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Smiley v. State

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga

September 8, 2017

BRUCE A SMILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HARRY S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's pro se complaint for violation of civil rights pursuant to 42');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2], and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 1]. In addition to these filings, the Court is also in receipt of Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. 3] and accompanying memorandum of law in support of Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. 4]. For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 1] will be GRANTED. His request for counsel will be DENIED and complaint [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2] will be DISMISSED sua sponte.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural

         Plaintiff, an inmate of the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex (“BCCX”), filed the instant action under 42');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 U.S.C. § 1983 against several defendants, including: 1) The State of Tennessee and Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiatives in Correction (“TRICOR”), as well as managers Lisa Allen, Daniel Mercer, and David Baker, in their individual and official capacities, and Viet Spero, Environmental Safety and Health Specialist, in both his individual and official capacity; 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2) The Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”), as well as safety director Michael Miller in both his individual and official capacity, and facility safety officers Jeff Hunt, Ryan Snelling, and Steve Coleman, in both their individual and official capacities; 3) The Tennessee Department of Labor and Work Force Development, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“TOSHA”), as well as public sector supervisor Kevin Duke in both his individual and official capacity; and 4) Shaw Industries Group Incorporated (“Shaw”), as well as managers Tim Farner, Keith Harmon, and Darrin Edwards in their individual capacities [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 p. 1');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 p. 1].

         Plaintiff asserts the following claims: 1) A violation of Plaintiff's right to Freedom of Speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution through Defendant Baker's termination of Plaintiff from the TRICOR program, as well as the actions of Defendants Baker and Edwards in conspiring to refuse to reinstate Plaintiff to the TRICOR program [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 p. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">24');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 p. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">24]; 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2) A violation of Plaintiff's right to Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution through the actions of Defendants' Baker and Edwards in not reinstating Plaintiff to the TRICOR program, as well as the actions of Defendant Duke in failing to perform an inspection of the plant within the BCCX industry building [Id. at 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">24-2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">25]. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant Duke's actions constituted a state law tort of negligence [Id.]; and 3) A claim of deliberate indifference under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution through the actions of Defendants' Spero, Miller, Hunt, Snelling and Coleman, by failing to ensure proper exhaust ventilation existed at the TRICOR/TDOC facility, as well as the actions of Defendants' Allen, Mercer, Baker, Jones, Farner, Harmon and Edwards in failing to ensure that proper protective equipment was in place [Id. at 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">25-2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">26]. He seeks the following relief against the respective Defendants: $750, 000 in compensatory damages and $500, 000 in punitive damages, in addition to costs for the action.

         B. Factual

         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of TDOC and has been incarcerated at BCCX at all times relevant to the current suit [Id. at 3]. In October 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2008, the Plaintiff was assigned to the TRICOR wood flooring plant located at the BCCX industry building (“BCCX plant”), a “Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program” between the State of Tennessee and Anderson Hardwood Floors, LLC (“Anderson”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shaw [Id. at 4-5].

         Plaintiff's initial duties as a “wood scraper” were to scrape and sand cured wood putty from laminate wood flooring boards [Id. at 5]. Plaintiff worked as a wood scraper from October 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2008 until November 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2009 [Id.]. From November 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2009 until September 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2010, Plaintiff worked in “Quality Assurance” and “wood stack off” [Id. at 6]. Then, he was terminated from the TRICOR program in September 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2010, but was reinstated in January 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2011 after filing a grievance [Id. at 7]. Following his reinstatement, Plaintiff filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee alleging that his termination occurred in retaliation for the exercise of his protected First Amendment rights [Id.]. The case settled prior to trial in 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2014 [Id.]. The Defendant also currently has a case pending in the Chancery Court for Bledsoe County against Shaw and Defendants Harmon and Edwards claiming “breach of an oral contract and Promissory Estoppel” [Id. at 8]. After his reinstatement, Plaintiff worked as a “bench grinder” from January 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2011 until November 31, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2015 [Id. at 7].

         Plaintiff was terminated again from the TRICOR program on November 31, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2015 by Defendant Baker after a confrontation between the Plaintiff and another offender regarding the damaging of a tool blade [Id. at 13]. Plaintiff claims that Defendant Baker submitted false information to support his termination [Id.]. Additionally, “during mid 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2015, ” Plaintiff reviewed his TRICOR offender file in the presence of Defendants Baker and Allen to aid in his state law suit against Shaw [Id.]. Plaintiff then filed a grievance on December 7, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2015 claiming the termination was performed without a hearing and in violation of TDOC Policy 505.07, covering “Inmate Programming (Jobs/Classes/Treatment)” [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2-2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, p. 3-5]. This TDOC policy covers non-disciplinary dismissals, and states “[a] minimum of three notes must be entered…prior to possible favorable consideration of a non-disciplinary dismissal or demotion request” [Id. at 16].

         On February 7, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016, Plaintiff requested information as to whether he was eligible for reassignment to the TRICOR program [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, 4');">p. 14]. BCCX Coordinator Mike Harris responded that the decision was up to Defendant Baker [Id.]. Plaintiff then requested to be placed upon the BCCX job register on February 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016, however this request has yet to be acknowledged [Id. at 15]. Also, Plaintiff attaches the contract between TRICOR and Anderson/Shaw, claiming Shaw managers are given the authority to determine which offenders are allowed to be reassigned to the TRICOR program [Id.; Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2-4]. However, the only relevant language in the contract states “The Procuring Party [Anderson] shall have the right to recommend to TRICOR any worker disciplinary action deemed necessary up to and including suspension or removal from the work program as It would in the normal course of business practices….” [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2-4, p. 3].

         In “mid 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2015, ” Plaintiff began to experience shortness of breath (“SOB”), and made a chronic care appointment with Dr. Belknap, the physician at BCCX [Id. at 8-9]. Dr. Belknap ordered a chest x-ray to be performed “[o]n or about September 1, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016” and placed Plaintiff on a breathing inhaler for asthma [Id. at 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">20]. However, as of the date of filing, Plaintiff has yet to receive the results of the chest x-ray [Id.]. He claims that his SOB is a result of exposure to respirable airborne dust particulates, including “Crystalline Silica, ” which he was exposed to as a result of his duties under the TRICOR program [Id. at 5, 9]. Dr. Belknap “attributed the Plaintiff's SOB largely to the Plaintiffs age and weight” [Id. at 9]. Crystalline silica is claimed to cause respiratory illness and disease [Id. at 6].

         Believing that a proper exhaust ventilation system was not in place at the BCCX plant, as well as the existence of several additional safety hazards, Plaintiff filed an OSHA complaint on April 8, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016 [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, p. 15; Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2-5]. The U.S. Department of Labor forwarded the complaint to TOSHA, which TOSHA then referred to TDOC [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, p. 15]. On May 12');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016, Defendant Duke communicated with Plaintiff's daughter, informing her that TOSHA had not conducted an investigation, as it determined that the complaint was not in TOSHA's jurisdiction [Id. at 16].

         Plaintiff later filed a request for documents from Anderson and Shaw, including Material Safety Data Sheets (“MSDS”) for the BCCX plant located at BCCX [Id. at 16-17]. Although the request was filed on June 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">23, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016, he did not receive the MSDS until August 16, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016 [Id.]. Plaintiff claims that he has been exposed to airborne toxins and carcinogens, including crystalline silica, largely from the putty used at the BCCX plant [Id.]. Although an Industrial Hygiene Sampling performed at the BCCX plant on August 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">21, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2014 indicated that the plant is within the permissible exposure limit established by TOSHA, Plaintiff believes that the sampling is inaccurate due to an improper time-period base [Id. at 18]. Plaintiff also claims that several other contributing factors causing stress exist at the BCCX plant, including a preferential treatment for marketable job positions to life-offenders, as well as an overall lack of management shown through other offenders making supervisory decisions [Id. at 19].

         Next, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Spero wrote to Defendant Miller on July 11, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016 that the “factory area” at the BCCX plant is air conditioned and fans are circulated [Id. at 18]. Claiming this letter to be an “informal response” to his OSHA request, Plaintiff claims no fans were present at the BCCX plant, and there is not a ventilation system in the building [Id.]. He filed an additional TDOC grievance on September 4, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016, regarding health hazards and a risk of future illness stemming from the working conditions at the BCCX plant [Id. at 18-19; Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2-7].

         Lastly, Plaintiff claims that no program was in place at the BCCX plant from October 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2008 until October 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2014 that “suggested or recommended the use of Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”), ” which he defines as air particulate respirators [Doc. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, p. 6]. Respiratory protection was claimed to be optional at the BCCX plant, although hand, eye and hearing protection was mandatory [Id.]. Around October 31, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2014, a voluntary use of filtering respirators program was instituted at the BCCX plant [Id.]. Additionally, Plaintiff claims that a “substantial amount of respirable airborne dust particulates” were created by the sanding and scraping of wood putty, but the only PPE available to him from October 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2008 until “late 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2001 or early 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2012');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2[1] was the equivalent of a nuisance dust mask [Id. at 8]. Although PPEs rated for grinding and sanding were provided in late 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2011 or early 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2012');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, Plaintiff claims that there were several periods of time, including up to three weeks, where the particulate respirators were not available [Id.]. Also, Plaintiff states that “no suitable PPE's” were “available for use by the offender work force” for an additional period from June 10, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2015 until July 1, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2015 [Id. at 11]. Plaintiff claims that the overall lack of “suitable PPE's” resulted in a “substantial exposure to airborne particulates containing crystalline silica, ” and from January 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2011 until late 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2011 or early 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2012');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, he frequently “coughed up and expelled thick, very dark colored mucus” [Id.].

         Plaintiff claims that Defendants Spero and Miller were “responsible for the health and safety of offenders in the custody of the TDOC” [Id. at 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">20]. Additionally, he states Defendants Hunt, Snelling and Coleman “were responsible for maintaining an environment free of health and safety hazards” at the BCCX plant located at BCCX [Id. at 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">21]. Defendants Allen, Mercer, and Baker were alleged to be “responsible for overseeing the daily operations” at the BCCX plant [Id.]. Lastly, Plaintiff claims that Defendants Jones, Farner, Harmon and Edwards were responsible for providing “all necessary tools, equipment, and/or supplies necessary for the perform of the work” at the BCCX plant, as well as “select those offender workers that they wish to recommend for assignment into the work program” [Id.].

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), any prisoner who files a complaint in a district court must tender the full filing fee or file (1) an application to proceed in forma pauperis without prepayment of fees and (2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2) a certified copy of his inmate trust account for the previous six-month period. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2). Plaintiff submitted a fully compliant application to proceed in forma pauperis on November 1, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2016 [Doc. 1], and it appears from that application that he lacks sufficient financial resources to pay the $350.00 filing fee. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 1] is GRANTED and, pursuant to 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">28 U.S.C. § 1915, the Clerk is DIRECTED to file this action without the prepayment of costs or fees or security therefor as of the date the Complaint was received. Because plaintiff has failed to state a viable claim for relief under § 1983, however, process shall not issue and the action will be DISMISSED.

         B. Request for Appointment of Counsel

         Plaintiff requests the court to appoint counsel to represent him in the current § 1983 action [Doc. 3], accompanied by a memorandum of law and declaration in support of Plaintiff's motion [Doc. 4; Doc. 4-1]. The appointment of counsel in a civil case is a matter within the discretion of the Court. Childs v. Pellegrin, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 F.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 1382');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">82');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 F.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 1382');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, 1384 (6th Cir. 1987). After careful consideration of Plaintiff's motions, including the type and nature of the case, its complexity, and Plaintiff's ability to prosecute his claim, this Court is of the opinion that counsel is not necessary at this time to ensure Plaintiff's claims are fairly heard. Mira v. Marshall, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 636');">806 F.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 636 (6th Cir. 1986). Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. 3] will be DENIED.

         C. Sua Sponte Screening Standard

         Under the PLRA, district courts must screen prisoner complaints and sua sponte dismiss those that are frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim for relief or are against a defendant who is immune. See Benson v. O'Brian, 4');">179 F.3d 1014, 1015-16 (6th Cir. 1999) (“Congress directed the federal courts to review or ‘screen' certain complaints sua sponte and to dismiss those that failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted [or] . . . sought monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief.”). The dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">556 U.S. 662');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 (2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2009) and in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 4');">550 U.S. 554 (2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2007) “governs dismissals for failure state a claim under [2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2)(B) and 1915A] because the relevant statutory language tracks the language in Rule 12');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 468');">630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2010). Thus, to survive an initial review under the PLRA, a complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).

         D. § 1983 Standard

         To state a claim under 42');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal right by a person acting under color of state law. Black v. Barberton Citizens Hospital, 4 F.3d 12');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">265');">134 F.3d 12');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">265, 12');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">267 (6th Cir. 1998); O'Brien v. City of Grand Rapids, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">23 F.3d 990');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">23 F.3d 990, 995 (6th Cir. 1994); Russo v. City of Cincinnati, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 1036');">953 F.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 1036, 1042');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 (6th Cir. 1992');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2); see also Braley v. City of Pontiac, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">20');">906 F.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">20, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">23 (6th Cir. 1990) ("Section 1983 does not itself create any constitutional rights; it creates a right of action for the vindication of constitutional guarantees found elsewhere."). In other words, the plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show: (1) the deprivation of a right, privilege, or immunity secured to him by the United States Constitution or other federal law; and (2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2) that the individual responsible for such deprivation was acting under color of state law. Gregory v. Shelby Cty., 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">20 F.3d 433, 441 (6th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2000). Plaintiff's complaint in its current form fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.[2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2" name="FN2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2" id= "FN2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2]

         E. Official Capacity Claims

         Plaintiff has filed suit against several state agencies, as well as various individuals in their individual and official capacities. The claims against the State of Tennessee, TRICOR, TDOC, and TOSHA, as well as against the respective State employees in their official capacity are barred because the State is not a person for purposes of §1983.

         The Eleventh Amendment provides a state with immunity from suits brought in federal court. Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89');">465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984). Thus, it bars an action for damages in a federal court against a state, a state agency, or any of its employees in their official capacities, unless Congress has abrogated its sovereign immunity or the State has expressly waived it. See Berndt v. State of Tennessee, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 879');">796 F.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 879, 881 (6th Cir. 1986). Since § 1983 does not abrogate the Eleventh Amendment immunity of the states and their agencies, Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">440 U.S. 332');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, 32');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">20-45 (1979), and Tennessee has not waived its sovereign immunity with respect to § 1983 complaints, Plaintiff's claims against the State, as well as the state employees in their official capacity are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See Berndt v. State of Tennessee, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 879');">796 F.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2d 879, 881 (6th Cir. 1986); see also Will v. Michigan Dept. Of State Police, 491 U.S. 491');">491 U.S. 491 U.S. 58, 64 (1989) (stating “neither a State nor its officials acting in their official capacities are ‘person' under § 1983”). An official capacity suit is to be treated as a suit against the state entity, and therefore a suit for damages against state officials in their official capacity is barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See Grinter v. Knight, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 F.3d 567');">532');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 F.3d 567, 572');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 (6th Cir.2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2008) (finding that when a state has not waived its sovereign immunity and defendants are state employees, “[t]o the extent [defendants] are sued in their official capacities, the § 1983 claim fails.”).

         As the State of Tennessee is not a “person” subject to damages under 42');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against the State, respective state agencies or Defendants in their official capacity. Here, Defendants Allen, Mercer, Baker, and Spero are state employees and TRICOR is a state agency. Defendants Miller, Hunt, Snelling, and Coleman are also state employees, and TDOC is a state agency. Lastly, Defendant Duke is a state employee and TOSHA is a state agency. Accordingly, the claims against Defendants Allen, Mercer, Baker, Spero, Miller, Hunt, Snelling, Coleman, and Duke in their official capacities, as well as against the State of Tennessee, TRICOR, TDOC, and TOSHA will be DISMISSED because these claims are effectively against the State of Tennessee and are barred on the ground that a state is not a person within the meaning within the meaning of § 1983. See Lapides v. Board of Regents of the Univ. Sys. of Ga., 535 U.S. 613, 617 (2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2002');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2); Will, 491 U.S. at 71.

         F. Private Actor ...


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