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Ray v. Davidson County Sheriff's Office

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

February 3, 2015

DARRELL RAY SR., Plaintiff,


JOHN T. NIXON, Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff Darrell Ray, Sr., a prisoner currently presently incarcerated at the Davidson County Sheriff's Office in Nashville, Tennessee, has filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants, the Davidson County Sheriff's Office and "C.C.S. Medical. (ECF No. 1.) The complaint is before the Court for an initial review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c).

I. Standard of Review

Under the PLRA, the Court must conduct an initial review of any civil complaint brought by a prisoner if it is filed in forma pauperis, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), seeks relief from government entities or officials, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, or challenges the conditions of confinement, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Upon conducting this review, the Court must dismiss the complaint, or any portion thereof, that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, is frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A; 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). In conducting the initial review, the Court must read the plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept the plaintiff's allegations as true unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).

II. Factual Allegations

The plaintiff alleges that his problems with the medical staff at the Davidson County Sheriff's Office began in June 2014 when it was time for his defibrillator/pacemaker to be checked to make sure it was working properly. He states that this has never happened and he is still waiting to have it checked.

In addition, his blood pressure medications were given to him at the wrong times, and his blood pressure readings were very high ("161 over 109 to 169 over 113") (ECF No. 1, at 6). There was a time when he woke up and felt that the entire left side of his body was in muscle spasms and then later felt "lazy." ( Id. ) He feels he should have gone to the hospital but instead nothing was done, and it took three weeks before he regained control of walking, eating, and using his left arm.

The plaintiff alleges that he was "ordered knee and shoulder injections" but "they" gave him one shot in his knee but never followed up with injections to his shoulder or additional knee injections. (ECF No. 1, at 5.) He states that he has a degenerated lumbar spine with bulging discs at L4 and L5 and deterioration at L3. He has requested pain medications repeatedly but "they" only gave him Tylenol, which he asserts is not good for his heart, Tramadol, Mobic (which he also claims is not good for his heart), and aspirin. ( Id. ) He has had congestive heart failure but "they" gave him nitroglycerin only once. ( Id. ) at 6.) In addition, "they" changed his heart medication from what his doctor had prescribed (potassium and metropolol) and in its place gave him Mobic.

He complains that he had bloodwork done to check liver and kidney function. The first test results were "abnormal" but "they" have not sent him to the hospital for follow-up. He claims he had kidney failure after the first blood test but "they" told him to "drink water and lay down." ( Id. at 5.) He had severe pain for three days, but it eventually went away. His blood was tested a second time but he has not received those results.

Finally, the plaintiff complains that he has requested copies of his medical records but "they" have refused his requests.

He seeks compensation in the form of damages for pain and suffering, and asserts that he "could have died a couple times." (ECF No. 1, at 6.)

The plaintiff attaches to his complaint copies of grievances and a summary of his medical care both before and after going to jail in June 2014. These notes reflect two to three medical visits per month even after the plaintiff was in jail, that the plaintiff was depressed at the end of August from being served divorce papers and from the stress of his medical ailments; in early September he requested stopping all medical treatments and care; and a few days later eight medications had been ordered to address chronic pain, hypertension, chronic heart failure, and automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator. (ECF No. 1, at 14-15.)

III. Discussion

The plaintiff seeks to bring suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 confers a private federal right of action against any person who, acting under color of state law, deprives an individual of any right, privilege or immunity secured by the Constitution or federal laws. Wurzelbacher v. Jones-Kelley, 675 F.3d 580, 583 (6th Cir. 2012). Thus, to state a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and (2) that "the deprivation was caused ...

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