): Due to frequent power outages at Lawrence in June 2018, inmates were exposed to excessive heat and humidity, a lack of running water, and pest infestations in their cells. (Id. at pp. 10-11). Prison officials disregarded Plaintiff's complaints that these conditions triggered his asthma and necessitated insect treatments in each cell. (Id. at pp. 20-22). In July 2018, he received a spider bite that developed into a “baseball-size” infection on his forearm. (Id. at p. 23). The institutional physician drained the infection without applying any numbing agent. (Id. at pp. 11-17). Plaintiff was not given a tetanus shot.[1] Fear of another spider bite caused him to lose sleep. Doctor Rodriguez, the prison psychiatrist, responded to his complaints of sleep loss by prescribing an ever-changing cocktail of psychotropic medications[2] that proved to be ineffective and harmful. In addition to sleep loss, Plaintiff suffered from medication side effects that included hallucinations, paranoia, restlessness, headaches, slow speech, and “lazy” mannerisms. (Id.). John Baldwin (Illinois Department of Corrections Director), Sherry Benton (administrative review board chair), Kevin Kink (Lawrence's warden), and Dr. Rodriguez disregarded his complaints and prevented him from exhausting his administrative remedies before filing suit. (Id.).

         Based on the allegations in the First Amended Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to re-characterize the claims at issue in this pro se action as follows:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for subjecting Plaintiff to unconstitutional conditions of confinement at Lawrence that included frequent power outages, excessive heat and humidity, a lack of running water, and a bug/spider infestation beginning in June 2018.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Defendants for failing to adequately treat the spider bite that occurred in July 2018.
Count 3: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Defendants for failing to ensure adequate mental health treatment for emotional distress caused by Plaintiff's spider bite.
Count 4: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against Defendants for mishandling Plaintiff's grievances and interfering with his exhaustion of administrative remedies.

         Any other claim that is mentioned in the First Amended Complaint but not addressed in this Order is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[3]

         Preliminary Dismissals

         The First Amended Complaint (Doc. 6) refers to numerous individuals who are not named as defendants in this action, including the counselor (p. 8), grievance officer (p. 8), Kittle (pp. 13, 21-21, 23-30), Blake (pp. 13, 22), Basnett (p. 15), institutional physician (p. 16), and Livingston (p. 30). The Court will not treat them as defendants in this action, absent any indication in the case caption or list of defendants that they are intended as such. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a) (noting that the title of the complaint “must name all the parties”); Myles v. United States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005) (a defendant must be “specif[ied] in the caption” to be properly considered a party). All claims against these individuals should be considered dismissed without prejudice.

         Counts ...


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