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Dunbar v. Edge

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

June 25, 2018

ARIEN JAMES DUNBAR, Plaintiff,
v.
BETH EDGE, T. WEST, DR. SYED, CYNTHIA GRIFFIN, SANDRA MCARDLE, K. MILLER, JOLINDA WATERMAN, GARY BOUGHTON, CATHY JESS, JIM SCHWOCHERT, BUREAU OF HEALTH SERVICES, WISCONSIN PATIENTS COMPENSATION FUND, and WISCONSIN BOARD OF NURSING, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Lynn Adelman United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Arien Dunbar, who is representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendants violated his civil rights. This case was originally assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin; however, because not all parties have had the opportunity to consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction, the case was reassigned to a U.S. District Court judge for screening of the complaint.

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. That law allows an incarcerated plaintiff to proceed with his case without prepaying the civil case filing fee as long as he meets certain conditions. One of those conditions is that the plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). On May 2, 2018, Judge Duffin ordered plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $11.08. Plaintiff paid the fee on June 4, 2018. Accordingly, I will grant plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee.

         Since filing his complaint, plaintiff has been released from prison. Plaintiff must still pay the remainder of the filing fee. He may do so over time, as he is able.

         Federal Screening Standard

         The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         To state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading system, a plaintiff is required to provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that 1) he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, and 2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a person or persons acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Village of North Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). The court is obliged to give the plaintiff's pro se allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         The Complaint's Allegations

         Plaintiff's complaint, which contains more than 250 numbered paragraphs, includes a significant number of allegations against individuals who he has not named as defendants. Even if he had named those individuals as defendants, none of the allegations against them give rise to a claim under the Constitution. As such, I will address only those allegations that are relevant to the claims he seeks to state against the named defendants.

         The events alleged in plaintiff's complaint occurred while he was incarcerated at Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF). Prior to arriving at WSPF, plaintiff had been examined by nurses at Jackson Correctional Institution in response to his complaints about a rash that had developed on the back of his neck and that had begun to spread to his face, shoulders, and chest. The nurses prescribed Triamcinolone cream (used to reduce swelling, itching, and redness that can occur with a variety of skin conditions, including eczema) and Dermarest lotion (a hydrocortisone and zinc complex used to relieve symptoms associated with eczema). See https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1456/triamcinolone-acetonide-topical/details and http://www.dermarest.com/product-information/eczema-medicated-lotion (last visited June 21, 2018).

         Plaintiff explains that, after arriving at WSPF, the rash continued to worsen and spread. On April 7, 2017, plaintiff contacted health services about the rash. He was seen the next day by defendant nurse Beth Edge. She diagnosed plaintiff with “altered skin integrity” and prescribed Dermarest lotion. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 28-34.) The next day, plaintiff was again seen in health services and an appointment was scheduled for plaintiff to see an off-site Advanced Care provider.

         Plaintiff alleges that his condition continued to deteriorate. About a month later, on May 9, 2016, plaintiff was seen by defendant Dr. Syed, who examined the rash and prescribed Triamcinolone cream. Plaintiff complained several times to health services that the Triamcinolone cream Dr. Syed prescribed was not the same Triamcinolone cream that the nurse at his previous institution had prescribed.

         A couple of weeks later, on May 23, 2016, plaintiff had a Telemed visit with defendant APNP Cynthia Griffin, who was an off-site specialist. She asked him about his condition, but because it was a Telemed visit, she did not examine the rash in person. Griffin renewed Dr. Syed's prescription for Triamcinolone cream.

         Plaintiff alleges that his condition continued to worsen. About sixteen months after his Telemed visit with Griffin, on September 18, 2017, plaintiff reviewed his medical file in an attempt to discover the medication that health services at his previous institution had prescribed. He alleges that he noticed the medication Miconazole Nitrate cream (used to treat fungal skin infections) mentioned on a form dated October 7, 2015. See ...


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