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Adell v. Ray

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

June 21, 2019

MARK ANTHONY ADELL, Plaintiff,
v.
ELLEN RAY, W. BROWN, J. PAYNE, GARY BOUGHTON, JOLINDA WATERMAN, M. BARTELS, BETH EDGE, K. RUNNING, and R. GROCHOWSKI, Defendants.

          ORDER SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT

          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 and representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated. The court screened Adell's complaint, determined he failed to state a claim, and allowed him thirty days to file an amended complaint. The court also granted Adell in forma pauperis status. Adell has since timely filed an amended complaint, which the court will now screen.

         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, 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 Amended Complaint

         At all times relevant to this action Adell was housed in Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF). Adell alleges that he suffers from ulcerative colitis mixed crohns disease, which causes him “great pain, weight loss, dehydration, diarrhea, bowel urgency and a variety of other ancillary symptoms that require daily doses of medications to keep such under control.” Dkt. No. 7 at ¶ 2. One medication prescribed to treat his bowel disease is prednisone, a steroid carrying harsh side effects that must be taken daily. Missing a dose of prednisone can trigger not only the bowel symptoms it is intended to treat, but also side effects from failure to taper off the medication. Adell experiences rashes as a symptom of his bowel disease, for which he has been prescribed Eucerin cream. Adell also suffers from severe, chronic migraines, which he controls by taking daily Excedrin.

         Adell's complaint identifies numerous instances over the course of several months in 2018 where his medication refills were delayed or denied. Adell's allegations regarding these instances are as follows:

• March 2018: Adell was deprived of Excedrin for several days when M. Bartels erroneously alleged that she dispensed 96 tabs of Excedrin to him. This deprivation caused Adell to experience extreme throbbing migraines. Adell alleges Bartels falsified his medical chart to cover up her actions.
• April 2018: The defendants intentionally caused a two-week delay in his receipt of mesalamine, which was prescribed to treat his bowel disease. Adell claims this delay was “complicated” by staff shortages in WSPF's health services unit (HSU). Id. at ¶ 29.
• May 14, 2018: R. Grochowski refused to provide him with a prednisone refill, which contributed to his inability to control his bowel disease symptoms. Grochowski also provided Adell with the wrong rash medication to cause him injury and in retaliation for complaints Adell filed against her regarding her mishandling of medication refills. Adell claims that HSU Supervisor Jolinda Waterman erroneously reported that Grochowski properly handled his rash medication refills in retaliation against him for filing inmate and nursing board complaints against her, thereby prolonging Adell's adverse symptoms. Also on this day, Adell submitted a health services request (HSR) directed to WSPF physician J. Patterson, seeking review of his plan of care and asking that Patterson direct nurses to stop their practice of delaying or denying his receipt of medications. Adell alleges that nurse Beth Edge intercepted the HSR, responded to it, and did not forward it to Patterson, thereby allowing herself and other nurses to escape oversight and the harmful refill practices to continue. Adell alleges Edge intercepted the HSR to retaliate against him for his filing inmate and nursing board complaints against her.
• July 11, 2018: K. Running dispensed him fourteen 20 mg tabs of prednisone and directed him to take one tab per day for two weeks. Adell alleges that Running's instruction ran directly contrary to his physician and gastrointestinal specialist's order that required he receive three 20 mg tabs per day for an indefinite period. Adell claims that Running intended to cause him harm given that she had access to his medical chart and knew about his bowel issues.
• July 12, 2018: Bartels falsely claimed that she provided Adell with thirty tabs of prednisone as a basis for denying him a refill to cause him injury and in retaliation for his filing inmate and nursing board complaints about her mishandling of refill requests. This denial and several others by Bartels contributed to Adell's inability to control his bowel symptoms. Adell reported Bartels' mishandling of refills to Waterman, who then turned a blind eye to the complaint in order to prolong Adell's pain and distress.
• August 4, 2018: Running refused to dispense and ignored Adell's prednisone refill, leaving him without prednisone for three days and causing his ...

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