United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
DE'ADRIAN C. BOYKINS, Plaintiff,
JASON GRIFFITH, MICHELLE FLOWERS, PAUL TALBOT, JASON ERNEST, MATTHEW SARTEN, Defendants.
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
De'Adrian Boykins is an inmate at Pendleton Correctional
Facility (PCF). Because Mr. Boykins is a
“prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(c), this Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b) to screen the complaint before service on the
defendants. For the reasons set forth below, Mr. Boykins'
complaint must be dismissed.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the
complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. In determining
whether the complaint states a claim, the Court applies the
same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Cesal v.
Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2017). To survive
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face. 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.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro se
complaints such as that filed by the plaintiff are construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Perez v. Fenoglio, 792
F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).
The Complaint 
Boykins alleges deliberate indifference to medical treatment
for his diabetes while incarcerated at PCF from November
2018-January 2019. The defendants are Jason Griffith, Jason
Ernest, and Matthew Sarten, who were employed as custody
officials at PCF by the Indiana Department of Correction
(IDOC); and Paul Talbot and Michelle Flowers, who were
medical professionals employed by Wexford to treat PCF
inmates pursuant to a contract with the IDOC. Mr. Boykins
asserts claims for damages and injunctive relief against all
November 21, 2018, Mr. Boykins was confined in the general
population at PCF. He was diabetic, and the prison medical
staff had ordered that, three times each day, he receive a
blood sugar test and insulin. On November 21, he was moved
from the general population to disciplinary segregation. From
that date until January 15, 2019, Mr. Boykins did not receive
blood sugar testing or insulin according to the medical
staff's orders. During that time, Mr. Boykins notified
the custody staff-including Mr. Griffith, Mr. Ernest, and Mr.
Sarten-of his diabetes and the treatment he was supposed to
receive. However, the custody staff refused to arrange for
Mr. Boykins to visit the medical offices and maintained it
was the medical staff's responsibility to administer that
treatment. Mr. Boykins wrote the medical staff multiple times
and was told that it was the custody staff's
responsibility to escort him to the medical offices for
treatment. Finally, Dr. Talbot intervened on January 15 to
ensure that Mr. Boykins was being tested and receiving
insulin according to his treatment plan. The complaint does
not state whether or how Mr. Boykins was injured by the lack
of treatment from November 21 through January 15.
to the Eighth Amendment, prison officials have a duty to
provide humane conditions of confinement, meaning, they must
take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the
inmates and ensure that they receive adequate food, clothing,
shelter, and medical care. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 834 (1994). To prevail on an Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference medical claim, a plaintiff must
demonstrate two elements: (1) he suffered from an objectively
serious medical condition; and (2) the defendant knew about
the plaintiff's condition and the substantial risk of
harm it posed but disregarded that risk. Id. at 837;
Pittman ex rel. Hamilton v. County of Madison, Ill.,
746 F.3d 766, 775 (7th Cir. 2014). “[C]onduct is
‘deliberately indifferent' when the official has
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) (internal
citations and quotations omitted).
plaintiff cannot prevail on an Eighth Amendment claim by
showing only that he had a serious medical need and that the
defendants did nothing about it. Indeed, the plaintiff also
must show that he was actually harmed by the
defendants' indifference. This is because “there is
no tort without an actionable injury caused by the
defendant's wrongful act.” Fields v.
Wharrie, 740 F.3d 1107, 1111 (7th Cir. 2014).
the complaint does not state how Mr. Boykins was injured, it
fails to state a plausible claim for relief against any of
the defendants. A complaint must describe “the claim in
sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice of what
the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Bravo v. Midland Credit Mgmt., 812 F.3d 599, 601
(7th Cir. 2016). By failing to include any information about
how he was harmed by the defendants' actions, Mr. Boykins
has failed to give the defendants fair notice of his claims
and the grounds for them.
is an additional problem with Mr. Boykins' claims against
Dr. Talbot and Ms. Flowers. Claims for damages resulting from
constitutional violations proceed under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, and “[i]ndividual liability under § 1983 . .
. requires personal involvement in the alleged constitutional
deprivation.” Colbert v. City of Chicago, 851
F.3d 649, 657 (7th Cir. 2017) (internal quotation omitted).
As to Ms. Flowers, the complaint states only that she is
liable “for not interfering sooner and allowing this to
manifest for almost two months.” Dkt. 1 at 2. The
complaint asserts the same allegation against Dr. Talbot and
adds only that he was eventually responsible for ensuring
that Mr. Boykins received regular testing and insulin. These
allegations do not support a reasonable inference that Dr.
Talbot or Ms. Flowers knew before January 15, 2019, that Mr.