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Lavite v. Eales

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 11, 2019

GARY A. LAVITE, #12439, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER EALES, JOHN LAKIN, NURSE SMITH, and C/O REICHART, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court for preliminary review of the Amended Complaint (Doc. 7) filed by Plaintiff Gary Lavite, a detainee at Madison County Jail (“Jail”). Plaintiff brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for constitutional deprivations that resulted from his (1) inadequate medical care for cardiopulmonary conditions; (2) placement in a cellblock with an inmate who assaulted him two years earlier; and (3) exposure to asbestos. (Doc. 7, p. 6). Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive relief. (Id. at p. 7). In addition, he requests a preliminary injunction. (Doc. 9).

         The Amended Complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to review prisoner complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or asks for money damages from a defendant who is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). The factual allegations of the pro se complaint are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Amended Complaint (Doc. 7): During intake at the Jail in August 2019, Plaintiff informed Nurse Smith that he suffered a heart attack one month earlier while free. (Id. at pp. 2, 6). Smith responded that it “was not their problem, ” and they would obtain his medical records. (Id. at p. 6). The “Jail” also provided him with his inhaler once every twelve hours, instead of once every three hours. (Id.).

         On August 12, 2019, Officer Reichart moved Plaintiff to a dormitory where Thomas Gray was housed. (Id. at p. 6). At the time, Gray was subject to a “protective order” that prohibited him from coming within 500 feet of Plaintiff following his aggravated assault on Plaintiff two years earlier. (Id.). Gray threatened Plaintiff and caused him to suffer panic attacks and an upset stomach. (Id.). When Plaintiff reported this to Reichart, the officer told him that “jail is a bitch sometimes.” (Id.). Gray was moved away from Plaintiff on August 17, 2019. (Id.).

         Plaintiff also complains of ongoing asbestos removal without containment at the Jail. (Id.). When he filed grievances about this issue, Captain Eales denied the presence of asbestos. (Id.). Eales also “blocked . . . disclosure of defendants['] names . . . [and denied Plaintiff] adequate tools needed to [correspond] with this honorable Court.” (Id.).

         Based on these allegations, the Court finds it convenient to reorganize the pro se Amended Complaint into the following enumerated Counts:

Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Officer Reichart for failing to protect Plaintiff from Inmate Gray when Plaintiff informed the officer that they were housed in the same cellblock.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Nurse Smith for denying Plaintiff adequate medical care for his cardiopulmonary conditions.
Count 3: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Captain Eales for subjecting Plaintiff to unconstitutional conditions of confinement that included asbestos.
Count 4: First Amendment claim against Eales for denial of access to courts.

         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 Amended Complaint but not addressed herein is ...


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