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Snow v. Kentucky State Reformatory

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

January 17, 2018



          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge

         Plaintiff Ronnie Snow filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss some of Plaintiff's claims and allow others to proceed for further development.


         Plaintiff is a convicted inmate at the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR). He sues the following Defendants: KSR; Warden Aaron Smith; Correct Care Solution; RN Shannon Hardesty, whom Plaintiff identifies as being an employee of Correct Care Solution in the body of his complaint; and Baptist Healthcare Systems, Inc. He sues Smith and Hardesty in both their official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiff states that he has an “Order for do not Resuscitate” which was filed with Correct Care Solution. Plaintiff asserts that on May 30, 2016, medical personnel were requested to respond to the Pill Call area where he had fallen out of his wheelchair. He states, “Correct Care Solution Nurse RN Shannon Hardesty and Lieutenant Verdi were performing CPR on inmate Snow. On the DNR Order said that CPR will not started by emergency medical services personnel. Above is a clear case of violation on the DNR order.” After communications among various KSR personnel as detailed in the complaint, an Oldham County EMS ambulance transported Plaintiff to the emergency room of Baptist Hospital East, where he was admitted from May 30, 2016, to June 8, 2016. With regard to his treatment at Baptist Hospital East, Plaintiff states as follows:

Ronnie Snow presented to Baptist Health, Louisville, Ky. Hospital after he had a cardiac arrest and had CPR done and was admitted to Baptist East. The patient had an ST elevation MI and he was followed by cardiology and eventually had a heart catheter done couple of days ago that showed severe native vessel disease but the recommendation was to go with medical management at this point. Patient recovered from neurologically and respiratory failure. Patient had a cardiac arrest at the time admit to the hospital and recovered and release on the 6-8-2016, back to KSR and Correct Care Solution for his medical care.

         Plaintiff further states, “Oldham County EMS or ambulance personnels and the Baptist Healthcare or the Hospital violate the DNR Order that Snow has in place.” Plaintiff references a KSR Incident Report and states, “Official in Charge Warden Aaron Smith, Medical Emergency by Correct Care Solution, and staff member Involvement as follows:” Thereafter, he lists the names of eleven KSR staff members and states that “each person on this lists above violate the Do Not Resuscitate Order on May 30, 2016. Also Inadequate Medical Record on the DNR Order.” Plaintiff alleges violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. He states that Defendants showed deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violating the Do Not Resuscitate Order. He states, “Medical records is inadequate and unprofessional. Correct Care Solution has no adequately Doctor or Train Nures to meet Snow medical needs.”

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, punitive and compensatory damages, declaratory relief, and all fees.


         When a prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of it, if the court determines that the complaint 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. See § 1915A(b)(1), (2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).

         In order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[A] district court must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.” Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)). “But the district court need not accept a ‘bare assertion of legal conclusions.'” Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995)). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.' Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).

         Although this Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), “[o]ur duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro se complaints does not require us to conjure up unpled allegations.” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted). And this Court is not required to create a claim for Plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise would require the Court “to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role of an advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most successful strategies for a party.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).


         A. ...

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