Ham v. Anderson et al
ORDER: Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint within thirty (30) days of the date of this order re 1 Complaint. (Amended Pleadings due by 6/9/2014.) So Ordered by Judge Steven J. McAuliffe.(jab)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
Case No. 14-cv-135-SM
Opinion No. 2014 DNH 105
Kathleen Anderson, et al
O R D E R
Stephen Ham, a prisoner at the New Hampshire State Prison,
has filed a complaint
(doc. no. 1) alleging that prison
conditions in his cell created a hazard and caused him injury,
and that he received inadeguate medical care for his serious
injury, in violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment of
the United States Constitution, and state tort law.
is before the court for preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
In determining whether a pro se pleading states a claim, the
court construes the pleading liberally.
551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
See Erickson v. Pardus,
Disregarding any legal conclusions, the
court considers whether the factual content in the pleading and
inferences reasonably drawn therefrom, taken as true, state a
facially plausible claim to relief.
Hernandez-Cuevas v. Taylor,
723 F.3d 91, 102-03
(1st Cir. 2013)
(citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
On November 28, 2013, Sgt. Duprey of the New Hampshire State
Prison placed Ham in a cell with a broken bed frame.
to the frame created two sharp edges on the frame, where one
would ordinarily get on and off the bed.
On December 1 or 2,
2013, Ham scratched his leg on one of the sharp edges.
personnel cleaned and bandaged his cut at the infirmary and Ham
returned to his cell.
After the incident. Corrections Officer
Joseph O'Brian wrote an incident report concerning Ham's injury
and cell conditions.
On December 9, 2013, Ham again cut himself on one of the
sharp metal edges, and received a S^-inch long laceration that
Ham was treated by several people at the prison
NHSP medical personnel decided to close Ham's
laceration with a "glue medical bond."
Ham alleges that thirty
minutes after the glue was applied, his cut started to reopen,
and he returned to the infirmary to have his cut taped closed and
Ham alleges that he has a sizeable scar on his leg
where he was cut.
Ham also alleges that after his injury, a
corrections official moved him to a different cell.
Eighth Amendment Claims
Ham alleges that defendants knowingly housed him in a cell
that, due to the exposed sharp metal edge on his bedframe,
subjected him to an unreasonable risk of harm.
requires prison officials to take "reasonable measures to
guarantee the safety of the inmates."
U.S. 825, 832-33.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511
To establish unconstitutional endangerment, an
inmate must assert facts to demonstrate that, objectively, he was
incarcerated "under conditions posing a substantial risk of
serious harm," and that the involved prison officials knew of and
disregarded the excessive risk to the inmate's safety.
Ham alleges generally that defendants were aware of the
dangerous condition in his cell but failed to remedy the hazard,
resulting in Ham's continued exposure to the sharp edge that
caused his more serious injury.
However, Ham has not alleged
facts to show that defendants Kathleen Anderson, the Unit Manager
on Ham's unit, Sgt. Duprey, the officer who initially placed Ham
in the cell in question, and Lisa Savage, the medical care
provider who treated Ham after his second injury, had any
knowledge of the sharp edges and the risk of harm, and failed to
take reasonable steps to correct it.
Ham does state that
Corrections Officer Joseph O'Brian was aware of the first injury
and thus the risk that Ham was subject to future injury.
also states that O'Brian responded to the situation by writing an
incident report concerning Ham's injury and cell conditions.
court cannot therefore infer that 0'Brian disregarded a risk to
Ham's safety, or that 0'Brian failed to respond to the situation
in a reasonable manner.
Ham has failed to plead any facts that
show that any defendant acted with deliberate indifference in
disregarding a known risk to Ham's safety, and Ham has thus
failed to assert a claim that his Eighth Amendment rights were
violated, relative to his cell conditions.
Ham complains that the use of a glue bond that failed to
hold violated his Eighth Amendment right to adeguate medical
Nothing in the complaint indicates, however, that Ham's
medical care was inadeguate, or that any defendant was
deliberately indifferent to any substantial risk of harm.
alleges that each time he was injured, he received prompt medical
attention and treatment.
Ham has thus failed to state any claim
asserting an unconstitutional deprivation of adeguate medical
State Law Claims
Ham alleges that the defendants' acts which form the basis
of his asserted Eighth Amendment claims also constitute
negligence under state law.
Because Ham has failed to state any
federal claim for relief, the court declines to exercise its
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims.
28 U.S.C. § 1367.
Nothing in this order prevents Ham from
litigating his negligence claims in the state courts.
For the foregoing reasons, the court finds that Ham has
failed to state a federal constitutional claim upon which relief
may be granted, and is therefore subject to dismissal under
Accordingly, Ham is granted leave to file an amended
complaint within thirty days of the date of this order, stating
plausible federal claims arising out of the facts alleged.
Ham fails to comply with this order, this action will be
dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a plausible
federal claim, and the state claims will be dismissed without
prejudice to refiling in state court.
Jnited States District Judge
Stephen Ham, pro se