United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge.
Brett Hogan filed a pro se, in forma
pauperis complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114
F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons set
forth below, Plaintiff will be given an opportunity to amend
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
is incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). He
names as Defendant the Correct Care Solutions Corporation
(CCS), the healthcare provider at KSP.
alleges that on or around September 9, 2018, he complained of
severe pain in his right wrist with sharp pains coursing up
his arm to his elbow and bouts of numbness in his hand. He
states that he filled out a sick call form but was not seen
until September 22, 2018, when he was seen by a doctor who
ordered x-rays. According to the complaint, he was not
x-rayed until around October 7, 2018, and the x-ray was
normal. Plaintiff alleges that he can feel a bone in his
wrist “shift and snap” when he uses his hand but
that CCS personnel “refuse to do anything for me. They
refuse to give me anything for pain and insists it['s]
only carpal tunnel.” He further alleges that at times
the pain is unbearable “and puts me in tears; I
don't sleep. I know there is more wrong with my wrist
then just carpal tunnel but they refuse to look or even touch
relief, Plaintiff requests monetary and punitive damages.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, if the
Court determines that it 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). A
claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Id. at 327. When determining
whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can
be granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must
include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
Sixth Circuit has held that the analysis that applies to a
§ 1983 claim against a municipality applies to a §
1983 claim against a private corporation. Detwiler v. S.
Health Partners, No. 3:16-cv-P343-DJH, 2016 WL 4083465,
at *2 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 1, 2016). When a § 1983 claim is
made against a municipality, or in this case a private
corporation providing medical services in an institutional
setting, a court must analyze two distinct issues: (1)
whether the plaintiff's harm was caused by a
constitutional violation; and (2) if so, whether the
municipality is responsible for that violation. Collins
v. City of Harker Heights, Tex., 503 U.S. 115, 120
(1992). The Court will address the issues in reverse order.
municipality cannot be held liable solely because it
employs a tortfeasor - or, in other words, a municipality
cannot be held liable under § 1983 on a respondeat
superior theory.” Monell v. N.Y.C. Dep't
of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978) (emphasis in
original); Searcy v. City of Dayton, 38 F.3d 282,
286 (6th Cir. 1994); Berry v. City of Detroit, 25
F.3d 1342, 1345 (6th Cir. 1994). “[T]he touchstone of
‘official policy' is designed ‘to distinguish
acts of the municipality from acts of
employees of the municipality, and thereby make
clear that municipal liability is limited to action for which
the municipality is actually responsible.'”
City of St. Louis v. Praprotnik, 485 U.S. 112, 138
(1988) (quoting Pembaur v. Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469,
479-80 (1986)) (emphasis in Pembaur).
municipality cannot be held responsible for a constitutional
deprivation unless there is a direct causal link between a
municipal policy or custom and the alleged constitutional
deprivation. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691; Deaton v.
Montgomery Cty., Ohio, 989 F.2d 885, 889 (6th Cir.
1993). Simply stated, the plaintiff must “identify the
policy, connect the policy to the city itself and show that
the particular injury was incurred because of the execution
of that policy.” Garner v. Memphis Police
Dep't, 8 F.3d 358, 364 (6th Cir. 1993) (quoting
Coogan v. City of Wixom, 820 F.2d 170, 176 (6th Cir.
1987), overruled on other grounds, Frantz v.
Vill. of Bradford, 245 F.3d 869 (6th Cir. 2001)). The
policy or custom “must be ‘the moving force of
the constitutional violation' in order to establish the
liability of a government body under § 1983.”
Searcy, 38 F.3d at 286 (quoting Polk Cty. v.
Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 326 (1981) (citation omitted));
Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs of Bryan Cty., Okla. v.
Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 404 (1997) (indicating that
plaintiff must demonstrate “deliberate conduct”).
does not allege the existence of a CCS policy or custom that
was the moving force behind the alleged unconstitutional
action. Consequently, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim
against Defendant CCS.
Plaintiff will be given an opportunity to amend his complaint
to add the name(s) of individual(s) he claims denied him
medical care for his wrist. See LaFountain v. Harry,
716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013) (“[U]nder Rule 15(a)
a district court can allow a plaintiff to amend his complaint
even when the complaint is subject to dismissal under the
[Prison Litigation Reform Act]”.).