United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
STEPHEN D. GREEN, #K91760, Plaintiff,
DAVE PALM, and RONALD VITALE, ROB JEFFREYS, SUSAN GRIFFIN, DR. AFUWAPE, WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCE, INC., ST. ELIZABETH'S HOSPITAL, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Stephen Green, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center
(“Southwestern Illinois CC”), brings this civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff claims
that after a pallet of sandbags was dropped on his foot, he
received inadequate medical care. He seeks monetary damages
and injunctive relief.
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. Rodriquez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
makes the following allegations: On June 7, 2019,
correctional officer Dave Palm lowered a pallet of sandbags
onto his foot. (Doc. 1, p. 6). That same day Plaintiff was
examined by Dr. Afuwape, who grabbed and twisted his injured
foot. Plaintiff was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital,
where he was kept chained and confined to a transport
wheelchair. He was not allowed to have an MRI or to be
examined on an examination table. On July 10, 2019, despite
trying to show Dr. Afuwape paperwork from St. Elizabeth's
Hospital and telling Dr. Afuwape that he was still
experiencing pain in his foot, Dr. Afuwape took
Plaintiff's crutches. Id. at p. 7. Health Care
Administrator, Susan Griffin, also knew Plaintiff still had
persistent foot pain and disregarded the paperwork from the
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to designate the following three Counts:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim of
deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's safety against
Palm, Vitale, and Jeffreys.
Count 2: Illinois state law claim of
negligence against Palm, Vitale, and Jeffreys.
Count 3: Eighth Amendment claim of
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against
Vitale, Griffin, Dr. Afuwape, Wexford, and St.
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 the
Twombly pleading standard.
Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual
punishment requires prison officials to “take
reasonable measures to ensure an inmate's safety.”
Christopher v. Buss, 384 F.3d 879, 882 (7th Cir.
2004) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825
(1994)). “To state a claim premised on prison
officials' failure to protect him from harm, [plaintiff]
must allege that the defendants knew of and disregarded an
‘excessive risk' to his ‘health and
safety.'” Id. An excessive risk “is
one that society considers so grave that to expose any
unwilling individual to it would offend contemporary
standards of decency”. Id. (citing Helling
v. McKinney, 503 U.S. 25, 36 (1993)).
Plaintiff claims a pallet of sandbags was lowered onto his
foot causing an injury that required treatment by an outside
hospital, he has alleged enough to demonstrate that his work
conditions exposed him to a sufficiently serious risk of harm
at the pleading stage. He also claims that Warden Vitale was
present onsite for several days supervising the sandbag
operations, knew about the unsafe ...