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Miles v. Rue

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 13, 2019

CHARLES MILES, #B43017, Plaintiff,
v.
C/O RUE, NURSE KATE, and DR. SHAH, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Charles Miles, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred while he was in custody at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”). Plaintiff alleges he was attacked by another inmate and received inadequate medical care. He requests money damages.

         Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review 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).

         The Complaint

          Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint (Doc. 1): On January 23, 2019, following academic school, Plaintiff returned to his housing unit to find an inmate from the upper gallery out with the lower gallery inmates during dayroom privileges. Plaintiff looked for the west wing officer, Corrections Officer Rue, but could not find him. Id. at p. 7. He asked to be buzzed into his cell by the foyer officer. When he entered his cell, he was attacked by an unknown inmate and stabbed several times. After filing a grievance, Plaintiff learned that Officer Rue had let the unknown inmate from the upper gallery out during lower gallery inmates' dayroom time, despite knowing there was a risk that inmates could suffer irreparable harm. Id. at p. 8.

         Following the attack, Plaintiff was treated by Nurse Kate in the Health Care Unit who told him that she was unable to do surgery. The next day, Plaintiff was rushed to an outside hospital and received seven stitches. Id. at p. 9. Upon his return to Lawrence, he was placed back in the Health Care Unit, but was not examined by Dr. Shah. When Plaintiff spoke to Dr. Shah, he told him that his pain medication was ineffective. Dr. Shah told Plaintiff to deal with the pain because there was nothing else that he could do. Id. at p. 10.

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court designates the following Counts:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim against Rue for allowing upper gallery inmates to mix with lower gallery inmates during dayroom times, despite knowing the safety risk.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to a serious medical need claim against Nurse Kate and Dr. Shah for failing to provide Plaintiff with adequate medical treatment following his attack.

         The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. Any claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[1]

         Discussion

         Count 1

         “A prison official cannot be found liable under the Eighth Amendment for denying an inmate humane conditions of confinement unless the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the inference.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). Here, Plaintiff alleges that: (1) Officer Rue is responsible for ensuring that inmates are accounted for and that upper gallery inmates and lower gallery inmates receive separate times of dayroom privileges; (2) prior to the attack he searched for Officer Rue, but could not find him; and (3) Officer Rue knew that mixing inmates from the upper and lower galleries placed inmates at risk of suffering irreparable harm.

         To be held liable under §1983, a defendant must be “personally responsible for the deprivation of a constitutional right.” Chavez v. Ill. State Police,251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001)(quotations omitted). Claiming that Officer Rue was responsible for the inmates in Plaintiff's housing unit and allowed the upper and lower gallery inmates to mix does not suggest personal involvement by Officer Rue in the alleged constitutional deprivation or the ...


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