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Adell v. Manlove

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 22, 2019



          William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Mark Anthony Adell, who is currently serving a state prison sentence at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) and representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated. This matter comes before the court on Adell's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying the full filing fee and to screen the complaint.

         Motion to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee

         Adell has requested leave to proceed without prepayment of the full filing fee (in forma pauperis). A prisoner plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is required to pay the full amount of the $350.00 filing fee over time. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Adell has filed a certified copy of his prison trust account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of his complaint, as required under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). It appears that Adell lacks the funds to pay an initial partial filing fee. Therefore, the court will waive the initial partial filing fee, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4), and grant Adell's motion to proceed in forma pauperis.

         Screening of the Complaint

         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). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).

         To state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading system, the 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). The complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court accepts the factual allegations as true and liberally construes them in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Nevertheless, the complaint's allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).

         Allegations of the Complaint

          On September 25, 2018, while confined in Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF), Adell had a tele-med consult with a UW-Madison Hospital GI specialist to discuss a plan of care for his bowel disease, which he alleges causes him “frequent great pain, weight loss, dehydration, diarrhea, bowel urgency and a variety of other ancillary symptoms-which require daily medications to keep such under control.” Dkt. No. 1 at 4. Adell alleges that the specialist recommended he be prescribed Humira injections and loperamide. Adell also alleges that he was previously prescribed prednisone, which places him at risk of skeletal erosion and high blood pressure with daily, long-term use. He alleges that a GI specialist from a previous consult recommended he discontinue his current dosage of prednisone due to its effect on blood pressure once a replacement could be agreed upon.

         Despite the GI specialist's September 25th recommendations, and Dr. Patterson's (who is presumable a WSPF physician) acknowledgment of the GI consult in Adell's progress notes, Adell apparently remained on prednisone at 30 mg daily dosage until his transfer to WCI on December 7, 2018. Adell claims that he continues to suffer dangerously high blood pressure levels, which can be “directly linked” to his continued prednisone use. Id. at 5. Upon intake at WCI, Adell complained of back pain, and Dr. Jeffrey Manlove was assigned as his care provider.

         Adell saw Manlove on December 12th and discussed his back pain, high blood pressure, history of prednisone, and the GI specialist's September 25th recommendations. Manlove did not have all of Adell's medical records at that point. Instead of waiting until he could view the report of the GI specialist, Adell alleges that Manlove scheduled an x-ray and GI specialist tele-med consult, which effectively left Adell dealing with the harsh side effects of the prednisone for months while waiting for the consult to take place. Adell claims Manlove's notes of the December 12, 2018 visit contained “erroneous and damaging entries, ” which Adell later sought to correct through a “DOC-3484 request for amendment/correction.” Id. at 7.

         Manlove later prescribed Flexeril, a muscle relaxer, for Adell's back. Adell again saw Manlove on January 8, 2019, and Manlove indicated that getting Adell off steroids, i.e. prednisone, would be desirable, but Manlove had still not seen the September 25th GI specialist recommendation at that time.

         Adell saw Manlove a third time on February 15, 2019. At this appointment, Manlove prescribed another round of Flexeril, promised to order an MRI and blood testing, determined Adell's blood pressure was “ok, ” and preliminarily diagnosed Adell with scoliosis. The Flexeril and MRI were ordered “Stat, ” meaning instantly or immediately. The next day, nurse Robert Weinman saw Adell for back pain, and Weinman gave Adell Flexeril, as directed by an on-call physician. Adell claims Manlove forgot to order the Flexeril “Stat, ” and that Weinman refused to expedite Adell's receipt of Flexeril. Adell alleges that he was dispensed Flexeril on February 18th after he spoke with a nurse delivering refills in his housing unit. Adell reported Weinman to Chrystal Marchant, who refused to reprimand Weinman. Weinman apparently claimed that Adell reported no pain during their February 16th encounter, which Adell disputes.

         Manlove allegedly altered his February 15th order from “MRI Stat” to just “MRI” in retaliation against Adell after learning that the on-call physician amended his “deficient” order. Id. at 11. Adell alleges that not receiving a “Stat” MRI resulted in him enduring “weeks of great back pain.” Id. Adell alleges that Manlove has refused to see him since February 15th and that Marchant has not assigned him another provider, leaving him with continuing back pain and high blood pressure. Adell also claims that ...

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