Davis v. Lemmon et al
OPINION AND ORDER re 5 Pro Se Complaint; the court GRANTS Sonny Davis leave to proceed against Greg Sheward in his official capacity as for injunctive relief to obtain a gluten-free diet and in his individual capacity for compensatory and puniti ve damages for serving him gluten from June 2015 to present in violation of the Eighth Amendment; DISMISSES all other claims; DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service to issue and serve process on Aramark General Manager Greg Sheward with a copy of this order and the amended complaint; and ORDERS that Aramark General Manager Greg Sheward respond, only to the claims for which the plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in this screening order. Signed by Judge Jon E DeGuilio on 5/24/2017. (Copy mailed as directed in Order)(lpw)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
Cause No. 3:17-CV-004 JD
OPINION AND ORDER
Sonny Davis, a pro se prisoner, filed a complaint. “A document filed pro se is to be liberally
construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)
(quotation marks and citations omitted). Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court
must review the merits of a prisoner complaint and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or malicious,
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant
who is immune from such relief. “In order to state a claim under § 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1)
that defendants deprived him of a federal constitutional right; and (2) that the defendants acted
under color of state law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
Davis alleges he was diagnosed with a gluten allergy and placed on a gluten-free diet in
2014. Greg Sheward is the general manager for Aramark, the food service provider at the Westville
Correctional Facility. Davis alleges that since June 2015, Sheward has not served him gluten-free
meals even though he personally knew that Davis had a gluten allergy. As a result, Davis has eaten
the gluten in his meals because he did not have access to any other food. As a result of his allergic
reaction to the gluten, he has had open wounds and contracted MRSA three times.
Inmates are entitled to adequate food. Knight v. Wiseman, 590 F.3d 458, 463 (7th Cir.
2009). In evaluating an Eighth Amendment claim, courts conduct both an objective and a
subjective inquiry. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). The objective prong asks
whether the alleged deprivation is “sufficiently serious” so that “a prison official’s act results in
the denial of the minimal civilized measure of life’s necessities.” Id. The subjective prong asks
whether the defendant was deliberately indifferent. “[C]onduct is deliberately indifferent when the
official has acted in an intentional or criminally reckless manner, i.e., the defendant must have
known that the plaintiff was at serious risk of being harmed and decided not to do anything to
prevent that harm from occurring even though he could have easily done so.” Board v. Farnham,
394 F.3d 469, 478 (7th Cir. 2005) (quotation marks, brackets, and citation omitted).
For these reasons, the court:
(1) GRANTS Sonny Davis leave to proceed against Greg Sheward in his official capacity
as for injunctive relief to obtain a gluten-free diet and in his individual capacity for compensatory
and punitive damages for serving him gluten from June 2015 to present in violation of the Eighth
(2) DISMISSES all other claims;
(3) DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service to issue and serve process
on Aramark General Manager Greg Sheward with a copy of this order and the amended complaint
(ECF 5) as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); and
(4) ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), that Aramark General Manager Greg
Sheward respond, as provided for in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 101(b), only to the claims for which the plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in this screening
ENTERED: May 24, 2017
/s/ JON E. DEGUILIO
United States District Judge
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