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Simpson v. Corizon

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

July 24, 2017

CORIZON, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed plaintiffs financial information, the Court assesses a partial initial filing fee of $1.20, which is twenty percent of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Additionally, this action is dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).

         Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than "legal conclusions" and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct." Id. at 679. "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. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action against Corizon, Nurse Unknown Wooford, Lieutenant Unknown Richards, and Correctional Officer Unknown Hayles. He says Wooford refused to wear medical gloves when administering his seizure medication. She also refused to show him the "script card." He says he was afraid to take the pills because she was not providing sanitary conditions and because he did not trust that she was giving him the right pills, and therefore, he refused to take the pills of four separate occasions. On each of those occasions he had seizures. He told Richards about Wooford's actions, and Richards sent Hayles to investigate. Neither Richards nor Hayles caused Wofford to change her practices.


         To state a claim for medical mistreatment, plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to indicate a deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Camberos v. Branstad, 73 F.3d 174, 175 (8th Cir. 1995). Allegations of mere negligence in giving or failing to supply medical treatment will not suffice. Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106. In order to show deliberate indifference, plaintiff must allege that he suffered objectively serious medical needs and that defendants actually knew of but deliberately disregarded those needs. Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1239 (8th Cir. 1997). In order to state a claim against Corizon, plaintiff must allege that there was a policy, custom or official action that caused an actionable injury. Sanders v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 984 F.2d 972, 95-76 (8th Cir. 1993).

         Plaintiff has not alleged facts showing that Wooford was deliberately indifferent to his epilepsy. Wooford offered him the medication, and he refused to take it. He does not allege that she actually gave him the wrong medication on any occasion. Nor does he allege that he had seizures after taking the pills she gave him. Even if regular medical hygiene practices include wearing gloves while administering pills, Wooford's refusal to do so does not rise to the level of deliberate indifference. It amounts to negligence, at best. As a result, plaintiffs allegations against Wooford do not state a plausible claim for relief under § 1983.

         Plaintiffs claim against Corizon is frivolous because he has not alleged that Corizon's policies or customs caused an actionable injury.

         "Liability under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged deprivation of rights." Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009) ("Because vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and § 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant, through the official's own individual actions, has violated the Constitution."); George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007) ("Only persons who cause or participate in the [constitutional] violations are responsible. Ruling against a prisoner on an administrative complaint does not cause or contribute to the violation."). There are no allegations showing that Richards or Hayles were directly responsible for a violation of plaintiff s rights. Therefore, the complaint must be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1.20 within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to "Clerk, United States District Court, " and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; ...

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