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Carter v. Shah

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 10, 2020

RICKEY A. CARTER, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. SHAH, A. VANSCHEYEK, LYNN PITTMAN, MAJOR CARIE, and DANA SPRAGUE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Rickey A. Carter, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges defendants were deliberately indifferent to his need for a bottom bunk permit while at Robinson Correctional Center. He asserts claims against the defendants under the Eighth Amendment as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and Rehabilitation Act (“RA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-94e. Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment and monetary damages.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint 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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint: On April 10, 2019, Plaintiff saw Dr. Lynn Pittman for his diabetes while his normal doctor, Dr. Shah, was on vacation (Doc. 1, p. 45). Dr. Pittman examined his hands, fingernails, and fingers and determined that his body needed special vitamins that he was not getting from his current diet. She prescribed him a high protein diet. When Dr. Shah returned from vacation, he determined that the special diet was not needed and discontinued the diet. He did not examine Plaintiff's hands and missed the proper diagnosis (Id.).

         On July 12, 2019, while in segregation, Plaintiff was informed by A. Vanscheyek that he was being moved to a different cell (Doc. 1, p. 46). Plaintiff informed Vanscheyek that he could not be placed on the top bunk due to his diabetes. Vanscheyek wrote Plaintiff a disciplinary report for refusing to obey the order to change cells (Id.). On July 13, 2019, Plaintiff refused to eat or take his medications and was placed in the healthcare unit. Six days later, Major Carie informed Plaintiff he was being moved back to segregation, and Plaintiff informed Carie that he could not be placed in a top bunk because he had a bottom bunk permit. Dana Sprague found Plaintiff's permit and noted that it had expired. She called Dr. Pittman who deemed that Plaintiff could be placed in a top bunk even though he had diabetes and was weak from not eating or taking his prescribed medications (Id. at pp. 47-48).

         On July 20, 2019, Plaintiff fell from the top bunk onto the concrete floor, injuring his head (Id. at p. 48). Plaintiff suffered from blurred vision and continuous headaches from the fall. He was provided with Tylenol and sent back to his room. On July 30, 2019, he saw Dr. Shah because Plaintiff ended his hunger and medicine strike (Id. at p. 49). When Dr. Shah learned of his injuries, he informed plaintiff that he should not have been placed on the top bunk and renewed Plaintiff's bottom bunk permit. He also scheduled an eye doctor appointment for Plaintiff and provided him with more Tylenol for his headache (Id.).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into the following three counts:

Count 1: Vipin Shah was deliberately indifferent under the Eighth Amendment to Plaintiff's need for a special diabetes diet.
Count 2: Defendants violated his rights under the ADA and/or RA when they denied him a bottom bunk permit and assigned him to a top bunk.
Count 3: Vipin Shah, A. Vanscheyek, Lynn Pittman, Major Carie, and Dana Sprague were deliberately indifferent under the Eighth Amendment to Plaintiff's need for a bottom bunk permit.

         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 other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under the Twombly pleading standard.[1]

         Coun ...


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