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Bailey v. Aramark Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

September 1, 2017




         This matter is before the Court upon separate motions to dismiss the complaint filed by defendants Aramark Correctional Services, LLC (“Aramark”) [R. 19]; Director of Food Services Randy Ingram [R. 32]; and nurses Stephanie Thompson and Jennifer Whelan [R. 25].[1] These matters have been fully briefed and are ripe for decision.


         Inmate David Wayne Bailey is currently confined at the Green River Correctional Complex in Central City, Kentucky. Bailey filed a pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting constitutional and state law claims based upon his allegation that the defendants, prison officials at the Northpoint Training Center (“NTC”), failed in 2016 to effectuate a medical order to provide him with a special diet to address food allergies. [R. 1]

         Bailey alleges that on May 6, 2016, medical staff at NTC advised him that blood tests indicated that he would or might have a “chronic and acute reaction to beef and milk.” On May 17th, Bailey filed a grievance asking that the kitchen be informed of his special dietary needs.

         Although officials responded that they had done so, Bailey complained that “no menu [was] specifically designed for the plaintiff.” In late July, NTC staff responded that a dietician's written diet plan was appropriate to address Bailey's food allergies. [R. 1-1 at 14] In response to an open records request in late August, NTC staff stated that while “[n]o menu exists which is specifically designed for you, ” that “a generic menu is issued by the state dietician in accordance with Aramark guidelines to address the needs of individuals with food allergies.” [R. 1-1 at 2] Notwithstanding NTC's response, Aramark asserts that it did, in fact, create a specialized menu for Bailey after he filed his initial grievance. See [R. 32-13]

         Bailey contends that the defendants were obligated to “identif[y] Casein Proteins or Wheys, or both as allergens”; to advise kitchen staff that kneaded breads and bakery foods contain allergens; and to provide him with “fortified calcium fruit drink.” [R. 1 at 3-4] NTC officials stated that Bailey was receiving the calcium fortified beverage by early August. Bailey then filed grievances asserting that he had only received it on a few occasions; that he believed that it was not actually calcium fortified; and/or that it had “expired” because it was prepared three or more days before it was served to him. [R. 1-1 at 9, 15-16]

         The balance of Bailey's allegations complain that officials responding to the inmate grievances he filed over the next several months did not adequately address his concerns. Bailey alleges that he suffers from cysts as an allergic reaction to foods he consumed that contained meat or dairy products, which is “embarrassing”. [R. 1 at 5-7]

         Bailey contends that defendants Aramark and Randy Ingram failed to create a menu specifically tailored to his needs, despite having done so for other inmates, in violation of his right to equal protection under the law as a “class of one” under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. [R. 1 at 1, 7] Bailey further claims that the failure of Ingram and Thompson to create a special menu for him constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that Aramark violated the Eighth Amendment by “creat[ing] a policy or custom of using a generic menu that allowed for violations...”. [R. 1 at 7, 8] Plaintiff asserts that defendants Thompson and Whelan violated the Eighth Amendment when they denied his inmate grievances. Finally, Bailey contends that the defendants' conduct constitutes the tort of “outrage” under Kentucky law.[2] [R. 1 at 8]


         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the plaintiff's complaint. Gardner v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 567 F. App'x 362, 364 (6th Cir. 2014). When addressing a motion to dismiss, the Court views the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in the complaint. D'Ambrosio v. Marino, 747 F.3d 378, 383 (6th Cir. 2014). Because the plaintiff here is proceeding without the benefit of an attorney, the Court reads his complaint to include all fairly and reasonably inferred claims. Davis v. Prison Health Servs., 679 F.3d 433, 437-38 (6th Cir. 2012).

         A complaint must contain allegations, either expressly stated or necessarily inferred, with respect to every material element necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co. v. Youth Alive, Inc., 732 F.3d 645, 649 (6th Cir. 2013). But the complaint must be dismissed if it undoubtedly fails to allege facts sufficient to state a facially-plausible claim. Republic Bank & Trust Co. v. Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., 683 F.3d 239, 247 (6th Cir. 2012). A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if “‘it fails to give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

         The sufficiency of the complaint is generally tested with reference only to the face of the complaint itself. Burns v. United States, 542 F. App'x 461, 466 (6tgh Cir. 2013). This includes documents incorporated into the complaint by reference. Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007). The Court may also consider “other materials that are integral to the complaint, are public records, or are otherwise appropriate for the taking of judicial notice.” Ashland, Inc. v. Oppenheimer & Co., 648 F.3d 461, 467 (6th Cir. 2011). If a plaintiff refers to a document in her complaint and it is central to her claim, the document will be considered part of the pleadings even if the plaintiff does not attach it to her complaint if the defendant attaches it to the motion to dismiss. Campbell ...

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