United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
LEWIS Y. DAWSON, JR., # 153733, Plaintiff,
CORECIVIC, INC., et al., Defendants.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Y. Dawson, Jr., an inmate of the Metro-Davidson County
Detention Facility in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this
pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against CoreCivic, Inc., and Warden Charlie
Peterson, alleging violations of his civil rights. (Doc. No.
1). As relief, the Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive
relief. (Id. at 9).
complaint is before the Court for an initial review pursuant
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
PLRA Screening Standard
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss any
portion of a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis
that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
is frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. Section 1915A similarly requires
initial review of any “complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity, ”
id. § 1915A(a), and summary dismissal of the
complaint on the same grounds as those articulated in §
1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).
Sixth Circuit has confirmed that the dismissal standard
articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), “governs
dismissals for failure to state a claim under those statutes
because the relevant statutory language tracks the language
in Rule 12(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d
468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). Thus, to survive scrutiny on
initial review, “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). “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, 561F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009)
(citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th
Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)).
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), the courts'
“duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro
se complaints does not require us to conjure up
[unpleaded] allegations.” McDonald v. Hall,
610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).
Section 1983 Standard
brings his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Title
42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action against any
person who, acting under color of state law, abridges
“rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws . . . .” To state a claim under
§ 1983, a plaintiff must allege and show two elements:
(1) that he was deprived of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the
deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Tahfs v. Proctor, 316 F.3d 584, 590
(6th Cir. 2003); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
alleges that, on April 26, 2017, while an inmate of the
Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility, he slipped and fell
due to standing water on the floor on his way from the
dayroom area to his cell. He injured his left ankle, right
knee, and right toe when he fell. According to the complaint,
“CoreCivic's carelessness in the matter resulted in
[the Plaintiff's] slip and fall.” (Doc. No. 1 at
5). After his fall, the Plaintiff requested medical attention
and a transfer to a bottom bunk as he was having difficulty
getting off and on to his top bunk.
following day, the Plaintiff was examined and treated by
Nurse f/n/u Gleen who ordered x-rays of the Plaintiff's
knee and ankle. She ordered the Plaintiff a knee brace and
released him with a prescription for Naproxen 500 mg tablets.
On April 28, 2017, the Plaintiff's knee and ankle were
x-rayed. On May 9, 2017, the Plaintiff received additional
Naproxen tablets. He requested his x-ray results and
doctor's notes on June 15, 2017, but he was not provided
with either; however, a “medical staff rep” told
the Plaintiff that he had a “broken and fractured knee
cap.” (Id. at 8). To date, he is experiencing
severe pain and has not been transferred to a bottom bunk. He
believes that he should have been prescribed stronger
medication for pain. (Id.)
Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants'
“carelessness” (Doc. No. 1 at 5) caused or
contributed to his slip and fall and resulting injuries. He
also alleges that he was denied timely and proper medical
care for the injuries he sustained when he fell. The Eighth
Amendment of the United States Constitution imposes an
obligation to provide prisoners with reasonably adequate
food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, recreation, and medical
care. Grubbs v. Bradley, 552 F.Supp. 1052, 1119-1124
(M.D. Tenn. 1982). The failure to provide such necessities is
a violation of an inmate's right to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment. Bellamy v. Bradley, 729 F.2d
416 (6th Cir. 1984). To establish a violation of
his Eighth Amendment rights, a plaintiff must show that
prison officials acted with deliberate indifference in
violating the plaintiff's constitutional or civil rights.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976);
Brooks v. Celeste, 39 F.3d 125, 127 (6th
Cir. 1994). The United States Supreme Court has held that
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners
constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain
proscribed by the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). A claim of deliberate
indifference under the Eighth Amendment has both an objective
and subjective component. Rouster v. Cnty. of
Saginaw, 749 F.3d 437, 446 (6th Cir. 2014). A
plaintiff satisfies the objective component by alleging that
the prisoner had a medical need that was “sufficiently
serious.” Id. (quoting Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 ...