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.

Mason v. Wexford Med. Serv.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

April 4, 2018

JOSHUA MASON, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD MED. SERV., KUENZLI, SAMUAL BYRD, MARY CHAVEZ, JACKIE DENNING, KIM HOBSON, THOMAS WILLINGTON, Defendants.

          ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT CLAIMS AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         I.

         The plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis, Dkt. No. 3, is granted. He is assessed an initial partial filing fee of Ten Dollars and Eighty Three Cents. He shall have through May 3, 2018, to pay this sum to the clerk.

         II. Screening

         Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated. The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. § 1915A(b).

         A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Gladney v. Pendelton Corr. Facility, 302 F.3d 773, 774 (7th Cir. 2002). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; Gladney, 302 F.3d at 774. “Malicious, ” although sometimes treated as a synonym for “frivolous, ” “is more usefully construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109 (7th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted); accord Paul v. Marberry, 658 F.3d 702, 705 (7th Cir. 2011).

         To state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts, and his statement need only “give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)); see Christopher v. Buss, 384 F.3d 879, 881 (7th Cir. 2004). However, a complaint that offers “labels and conclusions” or “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). To state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its face.” Id. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. The complaint allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Christopher, 384 F.3d at 881.

         In considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should follow the principles set forth in Twombly by first “identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal conclusions must be supported by factual allegations. Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations, the Court must then “assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id.

         To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a person or persons acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). The Court is obliged to give the plaintiff's pro se allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         III. The Complaint

         Here, the plaintiff names as defendants Wexford Medical Services, Dr. Kuenzli, Dr. Samual Byrd, Dr. Mary Chavez, Dr. Jackie Denning, Nurse Kim Hobson, and Grievance Specialist Thomas Willington. He alleges the defendants violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment when they refused to or failed to properly treat his broken hand and as a result he is in serious pain.

         More specifically, he alleges that he broke his hand on April 1, 2016, and Dr. Mary Chavez failed to treat it. He was then assisted by attorney Ken Faulk from the ACLU who reached an agreement with Wexford Medical Services to treat his hand with either surgery or pain medication. The plaintiff was then prescribed the pain medication Neurotin. In November of 2017, the plaintiff alleges that Wexford discontinued all prescriptions for Neurotin and did not prescribe him an alternative pain medication.

         On January 4, 2018, the plaintiff was seen by Dr. Jackie Dennings for his pain. He alleges when Dr. Dennings saw his tattoos and realized he was an Aryan, she kicked him out of her office and refused to treat him because he was a racist. He was in pain.

         The plaintiff submitted several health care request forms. While he was not seen by a medical provider, the plaintiff was prescribed prednisone for pain. He submitted a grievance that he alleges ...


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.