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Keel v. Hobson

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

April 24, 2018

SETH JOSEPH KEEL, Plaintiff,
v.
KIM HOBSON, DR. BYRD, BANOO, R. ROBINSON, LAUREN MILLER, MICHELLE HADLEY, RICHARDSON, N. DUGGAR, PATRICK, PORTER, WRIGHT, DAVIS, HIATT, DENNINGS, Defendants.

          ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court Southern District of Indiana

         Plaintiff Seth Keel, an inmate at the Westville Correctional Facility, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that he was deprived of appropriate medical care while he was confined at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

         I. Screening Standard

         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).

         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's 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)).

         II. Discussion

         A. Allegations of the Complaint

         The plaintiff alleges that on November 11, 2017, he had a seizure in his cell and was injured. He notified Officers Wright and Duggar, but they ignored him. A short time later, Officers Wiggins and Richardson escorted him to the medical bay where Nurse Lauren Miller was hostile to him and did not properly treat his injuries.

         The next day, he had another seizure and was injured again. Officer J. Porter answered his emergency call and told him she would send an officer to his cell. Officers Rinard and Patrick escorted him to medical. Nurse Hadley failed to properly treat his injuries.

         The plaintiff also alleges that he has been reaching out for medical assistance, but Kim Hobson has refused to assist him.

         On November 27, 2017, Dr. Byrd prescribed him Depakote and Tylenol for his pain. On December 7, 2017, Dr. Dennings discontinued the Depakote because it causes nausea and eating problems. She ordered an EKG, which has not been performed. Dr. Denning also prescribed Keppra.

         Nurse Robinson, Nurse Hadley, and Nurse Miller have all seen the plaintiff for sick call and did ...


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