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Thompson v. Johnson

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

October 19, 2017

WILLIAM DAVID THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
BRAD JOHNSON, Director; CORRECTIONS CARE SOLUTIONS, Medical; DR. CHE, Medical Doctor; and DR. BILLUPS, Medical Doctor; Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge

         Plaintiff filed a Complaint on August 14, 2017. (Filing No. 1.) He has been given leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No. 9.) The court now conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is a prisoner currently confined at the Lancaster County Jail. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Corrections Care Solutions, Dr. Che, Dr. Billups, and the director of the Lancaster County Jail, Brad Johnson, in their official capacities for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. (Filing No. 1.) Liberally construed, he also sues Jeff Terry (“Terry”) and Jenny Hoyt (“Hoyt”), who appear to be nurses at the Lancaster County Jail. (Id. at CM/ECF p.4.)

         The basis for Plaintiff's claim is that staff at Lancaster County Jail has failed to provide him appropriate and timely medical treatment over a period of three months for a rash that spread over Plaintiff's entire body. (Id. at CM/ECF pp.3-4.)

         Plaintiff states that nurses Terry and Hoyt and Dr. Che and Dr. Billups attributed Plaintiff's condition to “just a rash” resulting from laundry detergent. (Id. at CM/ECF p.4.) Plaintiff alleges that he was eventually diagnosed by a dermatologist with scabies, but medical staff and Corrections Care Solutions are not treating Plaintiff according to the protocol prescribed by the dermatologist and his condition is not improving. (Id. at CM/ECF pp.4-5.) Plaintiff has attached several “Inmate Medical/Mental Health Request Forms” in support of his allegations that he did not receive timely and appropriate treatment. (Id. at CM/ECF pp.5, 14-22.) Plaintiff also filed a grievance, but had not received a response at the time of the filing of his Complaint. (Id. at CM/ECF pp.12-13.)

         As a result of the alleged delay and failure to provide appropriate treatment, Plaintiff has suffered severe itching to the point where he scratched his skin until he bled leaving many marks and scars all over his body. (Id. at CM/ECF p.5). Plaintiff seeks $300, 000.00 as compensation for “the pain and suffering and permanent scarring” resulting from the alleged “unfit medical procedures.” (Id.)

         II. APPLICABLE STANDARDS OF 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 court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”).

         “The essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a general indication of the type of litigation involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir. 1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other parties.” Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         Liberally construed, Plaintiff here alleges federal constitutional claims. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege a violation of rights protected by the United States Constitution or created by federal statute and also must show that the alleged deprivation was caused by conduct of a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff sues Corrections Care Solutions, Dr. Che, Dr. Billups, and Brad Johnson in their official capacities. Liberally construed, Plaintiff also asserts claims against Terry and Hoyt, although neither is named as a defendant in the caption.[1] The court must ...


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