United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW- SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT
BILLY McDADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se, files a second amended complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging unconstitutional
conditions of confinement and intentional infliction of
emotional distress at the Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”). Plaintiff names Michael Melvin,
Susan Prentice, Lieutenants Dalton, Evans and Corley and
Sergeants Meister and Shoemaker. In addition, he names five
John Doe employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”). This matter is before the Court for a
merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In reviewing
the second amended complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649-51 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements
and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to
“state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d
418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). While the pleading standard does not require
“detailed factual allegations”, it requires
“more than an unadorned,
Wilson v. Ryker, 451 Fed.Appx. 588, 589 (7th Cir.
2011) quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
asserts that he was held under unconstitutional conditions of
confinement for 11 months, from April 1, 2016 through
February 2017. On April 1, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred
from the Stateville Correctional Center to Pontiac on a
disciplinary transfer. When he arrived at Pontiac, he was
placed in the North House segregation unit. Plaintiff
explains that this unit houses inmates who are in protective
custody, inmates who have “caused problems”
elsewhere and inmates who are Seriously Mentally Ill.
(“SMI”) and suicidal. Plaintiff claims that some
of them throw feces and urine on other inmates and staff. He
also claims that the North House is overcrowded with 52 cells
on each gallery, with four galleries “stacked on top of
each other.” He does not particularly claim that there
is overcrowding in the cells and appears to object to the
configuration of the unit. He also alleges, on information
and belief, that at times he was only cells away from inmates
who had infectious diseases.
complains that correctional officers allow inmates to throw
feces, to throw trash on the gallery, and to bang and kick
their doors, without reprisal. He claims to have had feces
thrown on him, leaving him in fear of catching a disease.
Plaintiff claims that his cell on the North Cell House was
filthy and had a feces-contaminated food slot. Plaintiff was
so disgusted that he suffered stomach aches and was, at
times, unable to eat.
claims that there were roaches, spiders, and mice in his cell
and that he was bitten by bugs. He alleges that there had
been mouse droppings in his cell and on his food. He also
claims that his sink had a rusted-out faucet, with mold
growing around it. He claims, without support, that the water
in the sink is contaminated with radium and lead, causing him
to experience severe stomach pains, cramps, joint pain,
migraine headaches and constipation.
also complains that the vent in his cell was filthy and he
could not access the air duct to clean it. He claims that the
ventilation system blew dust, dirt, and mold into the cells.
He claims that the air itself was contaminated with dust,
vermin, dander, hair, lead, wool fibers, urine and feces
fumes, mold, and mace. These conditions have caused him to
sneeze and his nose to run. In addition, he chokes, coughs
uncontrollably, has burning of his eyes and difficulty
breathing and concentrating.
also complains about his bedding. He claims that the mattress
was torn, dirty and had an odor. In addition, he went several
months without a pillow. He claims that these conditions
caused him low back pain, difficulty sleeping and mental
anguish. Plaintiff also alleges that inmates frequently
flooded the gallery with sewage which ran into his cell. He
complains that staff turned off the water when this occurred
and took “all day” to clean it up.
makes the conclusory allegation that the facility got
excessively hot in the summer, causing him to feel dizzy,
disoriented, and exhausted. Plaintiff does not indicate,
however, the temperatures to which he was exposed or the
length of time he was exposed to them. He claims, further,
that there was excessive noise which caused him to suffer
sleep deprivation. Plaintiff complains that, despite the
overall filth, he was not given adequate cleaning supplies.
also complains of the food service, alleging that he was
served cold meals on old rusty trays, and that staff serving
the food did not always wear rubber gloves and hairnets. The
carts used to transport the food trays are allegedly used to
transport “trash, prisoners' property, dirty
mattresses, mail, laundry and cleaning supplies.”
Plaintiff alleges that this has caused him to be sick,
experiencing stomach pains, diarrhea, and cramps. He also
expresses dissatisfaction with the prison laundry, claiming
that the clothes he sent out came back dirty and he had to
rewash them. When he did so, he did not have hooks in his
cell so he could hang the clothes to dry.
claims, generally, that these conditions caused him to
develop a severe allergic reaction to the mold, asbestos,
dirt, dust mites, roaches, mice, and bugs. He does not state,
however, that he had been diagnosed with an allergic reaction
or particularly identify the symptoms related to the severe
allergic reaction. Plaintiff claims additional physical
injury in the form of abdominal pain, bumps [location not
identified] which exude pus and blood and knots in his
throat; as well as back, neck and knee pain. In addition, he
experiences the psychological fear of becoming ill or
developing a disease. This fear has caused headaches, stomach
aches, loss of appetite and loss of sleep.
alleges that Warden Melvin was aware of these conditions
through the John Howard Association Monitoring Report which
covered the period 2013 through 2015. Plaintiff asserts,
without identifying the basis for this belief, that Defendant
Melvin personally received copies of the Pontiac Sanitation
Reports from 2016 to 2017. Plaintiff also sent a letter to
Defendant Melvin on July 28, 2016, complaining of these
conditions. As to the other Defendants, Plaintiff indicates
that Defendants Prentice, Evans, Corley, Dalton, Meister, and
Shoemaker worked on the North Cell House during the time in
question and were aware of the conditions. In addition, he
informed them of his complaints verbally and in written
grievances. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants were all aware
of the conditions and aware of the physical and psychological
symptoms he suffered.
Plaintiff asserts a state law claim of Intentional Infliction
of Emotional Distress (“IIED”) against all
Defendants. “Under Illinois law, a plaintiff claiming
intentional infliction of emotional distress must demonstrate
that the defendant intentionally or recklessly engaged in
‘extreme and outrageous conduct' that resulted in
severe emotional distress.” Dent v. Nally, No.
16-00442, 2016 WL 2865998, at *4 (S.D. Ill. May 17, 2016)
(internal citations omitted). “[E]motional distress
alone is not sufficient to give rise to a cause of action.
The emotional distress must be severe...unendurable by a
reasonable person…” Sornberger v. City of
Knoxville, Ill., 434 F.3d 1006, 1030 (7th Cir. 2006)
(internal citations omitted). “Although fright, horror,
grief, shame, humiliation, worry, etc. may fall within the
ambit of the term ‘emotional distress,' these
mental conditions alone are not actionable.”
Id. at 1030.
also names five Doe Defendants in his prayer for relief.
Plaintiff did not, however, plead any facts regarding Doe
individuals in the body of his complaint. It is clear that
merely naming a defendant, without any allegations against
him is insufficient to state a claim. See Collins v.
Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir.1998). As this is
Plaintiff's third attempt and has not pled any misconduct
on the part of the Doe Defendants, they will be dismissed. As
Plaintiff fails to replead claims against Defendants Tilden,
Foley, and Wexford, they are dismissed as well.
successfully allege deliberate indifference, Plaintiff must
establish both an objective and a subjective component. In a
claim related to inhumane conditions of confinement, a
plaintiff must establish the objective component by pleadings
that the deprivations were ‘objectively, sufficiently
serious…' that ‘the prison official's
act or omission [resulted] in the denial of the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities.'”
Staggs v. Hollenbeck, 248 F.3d 1159 (7th Cir. 2000).
To establish the subjective component, a plaintiff must show
that a defendant was deliberately indifferent, “that
the official knew about the risk of harm, had the ability to