United States District Court, D. Delaware
Norwood, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
CONNOLLY, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tyrone Norwood ("Plaintiff'), an inmate at the James
T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("VCC") in Smyrna,
Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
against Defendant State of Delaware Department of Correction
Bureau of Correctional Healthcare Services
("Defendant"). (D.I. 3) Plaintiff appears pro
se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (D.I. 5) The Court proceeds to review and
screen the matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)
and § 1915A(a).
alleges that in May 2013 he began submitting sick call
requests after he noticed the "white area"
(i.e., sclera) of both of his eyes seemed to be
turning yellow. (D.I. 3 at 5) He was examined by a nurse who
told Plaintiff there was nothing to be alarmed about.
(Id.) A month or two later, Plaintiff submitted a
second sick call request because the "white area
appeared to be progressing to a darker yellow."
(Id.) Blood tests were performed and Plaintiff was
referred to an outside medical provider. (Id. at 6)
The blood tests were within normal limits. (Id.)
alleges his health was steadily deteriorating. (Id.)
He met with a provider at the prison infirmary and was not
satisfied with the assessment and began submitting medical
grievances. (Id.) Another blood test was performed
and this time, the results were not within normal limits.
(Id.) Approximately a month or two later, Plaintiff
was taken to an outside medical provider. (Id.)
Plaintiff believes that a CAT scan was performed.
(Id.) The results were negative. (Id.)
alleges after that, the institutional medical staff
"basically washed their hands of the situation" and
Plaintiff's "health steadily deteriorated over the
next year." (Id.) He began submitting medical
grievances. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he was
"given the run around by the medical grievance board and
institutional medical staff' about being scheduled to see
an outside specialist. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges his
health steadily declined. (Id.)
year passed and Plaintiff began to exhibit signs of liver
issues. (Id. at 6-7). Plaintiff began submitting
medical grievances. (Id. at 7) He alleges that he
was not properly diagnosed or given adequate medical care in
light of his symptoms. (Id.) He was seen by a
physician and told that severe swelling in his legs could be
from salt intake, but he was not given medication.
(Id.) When Plaintiff's stomach became swollen
and there was severe inflammation, he was taken to the
hospital, diagnosed with excessive stomach acid, treated, and
given various medications. (Id.) The condition
returned and he returned to the hospital, received the same
treatment, and was diagnosed with liver issues.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges the diagnosis was made after
approximately five years of sick calls and medical
grievances. (Id.) A liver transplant was performed.
(Id.) Plaintiff does not provide the date of the
believes that the deliberate indifference standard applies
and also faults the inadequate medical care and the medical
staffs' lack of a timely assessment and proper diagnosis
which could have possible [sic] changed this outcome."
(Id. at 7-8) He seeks compensatory and punitive
federal court may properly dismiss an action sua
sponte under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(b) if "the action
is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief." Ball v.
Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir. 2013); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (in forma
pauperis actions); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (actions in
which prisoner seeks redress from a governmental defendant);
42 U.S.C. § 1997e (prisoner actions brought with respect
to prison conditions). The Court must accept all factual
allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light
most favorable to a pro se plaintiff. See
Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d
Cir. 2008); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93
(2007). Because Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his
pleading is liberally construed and his Complaint,
"however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers." Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citations
action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and § 1915A(b)(1), a court may dismiss
a complaint as frivolous if it is "based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory" or a "clearly
baseless" or "fantastic or delusional" factual
scenario. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28; see also
Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989);
Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1091-92 (3d
Cir. 1995) (holding frivolous a suit alleging that prison
officials took an inmate's pen and refused to give it
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and §
1915A(b)(1) is identical to the legal standard used when
deciding Rule 12(b)(6) motions. See Tourscher v.
McCullough,184 F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999) (applying
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) standard to dismissal for failure to
state a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)). However, before
dismissing a complaint or claims for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted pursuant to the screening
provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§1915 and 1915A, the Court