United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
Y. PEARSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Se Plaintiff James Torbert, III filed this action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Correction (“ODRC”) Director
Gary Mohr and five individuals at Trumbull Correctional
Institution (“TCI”) Patricia Metzler, CRNP; James
Kline, D.O.; Mr. Roberts, Nurse; Mr. Robinson, Nurse; and,
Mr. Hollinger, Nurse. In the Complaint (ECF No. 1),
Plaintiff alleges Defendants did not properly treat his ankle
injury. He asserts they were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive relief.
injured his foot and ankle playing basketball on February 8,
2017. He was treated by the on-duty nurse whom wrapped his
foot with an ace bandage, and gave him crutches and
ibuprofen. Plaintiff received an x-ray of his foot on
February 13, 2017. He explained to the medical staff that he
believed he had torn his Achilles tendon, which would not
appear on an x-ray. Plaintiff insisted he needed an MRI. He
contends Nurse Practitioner Metzler examined his foot and
ankle on February 17, 2017 and stated he had a high ankle
sprain, which would not require an MRI. Plaintiff asked to
see the doctor and she denied his request. Nurse Practitioner
Metzler provided him with a fiberglass cast and continued his
use of crutches. He asked to be sent outside the prison for a
surgical consult. Nurse Practitioner Metzler denied that
request as well.
was seen by Nurse Roberts when he went to sick call on
February 16, 2017. He asked Nurse Roberts for a referral to
Dr. Kline and Nurse Roberts indicated it was not necessary.
Plaintiff states the nurse refused to examine his foot and
would not return his Inmate Health Care Request Slip. He
states the nurse also refused to call an officer. Instead, a
corrections officer called for assistance and Plaintiff was
escorted to segregation.
was seen by Dr. Kline on February 17, 2017 and was told that
no fractures were seen on the x-ray. Dr. Kline ordered an
orthotic splint and instructed Plaintiff on Theraband
reported to sick call for a follow-up visit on March 6, 2017
and was seen by Nurse Robinson. He told the nurse he was in
extreme pain and again requested to see a doctor and be
scheduled for an MRI. Nurse Robinson denied the request and
indicated to Plaintiff his problem was in his head.
March 19, 2017, Plaintiff was seen at sick call by Nurse
Hollinger. He noted Plaintiff had difficulty raising his
right heel and now showed a deformity of the right Achilles
tendon. He requested that Plaintiff be seen by a doctor.
Plaintiff contends that he did not receive that follow-up
saw Dr. Kline again on June 26, 2017. Dr. Kline confirmed
that Plaintiff's Achilles tendon was partially torn, but
refused to order a surgical consult. Instead, he ordered a
walking boot for Plaintiff.
claims all of the defendants acted with deliberate
indifference to deny him proper medical care for his injury,
which he alleges should have involved surgery. He seeks
monetary damages and an order from the Court to provide him
with surgery and physical therapy.
Standard for Dismissal
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag
v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam);
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the
district court is required to dismiss an in forma
pauperis action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) if it
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted or if
it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989); Lawler v.
Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196 (6th Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v.
City of Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996).
An action has no arguable basis in law when a defendant is
immune from suit or when a plaintiff claims a violation of a
legal interest which clearly does not exist.
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. An action has no arguable
factual basis when the allegations are delusional or rise to
the level of the irrational or “wholly
incredible.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
33 (1992). See also Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1199.
determining whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the court must construe the complaint
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept all
factual allegations as true, and determine whether the
complaint contains “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The
plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds for relief
“requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Id. at 555. Although a complaint
need not contain detailed factual allegations, its
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level . . . on the assumption
that all the allegations in the complaint are true.”
Id.(citation omitted). The court is “not bound
to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662
(2009), further explains the “plausibility”
requirement, stating that “[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.”
Id. at 678. Furthermore, “[t]he plausibility
standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,
' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id.(quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). This ...