United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. SIMON JUDGE.
LeeAnthony Brown, a pro se prisoner, filed a
complaint alleging that he received inadequate medical
treatment while a pretrial detainee at the St. Joseph County
Jail. A document filed pro se 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).
Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must
review the complaint and dismiss it if the action is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. “In order to state a claim under [42 U.S.C.]
§ 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).
complaint, Brown alleges that he became incarcerated at the
St. Joseph County Jail on January 18, 2017. Upon intake, he
told Nurse Nancy about his medical history and current
necessary prescription medications. Nurse Nancy told him that
she would make sure he got his prescription medications,
however, that never happened. Following intake, Brown
constantly reminded Nurse Nancy of his need for prescription
medications, but those requests went ignored. Brown then
informed Nurse LaToya, Nurse LaTosha, and Nurse Stephanie of
his need for those previously prescribed medications. Even
though these nurses knew that Brown needed to be on these
medications, they ignored his requests as well. Brown did not
receive any of his prescription medications for the remainder
of his stay at the St. Joseph County Jail. As a result of not
having his medications, Brown alleges that he endured pain
and suffering. On January 12, 2018, he was transferred to the
Lake County Jail. Medical professionals at the Lake County
Jail immediately placed him on those medications. Brown sues
these four nurses for money damages.
alleges a claim of deliberate indifference against Nurse
Nancy, Nurse LaToya, Nurse LaTosha and Nurse Stephanie for
denying him his necessary prescription medications while
housed at the St. Joseph County Jail. “Although the
Eighth Amendment applies only to convicted persons, pretrial
detainees . . . are entitled to the same basic protections
under the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause.
Accordingly, [courts] apply the same legal standards to
deliberate indifference claims brought under either the
Eighth or Fourteenth Amendment.” Minix v.
Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 831 (7th Cir. 2010);
Phillips v. Sheriff of Cook Cty., 828 F.3d 541, 554
n. 31 (7th Cir. 2016). Inmates are entitled to adequate
medical care. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
establish liability, a prisoner must satisfy both an
objective and subjective component by showing: (1) his
medical need was objectively serious; and (2) the defendant
acted with deliberate indifference to that medical need.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). A
medical need is “serious” if it is one that a
physician has diagnosed as mandating treatment, or one that
is so obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize
the necessity for a doctor's attention. Greeno v.
Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 653 (7th Cir. 2005). Deliberate
indifference means that the defendant “acted in an
intentional or criminally reckless manner, i.e., the
defendant must have known that the plaintiff was at serious
risk of being harmed and decided not to do anything to
prevent that harm from occurring even though he could have
easily done so.” Board v. Farnham, 394 F.3d
469, 478 (7th Cir. 2005).
medical professional to be held liable for deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need, he or she must make a
decision that represents “such a substantial departure
from accepted professional judgment, practice, or standards,
as to demonstrate that the person responsible actually did
not base the decision on such a judgment.” Jackson
v. Kotter, 541 F.3d 688, 697 (7th Cir. 2008). A mere
disagreement with medical professionals about the appropriate
course of treatment does not establish deliberate
indifference, nor does negligence or even medical
malpractice. Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751
(7th Cir. 2011).
Brown states a plausible claim of deliberate indifference
against each of these nurses for denying him necessary
medical treatment. According to the allegations of the
complaint, each of them knew he needed his prescription
medications yet ignored that need for nearly an entire year.
DayShawn LeeAnthony Brown is GRANTED leave to proceed against
Nurse Nancy, Nurse Stephanie, Nurse LaToya and Nurse LaTosha,
for money damages for denying him his prescription
medications from January 18, 2017, to January 12, 2018, in
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
other claims are DISMISSED.
clerk and the United States Marshals Services are DIRECTED to
issue and serve process on Nurse Nancy, Nurse Stephanie,
Nurse LaToya and Nurse LaTosha at the St. Joseph County Jail
with a copy of this order and the complaint (ECF 1) as
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d).
Court ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), that
Nurse Nancy, Nurse Stephanie, Nurse LaToya and Nurse LaTosha
respond, as provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and N.D. Ind. L. R. 10.1, only to the claims for which