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Bartlett v. Correct Care Solutions

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

September 10, 2019




         Plaintiff Drashawn Bartlett brings this action against Defendants Correct Care Solutions (“CCS”) in its official capacity as health care provider at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (“LLCC”), Renae Barbes, Jeff Ingram, Courtney O'Hern, [1] and Daniel Oldaker, all in their individual capacity as employees of CCS. [DE 1]. Mr. Bartlett alleges that while in custody at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (“LLCC”) he suffered from Defendants' deliberate indifference to his medical needs. CCS has moved to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule 12(b)(6). [DE 4]. Briefing is complete, and this matter is ripe. For the reasons below, the Motion to Dismiss will be GRANTED.


         The factual allegations set forth in the complaint are taken as true for the present motion. See 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)).

         Mr. Bartlett was incarcerated at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (“LLCC”). [DE 4 at 4, ¶ 11]. At that time, Correct Care Solutions was a private healthcare provider contracted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to provide health care services to patients located at LLCC. [Id. at 3, ¶ 3]. On February 22, Mr. Bartlett dislocated his left index finger and he requested to be taken to the hospital for an x-ray. [Id. at 4-5, ¶¶ 12-13]. Mr. Bartlett alleges that Defendant Oldaker, a CCS employee, told Mr. Bartlett that he would not be taken to the hospital, because “his situation was not ‘life or death.'” [Id. at 5, ¶ 13]. Defendant Oldaker instead advised Mr. Bartlett to “apply ice to the injured area.” [Id. at 5, ¶ 14].

         The next day Mr. Bartlett again requested medical attention, and an unknown CCS employee “advised Mr. Bartlett that he would not be seen because an order for a hand consultation was already pending.” [Id. at 5, ¶ 16]. Mr. Bartlett explained that the pending consultation order was for an unrelated injury to his right hand and that he had received no medical treatment for his injured index finger. [Id. at 5, ¶ 17]. His request for treatment was again denied. [Id.].

         On February 24, Mr. Bartlett filed a grievance with LLCC, citing deficient medical treatment and requesting “[o]utside medical treatment to save [his] finger.” [Id. at 5, ¶ 18 (alterations in original)]. That day, two CCS nurses, Defendants Barbes and O'Hern, examined Mr. Bartlett. [Id. at 5-6, ¶ 19]. Defendant O'Hern, noted that Mr. Bartlett had “not yet been seen, ” and contacted Defendant Ingram, a CCS on-call provider. [Id. at 6, ¶ 19]. In accordance with Defendant Ingram's advice, a split was applied to Mr. Bartlett's injured finger, and Defendant Barbes made the following note in Mr. Bartlett's chart: “Will relay to oncoming shift to assess [Mr. Bartlett's] hand daily until able to be seen by provider.” [Id. at 6, ¶¶ 19-20 (alteration in original)].

         Mr. Bartlett alleges that CCS staff did not check on his injury daily, although the finger was x-rayed “several days later” and revealed that Mr. Bartlett was suffering from a “subluxation of unspecified interphalangeal joint of left index finger.” [Id. at 6, ¶¶ 21-22]. In April 2017, nearly two months later, an outside hand specialist examined Mr. Bartlett and he received surgery to treat his injured finger. [Id. at 6, ¶¶ 23, 25]. According to the Complaint, “[t]he surgical procedure would not have been necessary had the Defendant's [sic] provided Mr. Bartlett with timely and adequate medical treatment.” [Id. at 6, ¶ 25].

         Mr. Bartlett then filed this Complaint, naming CCS as a defendant “in its official capacity as health care provider” of LLCC and naming Renae Barbes, Jeff Ingram, Courtney Ohern, and Daniel Oldaker (the “Individual Defendants”) in their individual capacities as employees of CCS. [Id. at 1]. The Complaint alleges that Defendants violated Mr. Bartlett's Eighth Amendment rights and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [Id. at 7, ¶¶ 28-29]. CCS moved to dismiss. Mr. Bartlett responded [DE 9], and CCS filed its Reply, [DE 10]. The Individual Defendants have not joined this Motion to Dismiss or filed independent motions to dismiss, but have filed an answer, [DE 22], foreclosing their ability to file a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). See Pfeifer v. Correctcare-Integrated Health, Inc., CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:15-CV-7-TBR, 2018 WL 1863596, at *3 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 18, 2018) (“It is axiomatic that the filing of a responsive pleading forecloses a defendant's opportunity and ability to file a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”).

         II. STANDARD

         Under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court must dismiss a complaint if it “fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To state a claim, a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). When considering a motion to dismiss, courts must presume all factual allegations in the complaint to be true and make all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Total Benefits Planning Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). “But the district court need not accept a bare assertion of legal conclusions.” Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (citation omitted). “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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal citation and quotation omitted).

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Traverse Bay Area Intermediate Sch. Dist. v. Mich. Dep't of Educ., 615 F.3d 622, 627 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim becomes plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “A complaint will be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) if no law supports the claims made, if the facts alleged are insufficient to state a claim, or if the face of the complaint presents an insurmountable bar to relief.” Southfield Educ. Ass'n v. Southfield Bd. of Educ., 570 Fed.Appx. 485, 487 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 561-64).


         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1983, “[e]very person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured.” To state a viable § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege: (1) the depravation of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Federal Constitution or ...

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