Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Whitehead v. M. Hille

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 16, 2020

JEFFREY WHITEHEAD, Plaintiff,
v.
M. HILLE, T. GRISSOM, K. SMOOT, DOCTOR DAVID, NURSE HILLARY, KASSANDRA FREEMAN, and DEBBIE PERKINS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL Chief U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jeffrey Whitehead, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Dixon Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights while he was housed at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). Plaintiff's original Complaint was dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim, but he was granted leave to file an Amended Complaint. In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the defendants were deliberately indifferent in failing to fix an unsecured wooden box which caused Plaintiff injuries and were deliberately indifferent in treating those injuries. He asserts claims against the defendants under the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.

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

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Amended Complaint: On September 21, 2018, Plaintiff stepped up on a box step in the housing unit to retrieve his mail from the delivery window (Doc. 5, p. 16). The box was unsecured and it slid out from underneath him, causing Plaintiff's arm to catch in the delivery window, breaking his arm. Plaintiff alleges that M. Hille and T. Grissom should have identified the hazard and repaired it before his injury. Plaintiff wrote a grievance about the unsecured box after his injury.

         After receiving the injury, Plaintiff was sent to the healthcare unit. Over the course of the next three days, Plaintiff saw Nurse Hillary, Kassandra Freeman, and Debbie Perkins (Doc. 1, p. 17). It is not clear from the Amended Complaint whether they treated Plaintiff, but Plaintiff alleges that he was not referred to Dr. David until after those three days (Id.). Dr. David examined Plaintiff and ordered x-rays which showed a broken arm. Dr. David and K. Smoot then referred Plaintiff to a specialist on September 28, 2018 (Id.). After consultation with the specialist and additional x-rays, Plaintiff had surgery for his broken arm on October 13, 2018. The surgery required a permanent steel plate and screws placed in his arm.

         Discussion

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

Count 1: M. Hille and T. Grissom were deliberately indifferent under the Eighth Amendment for failing to fix the unsecured box.
Count 2: Nurse Hillary, Debbie Perkins, Kassandra Freeman, Dr. David, and K. Smoot were deliberately indifferent under the Eighth Amendment in treating Plaintiff's broken arm.

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

         Count 1

         Plaintiff fails to state a claim for deliberate indifference in Count 1. Although Plaintiff alleges that the box was unsecured, he fails to allege that M. Hille or T. Grissom had knowledge that the box was unsecured or that it would slip out from under an inmate. Plaintiff alleges that he wrote a grievance about the unsecured box but only after he fell. There is no indication in the Amended Complaint that the defendants were aware of the hazard posed by the box prior to Plaintiff's injuries. Delaney v. DeTella, 256 F.3d 679, 685 (7th Cir. 2001) (“in determining whether prison officials had knowledge of the potential harm, we consider whether the circumstances suggest that the defendant-official being sued had been exposed to information concerning the risk and thus must have known about it”) (internal quotations omitted). Accordingly, Count 1 is DISMISSED without prejudice.

         Coun ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.