United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW - AMENDED COMPLAINT
BILLY MCDADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se, files an amended complaint under
§ 1983, alleging excessive force and deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs at the Illinois
River Correctional Center (“IRCC”). The case is
before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. In reviewing the 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
Court conducted a merit review of Plaintiff's original
complaint on July 25, 2019. There, the Court found that
Plaintiff had pled a colorable deliberate indifference claim
against Defendant Jones. The Court dismissed the excessive
force claim against Defendant Jones, with leave to replead.
The Court also dismissed the deliberate indifference claims
against Defendants Bartlett and a Jane Doe Nurse, with leave
realleges that on November 12, 2018, he was on a 15-minute
mental health crisis watch. On the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift,
Defendant Jones opened the chuckhole door and placed a chair
directly in front of it where he sat, staring at Plaintiff.
Defendant continue to do so though Plaintiff told him that
this was triggering his anxiety. When Defendant failed to
cease the surveillance, Plaintiff closed the chuckhole door,
only to have Defendant re-open it. The two went back and
forth several times, exchanging “heated words.”
Plaintiff rested his hand on the chuckhole and Plaintiff
Defendant allegedly, intentionally slammed it, injuring
Plaintiff's hand. Plaintiff indicates that his hand was
swollen and painful and, despite his requests, Defendant
Jones refused to provide him medical attention.
experienced pain throughout the night. The following morning,
Officer Phelps responded, calling Defendant Nurse Bartlett.
Plaintiff claims, however, that Defendant Bartlett merely
glanced at his hand from across the table and prescribed him
ibuprofen. Defendant Bartlett did not refer Plaintiff to a
physician as requested but advised that he could put in for
sick call if the pain did not abate. Plaintiff claims that he
put in for sick call several days later but,
“regardless of how many nurses I was seen by I got the
same results which was nothing other than mere
ibuprofen.” Plaintiff does not claim, however, that he
specifically told Defendant Bartlett that he continued to
experience pain in his hand.
indicates that several months later, he was seen by an
unnamed Nurse Practitioner who ordered x-rays of his hand.
The February 1, 2019 x-ray showed a healing fracture of the
hand. Plaintiff claims that Defendants Jones and Bartlett, as
well as not particularly identified nursing staff, were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition in
failing to adequately treat is injury.
claims that Defendant Jones purposefully slammed the door on
his hand states a claim of unconstitutional force. See
Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 320-21 (1986) (the
relevant inquiry in an excessive force claim is
“whether force was applied in a good faith effort to
maintain or restore discipline or maliciously and
sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm.”)
Plaintiff also states a colorable claim that Defendant Jones
was deliberately indifferent in regard to the resulting hand
allegations against Defendant Bartlett, however, fail to
state a claim. When Defendant saw him the day after the
injury, she performed a cursory review and provided pain
medication. Defendant also advised Plaintiff to submit a sick
call request in the event that the pain did not subside.
While Plaintiff claims that he complained of pain to various
staff members, he does not claim that he made any subsequent
complaints to Defendant Bartlett. As a result, Plaintiff
fails to allege that Defendant Bartlett had a sufficiently
culpable state of mind. That is, that Defendant's
behavior was “something approaching a total unconcern
for [plaintiff's] welfare in the face of serious risks,
or a conscious, culpable refusal to prevent harm.”
Lunsford v. Bennett, 17 F.3d 1574, 1580 (7th Cir.
makes a general reference to other nurses, not indicating
with whom he spoke, when he spoke to them, the complaints he
relayed, or the treatment which he requested. This is too
vague to state a claim against unnamed nursing staff. See
Ross Brothers Construction Co., Inc., v. International Steel
Services, Inc. 2002 WL 413172 at 4 (7th Cir. 2002) (Fed.
R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) requires that a complaint place a
defendant on fair notice of the claims against him). The
deliberate indifference claims against Nurse Bartlett and Doe
Nurses is DISMISSED.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
case shall proceed on the deliberate indifference and
excessive force claims against Defendant Jones. The
deliberate indifference claims against Defendants Bartlett
and unnamed Doe Nurses is DISMISSED with leave to replead
within 30 days. If Plaintiff repleads these claims he is to
file a Second Amended Complaint which is to include all of
his claims without reference to a prior pleading. Any claims
not identified will not be included in the case, except in
the Court's discretion upon motion by a party for good
cause shown, or by leave of court pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 15.
Court notes that the claims against Defendant Phelps had been
dismissed in the Court's July 25, 2019 merit review
order. The ...