United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Sylvester Lewis, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional
Center, brings this action for an alleged deprivation of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff asserts a deliberate indifference claim under the
Eighth Amendment regarding the denial of medical treatment
for a spider bite that occurred when he was incarcerated at
Lawrence Correctional Center. He seeks monetary damages.
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).
initial matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff did not fully
disclose his litigation history. The form that Plaintiff used
for his Complaint specifically requires that a claimant list
every lawsuit he has begun in state or federal court while in
jail or prison. (Doc. 1, p. 3). The form specifically warns
that failure to fully disclose litigation history may result
in sanctions that include dismissal of the action.
Id. Despite this warning, Plaintiff failed to
disclose that he filed another prisoner civil rights case in
this Court in December 2018. See Lewis v. Stout,
3:18-cv-02209-SMY (S.D. Il). In that case, Plaintiff also
failed to fully disclose his litigation history and was
warned that failing to disclose that case in future
proceedings would result in summary dismissal for attempted
fraud on the Court. Id. at Doc. 14, p. 4.
Court will not dismiss this case based on that warning,
because it appears Plaintiff did not receive that Order prior
to signing the Complaint. The Order in 18-cv-02209 was
entered on April 5, 2019. This case was received by the Court
on April 11, 2019 (Doc. 1), but in the Complaint there is a
notary acknowledgement of Plaintiff's signature dated
April 4, 2019 (Doc. 1, p. 17). Plaintiff is, however,
WARNED that failing to disclose his
litigation history including Lewis v. Tina,
3:13-cv-797-MJR (S.D. Il), Lewis v. Stout,
3:18-cv-02209-SMY (S.D. Il), or the present case in future
proceedings will result in summary dismissal for attempted
fraud on the Court.
makes the following allegations in the First Amended
Complaint: Plaintiff was bitten by a spider bite while
sleeping. The bite woke him, and he killed the spider. His
face became swollen, irritated, and painful. He notified
Correctional Officer Shehorn about the spider bite and showed
him the dead spider. He asked Shehorn for medical treatment
numerous times over the next several hours, but Shehorn
refused to allow him to go to the health care unit.
on the allegations in the First Amended Complaint, the Court
finds it convenient to designate a single count:
1: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs
claim against Defendant for denying Plaintiff medical
treatment for a spider bite.
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. The designation does not constitute an
opinion regarding its merit. Any other claim that is
mentioned in the First Amended Complaint but not addressed in
this Order should be considered dismissed without prejudice
as inadequately pled under the Twombly pleading
Eighth Amendment “imposes a duty on government
officials to provide medical care to prisoners.”
Townsend v. Cooper, 759 F.3d 678, 689 (7th Cir.
2014) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05
(1976)). Prison officials violate the Eighth Amendment when
they respond to a prisoner's serious medical needs with
deliberate indifference. Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 750 (7th Cir. 2011) (citing Estelle, 429 U.S.
at 104). For screening purposes, Plaintiff's spider bite,
which resulted in swelling, irritation, and pain, will be
considered a serious medical need. The allegations suggest
that Shehorn responded to Plaintiff's spider bite with
deliberate indifference. At this stage, Count 1 will proceed