United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Simon Judge
Turner Bey, a pro se prisoner, initially filed a
complaint against eight defendants as a result of being
served food containing soy at the Indiana State Prison (ISP).
I explained that his general claim for being served a soy
diet was not cognizable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Nevertheless, because Turner Bey seemed to indicate that the
quality of soy being served was otherwise dangerous, I
granted him to leave to amend his complaint in order to
further elaborate on that potential claim, in the spirit of
Luevano v. Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013).
Bey has now filed an amended complaint. ECF 10. A filing by
an unrepresented party “is to be liberally construed,
and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be
held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted).
Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must
review the merits of a prisoner complaint and dismiss it if
the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. “In
order to state a claim under § 1983 a plaintiff must
allege: (1) that defendants deprived him of a federal
constitutional right; and (2) that the defendants acted under
color of state law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d
667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
amended complaint, Turner Bey decided not to pursue his claim
that the quality of soy being served at ISP is dangerous.
Instead, his allegations center around the more general
complaint that ISP served him food containing soy. Turner Bey
sues Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, the Indiana Department of
Correction (IDOC), ISP Superintendent Ron Neal, Aramark,
Aramark Supervisor Mr. Peoples, Aramark Contract Monitor John
Schilling, Mr. Crane, and an unidentified ISP dietician.
Turner Bey seeks money damages and injunctive relief.
start, Turner Bey again claims that the defendants'
decision to serve him (and the other inmates at ISP) a
soy-based diet, in and of itself, violates the Eighth
Amendment. I have previously explained that this claim has no
traction. ECF 9. For the reasons fully explained in that May
21, 2018, decision, Turner-Bey's general complaint about
being served a soy-based diet does not state a claim. See
Turner Bey alleges that prison officials violated the Eighth
Amendment by serving him soy because it caused him health
problems. It is true that, “[a]lthough the provision of
a soy diet, as a general matter, does not violate the Eighth
Amendment, it may still amount to cruel and unusual
punishment if a plaintiff has a serious medical condition for
which soy is contraindicated.” Riley-El v.
Godinez, 2015 WL 4572322 at *4-5. In Riley-El,
the plaintiff was diagnosed with a serious medical condition
for which an outside doctor advised him to reduce his soy
intake. Id. Riley-El claimed to be consuming too
much soy in light of his health condition. He brought these
concerns to the attention of prison officials, who failed to
act. The court found that his allegations about the effect of
consuming soy under those circumstances were sufficient to
survive a motion to dismiss. Id. But, quite unlike
the plaintiff in Riley-El, Turner Bey does not
allege to have been diagnosed with any serious medical
condition for which soy is contraindicated. Thus, Turner Bey
can find no relief under this theory.
not diagnosed, I note that Turner Bey alleges that “soy
meat has caused me diarrhea on numerous occasions, it's
caused me to feel woozy, aggravated, symptoms of feeling lava
hot and ice cold during summer months plus in the winter,
I've thrown up blood with my food, it's made my blood
pressure rise to like 100 something over 100 something and
other things where are documented on these 7 health care
request forms I've submitted to show what it's done
to me.” ECF 10 at 3. The simple fact that Turner
Bey may have gotten ill from eating soy does not make the
defendants liable to him. Prison officials only violate the
Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual
punishment when their conduct demonstrates “deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners.”
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). The
deliberate indifference standard is satisfied if the
plaintiff shows that the prison official acted or failed to
act despite the official's knowledge of a substantial
risk of serious harm.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 841 (1994). Even if Turner Bey suffered negative
health effects from exposure to soy, there are no allegations
that any of the defendants knew the risks of serving Turner
Bey a soy diet prior to implementing it. Thus, there is no
alleged deliberate indifference on their part. As a result,
these allegations could not state a claim against any
case is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A because
the complaint does not state a claim for which relief can be
 I have examined each of these seven
forms to see what, exactly, is going on. In them, Turner Bey
makes various complaints to health care staff. But, none of
these forms suggest Turner Bey is suffering from, or has been
diagnosed with, a serious medical condition for which soy is
contraindicated. ECF 10 at 6-12. Nor do any of these forms
indicate soy is causing the complained of health problems. In
fact, none of the seven health care forms even mention soy.
Id. Instead, Turner Bey attributed each his health
problems to something other than soy. Id. Thus,
Turner Bey's ...