United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. NUGENT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Deshawn Maines ("Plaintiff') is a
state prisoner confined at the Lake Erie Correctional
Institution ("LEO"). He brings this action against
defendants Warden Douglas Fender, Dr. Shannon Swanson and
Linda Whitt, alleging that they violated his constitutional
rights with respect medical treatment at LECI. Plaintiff
seeks $750, 000.00 in punitive damages and $25, 000.00 per
defendant in compensatory damages. (Docket # 1).
reasons that follow, this case is dismissed.
brief Complaint, Plaintiff states in conclusory fashion that
he has been denied treatment for keloids on his ear lobes and
neck which cause him pain, as well as pain medication for
neuropathy caused by diabetes. (Id. at 4 ("Dr.
Swanson the chief medical officer denied me medical treatment
and I was in terrible pain.")). Plaintiff makes a
similar conclusory allegation against nursing supervisor
"Rebera" but asserts no factual allegations at all
against defendants Warden Fender or Whitt, whom Plaintiff
describes as an "administrator" (see Id.
at 3). Plaintiff further complains that LECI is quick to deny
prespription pain medication and prisoners are told to
purchase pain medication from the commissary (see
Id. at 4).
Standard of Review
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag
v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982), federal
district courts are expressly required under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) to screen all in forma pauperis
actions and to dismiss before service any such action that
the Court determines is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted, seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief, or
lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. In order to survive
scrutiny under § 1915(e)(2)(B), a pro se
complaint must set forth sufficient factual matter, accepted
as true, to state claim for relief that is plausible on its
face. See Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 471 (6th
Cir. 2010) (holding that the dismissal standard articulated
in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)
governs dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)). The
factual allegations in the pleading "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[.]" Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations
reviewing a complaint, the Court must construe the pleading
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Bibbo v.
Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 151 F.3d 559, 561 (6th Cir.
1998) (citing Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99
F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996)). That said, the courts are not
required to conjure impleaded facts or construct claims
against defendants on behalf of a pro se plaintiff.
See Grinter v. Knight, 532 F.3d 567, 577 (6th Cir.
2008) (citation omitted); Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277-78 (4th Cir. 1985).
construing the Complaint, it appears that Plaintiff is
asserting a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that
Defendants denied him medical care in violation of the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment. In order to state a § 1983 claim, Plaintiff
must allege that a person acting under color of state law
deprived him of his rights, privileges, or immunities secured
by the Constitution or the laws of the United States.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
§ 1983 claim for deliberate indifference regarding a
prisoner's medical care consists of an objective
component and a subjective component, both of which must be
satisfied. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
(1994). The objective component requires the existence of a
"sufficiently serious" medical need. Id.
That is, "the inmate must show that he is incarcerated
under conditions posing a substantial risk of harm."
Id. The subjective component requires an inmate to
show that prison officials have a sufficiently culpable state
of mind in denying him medical care. Id. In order to
satisfy this culpable state of mind, the prison official
"must both be aware of facts from which the inference
could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm
exists, and he must also draw the inference."
Id. at 837.
with the benefit of liberal construction, Plaintiffs sparse
Complaint fails to plausibly allege either component of an
Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim. And Plaintiffs
general disagreement with the denial of prescription pain
medication at LECI in favor of over-the-counter pain
medication is insufficient to state a plausible Eighth
Amendment deliberate indifference claim. See Darrah v.
Krisher, 865 F.3d 361, 372 (6th Cir. 2017) ("As a
general rule, a patient's disagreement with his
physicians over the proper course of treatment alleges, at
most, a medical-malpractice claim, which is not cognizable
under § 1983.") (citations omitted). To the extent
Plaintiff is alleging a negligence/medical malpractice claim
against Defendants, such claims do not state a constitutional
violation. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976) ("Medical malpractice does not become a
constitutional violation merely because the victim is a
addition, Plaintiff fails to allege any specific conduct
against the named Defendants. Where a person is simply named
as a defendant without a factual allegation of specific
misconduct, the complaint insufficient to state a plausible
claim for relief. Gilmore v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 92
Fed.Appx. 188, 190 (6th Cir. 2004) ("Merely listing
names in the caption of the complaint and alleging
constitutional violations in the body of the complaint is not
enough to sustain recovery under § 1983.") (citing
Flagg Bros. v. Brooks,436 U.S. 149, 155-57 (1978)).
To the extent that Plaintiff is claiming Defendants are
liable in their supervisory capacity for the alleged denial
of treatment by LECI medical staff, a supervisory official is
not liable under § 1983 for the alleged unconstitutional
conduct of subordinates in the absence allegations that the
supervisor encouraged the unconstitutional conduct or
directly participated in it. Combs v. Wilkinson, ...