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Jansa v. Kohl

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

January 20, 2016

KODY W. JANSA, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDY KOHL, DIANE SABATKA-RINE, CHRISTINE L. FERGUSON, RANDY CROSBY, RANDAL BRADLEY, JULIE PEW, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

LAURIE SMITH CAMP, Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff Kody Jansa ("Jansa") filed his Complaint (Filing No. 1-1) in this matter on July 13, 2015. This Court has given Jansa leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No. 6.) The Court now conducts an initial review of Jansa's Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Jansa is incarcerated at the Nebraska State Penitentiary ("NSP") in Lincoln, Nebraska. His claims are based on incidents that occurred during his incarceration. Liberally construed, he asserts state-law medical negligence claims and also Eighth Amendment claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He sued six state officials in their individual and official capacities.

Jansa alleged that, at some point between mid-January and April 23, 2014, he suffered from the flu and later a chest cold. Following these illnesses, he "began itching over his entire body." In response, medical staff gave him a five-day course of steroids and calamine lotion. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF. 4.) Despite this treatment, Jansa's body continued to itch. He complained to housing unit staff. They advised him to file an interview request form and refused to contact the medical staff on his behalf. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 5.)

On April 23, 2014, Jansa wrote an interview request form addressed to the medical department advising that he had completed the prescribed treatment, but his itching persisted. He asked to be seen by medical staff as soon as possible. Medical staff responded by scheduling Jansa for a "sick call" on May 7, 2014. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 5.)

Jansa alleged that by April 23, 2014, his itching was "so bad that he was bleeding from all of the scratching, and he had created sores all over his body." In addition, he "was in constant pain and discomfort, as well as feeling nauseated and very ill." (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 5.) Jansa advised housing unit staff that he could not wait until May 6 to be seen by medical staff. However, housing unit staff refused to contact the medical staff on Jansa's behalf. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 5.)

On April 29, 2014, three inmates informed Jansa that his skin and eyes were yellow. On this date, Jansa informed housing unit staff on at least two occasions that something was wrong and that he was turning yellow, but they advised him that they "did not want to hear anything else'" from him about his medical condition and advised him to contact the medical department. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 6.) Again, the following day, Jansa asked his case worker for assistance, but his case worker refused to contact the medical department of his behalf. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 6.)

Jansa alleged that on May 2, 2014, he "was so ill he could barely function." He alleged he "could not stop itching and developed sores over his entire body." In addition, he felt nauseous and light-headed, and his skin and eyes were dark yellow. On this date, Jansa asked a case manager named Schuster to contact the medical department on his behalf. Another case manager, Defendant Randal Bradley, overheard the request and advised Schuster not to contact the medical department. Schuster disregarded Bradley's advice and contacted the medical department. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 6.) Medical staff advised that they were "full for the day, " but would see him at the end of the day "if a spot opened up." (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 6-7.)

On May 2, 2014, upon observing Jansa's condition, a staff member went to the medical department and convinced staff to see Jansa immediately. The prison doctor ordered lab work and, based on the results of the lab work, ordered that Jansa be transported to the emergency room. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 7.) Jansa spent the next 12 days in the hospital. Jansa did not identify the medical condition he suffered from during this time, but alleged he stayed in the hospital until his "liver enzymes stabilized." (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 8.)

Jansa seeks injunctive relief and unspecified money damages in this case. (Filing No. 1-1 at ECF 9-10.)

II. STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW

The Court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A. The Court must dismiss a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to "nudge[] their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, " or "their complaint must be dismissed." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) ("A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the ...


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