United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Johnny Sloan, an inmate currently confined at the New Castle
Correctional Facility, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. He names the following defendants: 1)
Plainfield Correctional Facility; 2) Dr. Murat Polar; and 3)
Corizon Health (“Corizon”). Each defendant is
sued in his official and individual capacities. Mr. Sloan
seeks compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive
Sloan has paid the initial partial filing fee. The complaint
is now subject to the screening requirement of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b). This statute directs that the court dismiss
a complaint or any claim within a complaint which “(1)
is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id.
incidents alleged in the complaint occurred at the Plainfield
Correctional Facility (“Plainfield”). Mr. Sloan
alleges that he arrived at Plainfield on January 17, 2015. He
was in a wheelchair “due to his disabilities and large
size.” Complaint, Dkt. 1, p. 1. He was housed in the
North Dorm which has a 4X4 handicap shower stall. He was
unable to maneuver, however, in the limited space and it
lacked handicap rails. He had to borrow another inmate's
cane to get in and out of the shower. The shower had what he
alleges to be an unstable, slick plastic chair.
about March 23, 2015, Mr. Sloan slipped and fell while
attempting to get out of the shower, injuring his shoulder
and knee. He saw medical staff that day and was told to apply
ice. He received months of medical treatment for his
shoulder, but on June 12, 2015, an MRI allegedly showed a
“tear on the rotor cuff.” Dkt. 1, p. 2. He
alleges, however, that medical staff told him there was no
tear. He received no further treatment and remains unable to
push himself in his wheelchair due to pain and reduced
March 23, 2015, after he fell, Mr. Sloan notified prison
staff that the North Dorm shower was not handicap accessible
in that there were no handicap rails and no benches upon
which to sit. In mid-April 2015, Mr. Sloan was moved to East
Dorm which had a shower equipped with what he alleges was an
unstable shower seat made from PVC piping and topped with a
toilet seat. In June 2015, Mr. Sloan was moved to J Dorm and
the shower there had a step into it, which made it unusable
for him without assistance from other inmates. He alleges
that having non-handicap accessible showers was negligent and
deliberately indifferent to his health and safety.
addition, Mr. Sloan alleges that on “many
occasions” he was denied time in the recreation area
because there was “no wheelchair ramp around the other
side of there [sic] area and hoped and requested prison staff
would unlock it to allow him entry to the rec area.”
Dkt. 1, p. 2. He alleges this constituted the denial of basic
human needs. Mr. Sloan's claims are each discussed below.
noted, Mr. Sloan's claims are brought under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Any claim against Plainfield is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
because it is a building, not a suable entity under section
claim for injunctive relief is denied as moot because Mr.
Sloan is no longer confined at Plainfield. Jaros v.
Illinois Dept. of Corrections, 684 F.3d 667, 670 n. 3.
(7th Cir. 2012).
of Exercise Claim - Constitutional Claim
Court acknowledges that exercise is “a necessary
requirement for physical and mental well-being, ”
however, “short-term denials of exercise may be
inevitable in the prison context and are not so detrimental
as to constitute a constitutional deprivation.”
Delaney v. DeTella, 256 F.3d 679, 683-84 (7th Cir.
2001) (collecting cases). The complaint is not specific
enough to state a viable Eighth Amendment claim with regard
to the alleged denial of time in the recreation area. It is
not alleged that Mr. Sloan was deprived of all exercise,
inside and outdoors, nor is it clear what “many
occasions” means, or whether the denial of exercise was
sporadic depending on where prison staff were stationed at
various times. “Allowing inmates only two showers and
four hours of outside recreation each week does not violate
the Eighth Amendment.” Vasquez v. Braemer, 586
Fed.Appx. 224, 228 (7th Cir. 2014) (collecting cases that
approved of three hours weekly of outdoor recreation when
indoor exercise was allowed). In addition, no defendant was
alleged to have denied Mr. Sloan exercise. “Because
vicarious liability is inapplicable to . . . § 1983
suits, a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official
defendant, through the official's own individual actions,
has violated the Constitution.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009). For these reasons, the
Eighth Amendment denial of exercise claim is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
of Accessible Showers - ...