United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
JOHN J. SULLIVAN, Plaintiff,
STATE OF MISSOURI, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on pro se plaintiff John
J. Sullivan's second amended complaint. After reviewing
the second amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915, the Court finds that the second amended complaint fails
to state a claim for relief. The Court has given plaintiff
multiple opportunities to cure his pleading deficiencies and
has warned him of the consequences of not doing so. This case
will be dismissed without prejudice.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to dismiss
a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the action is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, a plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim
for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of
misconduct.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
679 (2009). “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 upon judicial experience and common sense.
Id. at 679. The court must “accept as true the
facts alleged, but not legal conclusions or threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements.” Barton v. Tabor,
820 F.3d 958, 964 (8th Cir. 2016).
reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must give it the benefit of a liberal construction.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A
“liberal construction” means that if the essence
of an allegation is discernible, the district court should
construe the plaintiff's complaint in a way that permits
his or her claim to be considered within the proper legal
framework. Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787 (8th
Cir. 2015). However, even pro se complaints are required to
allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a
matter of law. Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282,
1286 (8th Cir. 1980). See also Stone v. Harry, 364
F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004) (stating that federal courts
are not required to “assume facts that are not alleged,
just because an additional factual allegation would have
formed a stronger complaint”).
currently incarcerated at Farmington Correctional Center
(“FCC”), brings this action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. In his initial complaint, plaintiff named four
defendants: the State of Missouri, Corizon, Nurse Jost, and
Dr. Wudel. Plaintiff described two medical conditions for
which he did not believe he was receiving adequate treatment:
(1) a hard, sore spot on his stomach that resulted from
injections of his anticoagulant medication and (2) a bruised
left hand and/or wrist. On November 19, 2018, the Court
reviewed plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, and found that he failed to allege claims
against the correct defendants in their correct capacities.
The Court ordered plaintiff to file an amended complaint to
cure the deficiencies.
December 3, 1018, plaintiff filed an amended complaint and
subsequently, he submitted six pieces of correspondence which
the Court construed as supplements to the amended complaint.
In his amended complaint, plaintiff names only one defendant,
Dr. Wudel, and he brings his claims against Wudel in his
official capacity only. On February 4, 2019, the Court again
reviewed plaintiff's complaint and found that plaintiff
failed to allege an official capacity claim against Dr. Wudel
because plaintiff did not assert any policy or custom of
Corizon that was responsible for the alleged constitutional
violations. The Court ordered plaintiff to file a second
amended complaint and warned that a failure to state a claim
for relief in the second amended complaint would result in
dismissal of this action.
Second Amended Complaint
names two defendants in his second amended complaint: Nurse
Jost and the “Prison Medical Department.”
Presumably, plaintiff is referring to Corizon, Inc. (named in
his initial complaint) as the prison medical department,
since Corizon is the healthcare provider for Missouri
Department of Corrections facilities. Plaintiff's second
amended complaint is disjunctive and hard to follow. However,
he seems to be focused on the same two injuries from his
initial complaint for which he feels he is receiving
inadequate medical care, his stomach and his
to plaintiff, in July 2018, the prison medical department ran
out of a medication he was taking by injection, in the dosage
amount that he required. As a result, he had to get twice as
many shots in his stomach to receive the dosage needed,
totally approximately 32 extra shots. Plaintiff asserts that
as a result of the extra shots, he now has bruises, knots,
tenderness, and a bloated feeling in his stomach.
August 2018, plaintiff was transported to the hospital to
receive treatment for a blood clot in his leg. During the
transport home from the hospital, plaintiff injured his
wrist. After that trip to the hospital, plaintiff asserts
that the prison medical department did not make sure that he
was getting his pills as needed. He states that he missed
receiving pills on multiple occasions because he arrived just
a few minutes late to medical. He alleges that the medical
department is depriving him of his “rights to have my
life saving pill on time and every day.” He also
accuses the department of denying him the proper equipment
and the right to see a specialist. He argues that the medical
department should keep life-saving medications on hand at all
times, but plaintiff does not name an occasion when the
medical department failed to do so.
alleges that he saw nurse Jost in September 2018 concerning
his stomach bruises, pain, and numbness. She recommended a
warm towel and pointed out that plaintiff will bruise easily
due to a medication he was taking. In November, plaintiff saw
a different member of the medical staff, who thought that
plaintiff may have a hernia in his stomach. In December, Jost
ordered an X-ray of plaintiff's wrist which found results
“within acceptable limits.” ECF No. 19 at 19.
Plaintiff alleges that Jost should have ordered a follow-up
appointment with a doctor. He believes that she has violated
his rights to “proper [medical] equipment, ” to
be seen by a medical specialist, and to a second medical
opinion concerning both his wrist and stomach problems.
wants medical tests done to determine what is wrong with his
stomach and wrist. He also ...