United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Terry Burnett, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff asserts
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims related to dental
care. (Doc. 1). He seeks monetary damages and injunctive
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the
Court to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out
nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion
of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from
an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. §
makes the following allegations in his Complaint: The
Illinois prison system is plagued by persistent unremedied
failures to provide constitutionally adequate medical and
dental care to inmates. (Doc. 1, p. 8). The failures are well
known to the State Defendants. In December 2014, a report on
the issue of healthcare provided by IDOC for inmates was
issued stating, “[t]he State of Illinois has been
unable to meet minimal constitutional standards with regard
to the adequacy of its healthcare program for the population
it serves.” (Id. at 8-9).
December 26, 2018, Plaintiff told a C/O that he was in pain
because a tooth broke and a filling fell out while he was
eating lunch. (Id. at 9). The C/O told him to sign
up for sick call. He was seen at sick call by nursing staff
the next day and was told he would be put in to see a
dentist. (Id. at 9-10).
January 5, 2019, Plaintiff had his first visit with the
dentist and it was deemed an emergency. (Id. at 10).
He was told his #14 tooth needed to be extracted and that it
could take up to two months for an appointment to perform the
extraction. The dentist put in a temporary filling. On
January 15, 2019, the temporary filling and more of his tooth
fell out. He wrote to the dentist to inform him what happened
and to tell him that he was in pain and felt like his tooth
saw Dr. Shah in the call line at the health care unit (HCU)
on January 31, 2019 and told him about the pain and infection
from his broken tooth. Dr. Shah called the dentist's
nurse and she stated that Plaintiff was on the call line for
the dentist the next day.
February 1, 2019, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Chapman in the
dental office and was told he was on the waiting list to have
his tooth pulled. Because his tooth was infected, he was
given 30 tablets of penicillin (500 mg) and 20 tablets of
ibuprofen (400 mg). (Id. at 10-11).
was called to the dentist on February 15, 2019 to have his
#14 tooth removed. (Id. at 11). The dentist had a
hard time removing the tooth and Plaintiff received two shots
of pain numbing medication. He was given 20 tablets of
ibuprofen (800 mg) after the tooth was removed.
February 19, 2019, Plaintiff went to sick call. The sick call
nurse called the dentist's nurse. The dentist's nurse
told Plaintiff that he probably had a sinus problem, not an
infection. (Id. at 11, 20). No. one looked in his
mouth at the area where the tooth had been pulled. He was
given more ibuprofen (400 mg).
went to sick call for pain and an infection on February 26,
2019 and was seen by nursing staff. Dr. Shah was notified. He
was given 30 tablets of penicillin (500 mg) and 20 tablets of
ibuprofen (600 mg). He was told he would be put in to see the
dentist and that he had a cavity in the tooth next to the one
that had been pulled. (Id. at 11-12, 20).
March 5, 2019, a large piece of tooth or bone dislodged from
the site where Plaintiff's #14 tooth had been pulled and
there was bleeding. (Id. at 12). He saw the
dentist's nurse and was given gauze to stop the bleeding.
Three days later, another piece of tooth or bone dislodged
from the same area. He went to sick call and was told by
nursing staff that it was probably not infected, just painful
because of the pieces of tooth or bone that came out. The
nurse did not look in his mouth. He was given 18 tablets of
Tylenol (325 mg).
March 31, 2019, Plaintiff went to sick call for pain caused
by pieces of tooth or bone fragments in the area where has
#14 tooth was pulled. (Id. at 13). He was given 20
tablets of ibuprofen (400 mg). Plaintiff sent a request to
dental on April 18, 2019 because of pain in the area where
his #14 tooth was pulled caused by a piece of sharp tooth or
12, 2019, a piece of tooth or bone fragment came out a as a
result of Plaintiff picking and scratching at it with his
fingernail. Plaintiff was called to the dentist on May 25,
2019. He told “Dentist Andy” and the dental nurse
that he was no longer in pain because he had picked out the
last piece of tooth or bone. Defendants failed to provide
Plaintiff with adequate and timely ...