United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
DANNY D. HESTDALEN, Plaintiff,
CORIZON CORRECTIONS HEALTHCARE, et al, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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 $1.70, which is twenty percent
of his average monthly deposit. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b). Furthermore, after reviewing the 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.
Standard on Initial Review
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. lqbal, 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 Moberly Correctional Center ("MCC"),
was born with hereditary bilateral sensorineural hearing
loss. Since childhood, plaintiff has required bilateral
hearing aids and replacement batteries. He also requires
special ear mold replacement tubes to use with the fitted ear
piece on his hearing aids. These special ear mold replacement
tubes need to be replaced every four to six months.
to being transferred to MCC on February 9, 2016, plaintiff
received the correct tubing for both hearing aids from
Southeast Correctional Center ("SECC"). Since being
at MCC, however, he has been denied the special ear mold
replacement tubes. MCC offers only universal replacement
tubes, which do not work with plaintiffs hearing aids. In
addition, beginning in early January 2013, plaintiffs left
ear began to "plug up as if [plaintiff] were rising
rapidly in a plane or diving deep under water," a
condition plaintiff calls "a negative vacuum."
Plaintiffs left ear began continuously going into negative
vacuum, rendering plaintiff completely deaf.
March 15, 2016, plaintiffs right hearing aid stopped working;
on May 13, 2016, his left hearing aid stopped working.
Plaintiff went a month without working hearing aids. MCC then
provided plaintiff a hearing aid for his right ear only. This
hearing aid included universal hearing aid tubes, which do
not work for plaintiff. Plaintiff sought two hearing aids,
and the special replacement tubes required for his fitted ear
piece. Plaintiff has been told consistently by medical staff
at MCC that Corizon policy only allows for only one hearing
aid, not two, and will not allow for plaintiffs special
87-page complaint details his frustrating and complex
dealings with prison and medical staff at MCC in his attempt
to obtain two hearing aids that work for his particular
hearing loss. In short: Dr. Aguilera at MCC requested on
three separate occasions that plaintiff be referred to an ENT
specialist, and each request was denied. Dr. Aguilera then
requested that plaintiff see an outside audiologist, and this
audiologist referred plaintiff to an ENT. This referral by
the outside audiologist finally resulted in the approval of
plaintiff s request to see an ENT.
4, 2018, plaintiff saw Dr. Thompson, an ENT who was to
evaluate plaitniff s Eustachian tube dysfunction. Dr.
Thompson examined plaintiffs ears, but because MCC had not
forwarded to Dr. Thompson all the test results he needed, Dr.
Thompson could not diagnose plaintiffs problem. Plaintiff was
told he would have to reschedule the appointment after Dr.
Thompson received the proper test results.
25, 2018, plaintiff was seen by Dr. Stamps at MCC who said
the ENT report said that Dr. Thompson found nothing wrong
other than that plaintiff needs two hearing aids. Dr. Stamps
prescribed plaintiff allergy and decongestant medications, a
treatment that has never worked for plaintiffs hearing loss.
states that his last tube replacement was on April 6, 2017.
He is left with one hearing aid that is "nearly useless
as the hardened tube distorts speech, making it even more
difficult to understand." Plaintiff still suffers
negative pressure in his left ear, vertigo, deafness, pain,
and the recent onset of a humming noise and foreign pressure
in the region of his left ear. His complaint seeks to compel
MCC to provide him with an ENT specialist to treat his
Eustachian tube dysfunction; to provide reasonable
accommodations for his severe hearing impairment; to provide
adequate and correct accessories for his hearing device; to
remove all Corizon policies that violate the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA") and Rehabilitation Act
("RA"), and damages in excess of $2 million.
construed, the Court finds that plaintiff has stated a
plausible claim under § 1983 for deliberate indifference
to a serious medical need. Plaintiffs complaint seeks to sue
twenty-five defendants, however, and includes allegations
dating back to 2011. The Court finds that some of plaintiff s
allegations are time barred, and that many of the named
defendants were not personally involved in or directly
responsible for the incidents that injured plaintiff. The
Court will dismiss plaintiff's time barred allegations
and any defendants not personally involved in or directly
responsible for plaintiffs alleged constitutional