United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on review of the file following
plaintiffs filing of his second amended complaint. The Court
has granted plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and
has twice ordered him to file amended complaints to comply
with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). After reviewing
plaintiffs second amended complaint, the Court will partially
dismiss the complaint and will order the Clerk to issue
process or cause process to be issued on the non-frivolous
portions of the complaint.
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.
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.
an inmate at Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional
Center ("ERDCC"), brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action alleging defendants were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. Named as defendants are Troy Steele, Warden,
ERDCC; Corizon Health Care, Inc.; Shannon Oaks, Nurse
Practitioner; and Shannon Ownes, Nurse Practitioner.
suffers from severe chronic back pain. MRI results show
spinal stenosis in three places of plaintiffs cervical spine.
Plaintiff alleges experiencing daily pain in his neck,
shoulder, and back; tingling and stinging pain in his hips,
pelvis, buttocks, and limbs; numbness in his arms, fingers,
feet, and toes; and burning in his lower back and thighs. He
was placed in the chronic care program at ERDCC because of
his chronic pain.
states that the Victoria Reinholdt, the nurse practitioner at
ERDCC prior to defendant Shannon Oaks, had approved plaintiff
for surgery to correct his cervical spine stenosis. He states
he has visited two separate neurosurgeons, an unnamed
neurosurgeon at St. Louis University and Dr. Lucio, and both
wanted to perform surgery on his cervical spine. Plaintiff
alleges that the SLU neurosurgeon wanted to perform the
surgery in February 2016. On March 11, 2016, however,
defendant Oaks stated that "after multiple attempts, SLU
has not communicated any plans for you." Plaintiff
states he was then sent to Dr. Lucio, who also wanted to
perform the surgery, but required plaintiff to visit an ENT
prior to surgery.
alleges that on April 1, 2016, however, he met with defendant
Oaks as a follow-up, and Oaks stated, "the appointment
[with Dr. Lucio] was for the consultation with the
neurosurgeon. Jefferson City is cutting back on having any
surgeries performed." On April 12, 2016, plaintiff met
with Todd Renshaw (presumably another nurse practitioner),
and Mr. Renshaw stated that "they do not want to have
the surgery; you have been approved to having an injection in
your cervical spine. I'll keep working on getting the
approval because we know you need the surgery."
Plaintiff alleges that defendant Oaks knew of the
recommendations of the SLU neurosurgeon and Dr. Lucio for
surgical correction, but approved him only for an injection.
November 21, 2016, plaintiff received an injection from Dr.
Lucio. He followed up with defendant Oaks two weeks later and
reported pain in his neck and continuing numbness in three
fingers of his left hand. At some point after February
2, 2017, plaintiff sought another MRI, and defendant
Oaks refused to order one. Plaintiff also complained of
swollen knees. He sought an extra mattress and wheelchair for
his condition, and was refused.
seeks an injunction ordering defendant Corizon Health, Inc.
to perform the cervical spine procedure, an MRI, and a
surgical procedure on plaintiffs thoracic and lumbar spine.
He also seeks compensatory and punitive damages against all
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners
constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain
proscribed by the Eighth Amendment." Estelle v.
Gamble,429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976) (quotation and citations
omitted). "This is true whether the indifference is
manifested by prison doctors in their response to the
prisoner's needs or by prison guards in intentionally
denying or delaying access to medical care or intentionally
interfering with the treatment once prescribed."
Id. at 104-05. For purposes of initial ...