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Neely v. WCF Core Civic

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

January 3, 2018

BOBBY GENE NEELY, # 389748, Plaintiff,
v.
WCF CORE CIVIC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Bobby Gene Neely, an inmate of the Whiteville Correctional Facility in Whiteville, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against WCF Core Civic, alleging violations of his civil rights after a slip and fall incident. (Doc. No. 1). He seeks compensatory damages and damages for his pain and suffering. (Id. at 8).

         The 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.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 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).

         The 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)).

         Although 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).

         II. Section 1983 Standard

         Plaintiff 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.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint and supplemental documents from the Plaintiff allege that, in April 2017, while an inmate of Whiteville Correctional Complex, the Plaintiff slipped and fell due to a chemical spill on the floor. The Plaintiff sustained an injury to his wrist. According to the complaint, there was not a wet floor sign to warn inmates of the spill, and this incident was not the first time the facility had failed to post a wet floor sign resulting in an inmate fall.

         The Plaintiff was examined by a nurse soon after his fall. Over the course of the next two months, Core Civic transported the Plaintiff to two different outside medical facilities for x-rays and examinations. Two physicians at two different facilities diagnosed the Plaintiff with a broken wrist and referred the Plaintiff for surgery. According to the complaint, the Plaintiff waited a total of three months before he was allowed to have surgery.

         After his surgery, the physician told the Plaintiff that he would never have full use of his wrist again. He encouraged the Plaintiff to seek disability benefits. The physician prescribed pain medication for the Plaintiff, but Core Civic refuses to fill the prescription. (Doc. Nos. 1 and 4).

         IV. ...


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