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Schwartz v. Well Path Health Services

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

July 24, 2019

KENNETH SCHWARTZ, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLPATH HEALTH SERVICES, CORE CIVIC AMERICA, INC., A.W. CARTER, MS. MOON, VAN HOOSER, MS. MOODY, ELLIS, WARDEN SEXTON, and VICE PRESIDENT MEDLIN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Leon Jordan United States District Judge

         This is a pro se prisoner's complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Now before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to add Defendant [Doc. 10]. Also, in reviewing the docket, the Court notes that Plaintiff has failed to timely comply with its order requiring Plaintiff to file an amended complaint [Doc. 8]. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion to add Defendant [Doc. 10] will be DENIED and this action will be DISMISSED with prejudice due to Plaintiff's failure to comply with the Court's order pursuant to Rule 41(b).

         I. MOTION TO ADD DEFENDANT

         In this motion, Plaintiff seeks to add Reid Thomas as a Defendant based on allegations that on June 8, 2019, she “aggressively knocked [him] to the ground, ” causing him to hit a metal table with metal stools in a manner that resulted in injuries for which he was subsequently denied medical care despite making a report to Nurse Sparks [Doc. 10 p. 1-2]. Plaintiff also, however, states that ten days after this incident, he saw a doctor who diagnosed him and referred him to a neurosurgeon for his injuries [Id. at 2]. Plaintiff states that he seeks more than one million dollars based on these allegations [Id.].

         As the Court previously notified Plaintiff, however, under Rule 20(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, persons may only be joined in one action as defendants where “(A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2). Thus, Rule 20 does not permit plaintiffs to join unrelated claims against different defendants in one lawsuit. George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).

         Nothing in Plaintiff's motion allows the Court to plausibly infer that Plaintiff's proposed claim against Reid Thomas arises out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences as those in Plaintiff's complaint or that Plaintiff seeks relief against Reid Thomas and other Defendants in this matter jointly, severally, or in the alternative. To the contrary, it is apparent that Plaintiff's claim against Reid Thomas is unrelated to his other claims and that Plaintiff seeks more than one-million dollars from Reid Thomas alone [Id.]. Thus, Plaintiff's proposed claim against Reid Thomas would not be properly joined in this action under Rule 20(a)(2) and Plaintiff's motion to add Defendant [Doc. 10] will be DENIED.

         II. FAILURE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT

         On June 19, 2019, the Court entered an order noting that Plaintiff's complaint did not comply with Rule 20(a)(2) and providing that Plaintiff had twenty days from the date of entry of the order to file an amended complaint [Doc. 8 p. 2-3, 5]. The Court also warned Plaintiff that if he failed to timely comply with that order, the Court would dismiss this action [Id. at 5]. More than thirty-five days have passed since entry of this order and while Plaintiff has filed another supplement to his motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 9] and his motion to add Defendant [Doc. 10], Plaintiff has not filed an amended complaint as required by the Court's previous order. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, this action will be DISMISSED.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) gives this Court the authority to dismiss a case for “failure of the plaintiff to prosecute or to comply with these rules or any order of the court.” See, e.g., Nye Capital Appreciation Partners, L.L.C. v. Nemchik, 483 Fed.Appx. 1, 9 (6th Cir. 2012); Knoll v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Co., 176 F.3d 359, 362-63 (6th Cir. 1999). The Court examines four factors when considering dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b):

(1) whether the party's failure is due to willfulness, bad faith, or fault; (2) whether the adversary was prejudiced by the dismissed party's conduct; (3) whether the dismissed party was warned that failure to cooperate could lead to dismissal; and (4) whether less drastic sanctions were imposed or considered before dismissal was ordered.

Wu v. T.W. Wang, Inc., 420 F.3d 641, 643 (6th Cir. 2005.

         First, Plaintiff's failure to respond to or comply with the Court's order is due to Plaintiff's willfulness and/or fault. Specifically, it appears that Plaintiff received the Court's order, but chose not to comply therewith. As such, the first factor weighs in favor of dismissal.

         As to the second factor, Plaintiff's failure to comply with the Court's order has not prejudiced Defendants.

         As to the third factor, the Court warned Plaintiff that the Court would dismiss this case if he failed ...


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