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Heisch v. Lakin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 29, 2019

EVA DEANN HEISCH, #90649, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN LAKIN, CHRISTOPHER EALES, JORDAN GRIFFIN, DR. ARENDELL, DR. LOCHARD, DR. ARAGONA, TERESA TUCKER, and MADISON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Eva Heisch, a detainee at Madison County Jail (“Jail”), brings this action for miscellaneous deprivations of her constitutional rights at the Jail pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docs. 1 and 1-1). She seeks declaratory judgment and money damages. (Doc. 1, p. 21).

         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). 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).

         Before the Court screens the Complaint under Section 1915A, however, it is first necessary to consider whether any claims are improperly joined in the action and subject to severance. George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). The Court has identified 3 separate groups of unrelated claims against different defendants. This action is subject to severance.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff organizes her Complaint into 10 sets of claims, which she supports with 99 pages of grievances and 195 pages of exhibits. (Doc. 1, pp. 11-20; Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-195). Most claims stem from inadequate medical care Plaintiff allegedly received at the Jail from 2016-19. (Doc. 1, pp. 12-17; 19-20). She complains of untreated or improperly treated high blood pressure, a prolapsed urethra, a vaginal mass, chest pain, diabetes, and mental health conditions. In connection with the denial of medical care, Plaintiff names the Jail's doctors (Drs. Arendell, Aragona, and Lochard), administrators (Sheriff John Lakin and Jail Administrator Christopher Eales), and/or staff (Officer Jordan Griffin). (Id.). Plaintiff also complains that Jail Administrator Eales subjected her to excessive punishment or harsh living conditions as retaliation for filing various complaints. (Id. at pp. 17-19). She separately complains that Officer Tucker failed to protect her from an inmate attack or treat her resulting injuries in March 2019. (Id. at pp. 17-18).

         Claims

         The Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into the following eleven (11)

         Counts, largely consistent with Plaintiff's characterization of these claims in the Complaint:

Count 1: Eales, Griffin, Arendell, and Lakin denied Plaintiff necessary medical care for her high blood pressure which caused her to suffer a minor stroke in December 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 12).
Count 2: Arendell, Lochard, Aragona, and Eales delayed diagnosis and treatment of Plaintiff's vaginal mass and prolapsed urethra for eight months from October 2018 until April 2019, resulting in unnecessary pain and bleeding. (Id. at pp. 12-13).
Count 3: Lochard, Aragona, and Eales denied Plaintiff adequate and timely medical treatment for chest pain in April 2019, despite her previous diagnosis with angina and mitral valve prolapse. (Id. at pp. 13-14).
Count 4: Aragona denied Plaintiff adequate medical treatment for diabetes following her diagnosis in October 2018. (Id. at pp. 15-16).
Count 5: Arendell supervised staff who denied Plaintiff treatment for a mass she initially reported in September 2016. ...

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