Hays v. Shelby County, Alabama et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge R David Proctor on 10/28/2016. (AVC)
2016 Oct-28 AM 09:44
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
TIMOTHY HAYS, as the personal
representative of the Estate of Brandon Lee }
CHRIS CURRY, et al.,
Case No.: 2:16-cv-00384-RDP
This case is before the court on two Motions to Dismiss filed by Defendants Chris Curry
and Jay Fondren. (Docs. # 36, 37). The Motions are fully briefed. (Docs. # 43, 53). After
careful consideration, and for the reasons stated below, the court concludes that the motions to
dismiss are due to be granted because (1) Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for relief against
Curry or Fondren in their individual capacities, and (2) Curry and Fondren are entitled to
In his Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff seeks relief for violations of Brandon Lee
Hays’s civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.1 (Doc. # 33). Plaintiff claims that Curry, the former
Sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and Fondren, the administrator of the Shelby County Jail,
Plaintiff does not assert a claim for medical negligence or medical malpractice against Defendants Curry
or Fondren. (See Doc. # 33 at ¶¶ 85-93).
violated Hays’s Fourteenth Amendment rights by establishing unconstitutional customs and
policies relating to medical care at the county jail. (Id. at ¶ 83).
Curry and Fondren each have filed motions to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6).2 (Docs. # 36, 37). “A Rule 12(b)(6) motion questions the legal sufficiency
of a complaint; therefore, in assessing the merit of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must assume
that all the factual allegations set forth in the complaint are true.” Mays v. U.S. Postal Serv., 928
F. Supp. 1552, 1557-58 (M.D. Ala. 1996). Thus, for the purpose of resolving Defendants’
motions, the court treats the following facts alleged in the Second Amended Complaint as true.
In February 2014, Brandon Lee Hays was sent to the Shelby County Jail when his bond
was revoked due to a positive drug test. (Doc. # 33 at ¶¶ 14-15). Officers at the jail confiscated
suboxone film from Hays at booking. (Id. at ¶ 16). Moreover, Hays informed jail personnel
“that he had a history of serious withdrawal symptoms.” (Id. at ¶ 18). Nevertheless, Brandon
did not receive medication, treatment, or monitoring for his withdrawal symptoms. (Id. at ¶ 21).
Medical personnel at the jail provided Hays no medical treatment for severe withdrawal
symptoms from February 27, 2014, until March 2, 2014, when he was taken to the jail’s medical
unit. (Id. at ¶¶ 34-37, 39). Officers transferred Hays to the medical unit after he suffered
seizures and became non-responsive in his cell. (Id. at ¶ 39). On March 2, 2014, the nurses and
correctional officers at the jail did not send Hays to a hospital, even though his condition
worsened during the course of the day. (Id. at ¶¶ 40, 43-44, 53). Ultimately, Hays died on
March 3, 2014. (Id. at ¶ 59).
Defendants state that they preserve any statute of limitations defense permitted by law, but they present
no argument for why Plaintiff’s Section 1983 claim is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (Docs. # 36 at
2, 37 at 2). Therefore, the court does not address whether Plaintiff’s Section 1983 claims are barred by the
applicable statute of limitations.
Plaintiff concedes that Curry and Fondren did not personally participate in Hays’s
medical care at the jail, and, in fact, he has sued a number of other Defendants alleging that they
were the ones who personally participated in delaying or providing such care. (See id. at ¶ 61).
This opinion does not address those claims. Rather, the court’s opinion is limited to Plaintiff’s
claims that Curry and Fondren authorized and implemented several customs or policies that
resulted in deliberate indifference towards inmates’ medical needs. According to Plaintiff, these
customs and policies include: (1) indifference towards “complications of opiate and
benzodiazepine withdrawal”; (2) “delaying or denying necessary outside medical care in order to
avoid liability for inmate medical bills”; and (3) “ignoring medical complaints of inmates who
need medical attention for potentially serious conditions.” (See id. at ¶¶ 24-28, 64, 67-68, 7071). The Second Amended Complaint asserts that Curry and Fondren had notice of the jail’s
unconstitutional policy of delaying outside medical care for inmates from inmate complaints,
communications by corrections officers, personal observations, common sense, inmate deaths,
and lawsuits, and were aware of a widespread history of such abuses. (Id. at ¶¶ 70-71). In
support of this contention, Plaintiff has pointed to five incidents over a ten year period: (1) the
2004 death of a jail inmate from a staph infection that was not treated for a week after an injury
became infected; (2) a 2007 lawsuit against Curry by an inmate for denial of dental care; (3) a
2011 lawsuit against Curry by an inmate for denying medication and leg braces; (4) the 2011
death of another inmate, Rebecca Lynn Allred, and the lack of care she received before being
transported to a hospital by Defendant Diana Shirley; and (5) a 2013 lawsuit against Curry by an
inmate who claimed that he did not receive prescription medication when he could not pay a fee
to visit a jail nurse. (Id. at ¶¶ 69, 72).
Standard of Review
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint provide “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).
However, the complaint must include enough facts “to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Pleadings that contain
nothing more than “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” do not meet Rule
8 standards, nor do pleadings suffice that are based merely upon “labels and conclusions” or
“naked assertion[s]” without supporting factual allegations. Id. at 555, 557. In deciding a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, courts view the allegations in the complaint in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Watts v. Fla. International Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th
To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face.” 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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although “[t]he
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,’” the complaint must demonstrate
“more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A plausible claim for
relief requires “enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence” to support the claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
In considering a motion to dismiss, a court should “1) eliminate any allegations in the
complaint that are merely legal conclusions; and 2) where there are well-pleaded factual
allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an
entitlement to relief.’” Kivisto v. Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC, 413 F. Appx. 136,
138 (11th Cir. 2011) (unpublished) (quoting Am. Dental Assn. v. Cigna Corp., 605 F.3d 1283,
1290 (11th Cir. 2010)). That task is context specific and, to survive the motion, the allegations
must permit the court based on its “judicial experience and common sense . . . to infer more than
the mere possibility of misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. If the court determines that wellpleaded facts, accepted as true, do not state a claim that is plausible, the claims are due to be
dismissed.3 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
To state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff “must allege the violation of a right
secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged
deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988) (citations omitted). “The traditional definition of acting under color of state law
requires that the defendant in a § 1983 action have exercised power ‘possessed by virtue of state
law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law.’”
Id. at 49 (citations omitted). In addition, Alabama sheriffs are state officials, and, thus, clothed
with the authority of state law. See Carr v. City of Florence, Ala., 916 F.2d 1521, 1525 (11th
Cir. 1990) (citing Parker v. Amerson, 519 So. 2d 442, 443 (Ala. 1987)) (a court must “consider
the laws of the state” and, according to the Supreme Court of Alabama, “a sheriff is an executive
officer of the state of Alabama”).
Plaintiff argues that his Section 1983 claims against Defendants Curry and Fondren are
based on their liability as supervisors for their subordinates’ actions. (See Doc. # 43 at 2). It is
well-settled that a plaintiff must meet an “extremely rigorous” standard in order to plead a
The court recognizes that the heightened pleading standard formerly applied by the Eleventh Circuit to
Section 1983 cases where a defendant could assert qualified immunity no longer applies after Iqbal. Randall v.
Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 709-10 (11th Cir. 2010).
Section 1983 claim against a supervisor in his individual capacity. Cottone v. Jenne, 326 F.3d
1352, 1360 (11th Cir. 2003), abrogated in part on other grounds by Randall v. Scott, 610 F.3d
701 (11th Cir. 2010).
Indeed, it is axiomatic that supervisors are not responsible for
unconstitutional acts by their subordinates on the basis of respondeat superior liability or
vicarious liability. Id. Rather, a supervisor is only liable under Section 1983 in an individual
capacity if he or she personally participated in unconstitutional conduct or “when there is a
causal connection” between his or her actions and an alleged constitutional deprivation. Id. “A
causal connection can be established ‘when a history of widespread abuse puts the responsible
supervisor on notice of the need to correct the alleged deprivation, and he fails to do so,’ . . . or
when the supervisor's improper ‘custom or policy resulted in deliberate indifference to
constitutional rights.’”4 Gonzalez v. Reno, 325 F.3d 1228, 1234 (11th Cir. 2003) (citation and
The Second Amended Complaint Does Not Plausibly Allege that a History of
Widespread Abuse Occurred at the Shelby County Jail
On these pleadings, Plaintiff has fallen far short of stating a claim that Curry or Fondren
were deliberately indifferent to Hays’s medical needs based solely on notice of similar claims of
deliberate indifference by other inmates. Plaintiff relies on an Eleventh Circuit case to show that
he has properly alleged a widespread pattern of abuse: Danley v. Allen, 540 F.3d 1298 (11th Cir.
2008), overruled in part on other grounds as recognized by Randall v. Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 709
(11th Cir. 2010). However, a review of Danley reveals that Plaintiff’s allegations do not meet
the threshold for asserting a plausible claim that Curry or Fondren had sufficient knowledge of a
history of widespread abuse.
Plaintiff does not argue that Defendants Curry or Fondren are subject to supervisory liability for directing
their subordinates to act unlawfully or knowing that they would act unlawfully and failing to stop them. (Doc. # 43
In Danley, the plaintiff, Kevin Danley, claimed that a jail administrator and a sheriff were
subject to supervisory liability for their subordinates’ unconstitutional use of pepper spray
because they had received notice that the subordinates previously had used excessive force
against inmates with pepper spray and had provided insufficient care for pepper spray injuries.
540 F.3d at 1313. In particular, Danley’s complaint alleged that the supervisors had received
notice of their subordinates’ unconstitutional conduct with pepper spray through (1) force
reports, (2) complaints by inmates, attorneys, jailers, and judicial officers, and (3) personal
observations. Id. at 1315. Moreover, the supervisors had received notice of several incidents
involving pepper spray during the shift on which the supervisors’ subordinates (and
codefendants) worked. Id. The Eleventh Circuit held that Danley had sufficiently alleged the
supervisors’ notice of “obvious, flagrant, rampant, and [ ] continued” misconduct because they
had received numerous complaints about their subordinates’ excessive use of pepper spray and
subsequent denial of appropriate treatment.
It emphasized that Danley had alleged
complaints regarding such conduct “during the shift on which [the subordinate codefendants]
Because the supervisors allegedly failed to respond to this notice and the
misconduct continued, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that Danley had put forth adequate
allegations of supervisory liability. Id.
In contrast, Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint falls short of plausibly alleging that
Defendants Curry and/or Fondren were aware of a widespread history of specific
unconstitutional conduct by their subordinates. This is the case for at least three reasons. First,
Plaintiff has not alleged that Curry and Fondren were aware of a pattern of specific constitutional
violations by their subordinates like the specific constitutional violations related to pepper spray
presented in the Danley litigation. Cf. Danley, 540 F.3d at 1313. Rather, Plaintiff claims that
Curry and Fondren had notice of the jail’s allegedly widespread practice of cost control taking
precedence over providing necessary medical care, an allegation that is almost completely
devoid of specifics beyond a bare allegation that Curry and Fondren knew of a practice that
potentially had constitutional implications. (Doc. # 33 at ¶ 71). Second, Plaintiff has not alleged
the specific facts, dates, frequency, or number of reports, complaints, and/or lawsuits that Curry
and Fondren received (or became aware of) related to the alleged prior incidents. To the extent
Plaintiff relies on five incidents over a ten year period (2004 to 2013) to show a widespread
history of misconduct, he has not alleged enough prior incidents to support such an allegation of
widespread practice.5 Cf. Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51, 62-63 (2011) (holding that four
reversals of convictions over a ten-year period for Brady violations were insufficient to place a
district attorney on notice that his office’s Brady training was inadequate).
Second Amended Complaint does not indicate whether the complaints received by Curry and
Fondren related to unconstitutional conduct by the subordinates responsible for Hays’s medical
care. (See Doc. # 33 at ¶ 71). See Danley, 540 F.3d at 1315 (emphasizing that some complaints
received by the supervisors related to the shift where the subordinate codefendants actually
worked). For these reasons, Plaintiff has failed to plead a causal connection between any
deprivation of Hays’s constitutional rights and Curry’s or Fondren’s failure to respond to a
widespread history of abuse.
Notably, Plaintiff has not included details about when Defendants Curry and Fondren received inmate
complaints or communications from corrections officers in the Second Amended Complaint, nor has he asserted
when they observed cost control taking precedence over providing medical care at the jail in a deliberately
The Second Amended Complaint Fails to Adequately Plead Persistent and
Widespread Practices Supporting a Policy or Custom or a Specific Similar
Similarly, Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint falls short of pleading an adequate
causal connection between specific customs or policies implemented by Defendants Curry and
Fondren and the harms suffered by Hays. “To establish a policy or custom, it is generally
necessary to show a persistent and wide-spread practice.” Depew v. City of St. Marys, Ga., 787
F.2d 1496, 1499 (11th Cir 1986). In a similar action against Defendant Curry, this court found
that it could not “plausibly infer a ‘consistent and widespread practice’ of denying medical
treatment from three isolated incidents.” Bell v. Shelby Cnty., Ala., 2013 WL 5566269, at * 8
(N.D. Ala. Oct. 8, 2013) (unpublished) (quoting Depew, 787 F.2d at 1499, and adding emphasis).
Plaintiff relies on Harper v. Lawrence Cnty., Ala., 592 F.3d 1227 (11th Cir. 2010), overruled in
part on other grounds as recognized by Randall v. Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 709 (11th Cir. 2010), to
show that Curry and Fondren instituted unconstitutional customs or policies. But the factual
assertions in the Second Amended Complaint filed in this case simply do not meet those
provided in Harper.
In Harper, the plaintiff alleged that the supervisors who managed a jail:
had customs or policies of improperly screening inmates for alcohol withdrawal,
improperly handling inmates addicted to alcohol or drugs, delaying medical
treatment and restricting access to outside medical providers in order to save
money, primarily using emergency medical treatment for physical injuries only,
and also failing to train jailers in identifying inmates with alcohol dependency.
592 F.3d at 1236. The plaintiff supported these alleged customs and policies with a “strikingly
similar” incident concerning another pretrial detainee that had occurred one month prior to the
incident at issue in the Harper litigation. Id. at 1236-37. Because the complaint in the Harper
litigation provided significant factual detail about the incident involving the decedent, factual
details about a similar incident that had occurred one month earlier, and “specific allegations
regarding the customs or policies put in place by the supervisors,” the Eleventh Circuit
concluded that the plaintiff had alleged a sufficient claim based upon supervisory liability. Id. at
1237. But the allegations in this case are not similar.
Here, Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to demonstrate any custom or policy of
deliberate indifference towards inmates suffering from withdrawal symptoms at the Shelby
County Jail or, more generally, deliberate indifference towards inmates who require outside
treatment. While Plaintiff has alleged specific customs or policies similar to those presented in
the Harper litigation, (see Doc. # 33 at ¶¶ 62, 64, 67-68), he has not alleged either (1) consistent
and widespread conduct under the custom or policy or (2) a strikingly similar incident at the jail.
As was the case in Bell, this court cannot plausibly infer a custom or policy of denying medical
treatment from the five isolated incidents that occurred at the jail between 2004 and 2013. (Doc.
# 33 at ¶ 72). See Bell, 2013 WL 5566269, at * 8. Simply put, these incidents, standing alone,
do not demonstrate a custom or policy of deliberate indifference, just as they do not demonstrate
a history of widespread abuse.
As a general rule, a plaintiff may not base a custom or policy claim of liability for
supervisors on a single prior incident. See Rivas v. Freeman, 940 F.2d 1491, 1495-96 (11th Cir.
1991) (affirming a district court’s finding that a sheriff was liable under Section 1983 for his
official policy or custom because the plaintiff had presented evidence of numerous similar
incidents); Depew, 787 F.2d at 1499 (“To establish a policy or custom, it is generally necessary
to show a persistent and wide-spread practice.”). But, even if that were not true, this case is
nothing like the exception found in Harper v. Lawrence County, Alabama, 592 F.3d 1227 (11th
Here, Plaintiff has failed to present a “strikingly similar” incident that occurred in close
temporal proximity to the alleged deliberate indifference towards Hays’s medical needs. Four of
the five specific incidents described in the Second Amended Complaint do not involve treatment
provided for substance abuse withdrawal issues. (See Doc. # 33 at ¶ 72). The fifth incident,
which concerned Allred, occurred nearly three years prior to Hays’s custody in the jail. (See id.
at ¶¶ 34, 59, 72). Thus, the Allred incident is simply not close enough in time to that alleged
here to constitute a “strikingly similar” incident that may, by itself, support an alleged custom or
policy claim by a plaintiff against a supervisor in his or her individual capacity under Section
1983. See Harper, 592 F.3d at 1236-37 (focusing on the temporal proximity between incidents
that occurred one month apart as evidence that the supervisory defendants should have been on
notice about their subordinates’ conduct).6
Therefore, for these reasons, Plaintiff’s Section 1983 claims against Curry and Fondren
are due to be dismissed for failure to state a claim.
The Harper decision is an interesting one. On the one hand, there may be some question as to whether
the Harper panel’s decision violates the prior panel precedent rule. United States v. Hogan, 986 F.2d 1364, 1369
(11th Cir. 1993) (“[I]t is the firmly established rule of [the Eleventh] Circuit that each succeeding panel is bound by
the holding of the first panel to address an issue of law, unless and until that holding is overruled en banc, or by the
Supreme Court.”). Harper inferred a custom-or-policy Section 1983 claim against supervisors in their individual
capacities based on a single prior incident of unconstitutional conduct; however, cases decided in this Circuit prior
to Harper had consistently held that such a claim could not be based on a single incident. See, e.g., Goebert v. Lee
Cnty., 510 F.3d 1312, 1332 (11th Cir. 2007) (“Demonstrating a policy or custom requires ‘show[ing] a persistent
and wide-spread practice.’” (quoting Depew, 787 F.2d at 1499)); Holloman ex rel. Holloman v. Harland, 370 F.3d
1252, 1294 (11th Cir. 2004) (“Our precedents are clear that, for constitutional violations to be sufficiently
widespread for a governmental supervisor to be held liable, they need to occur with frequency.” (internal quotation
omitted)); Depew, 787 F.2d at 1499. Despite this observation, the court is not prepared to say that Harper violated
the prior panel precedent rule. See Hogan, 986 F.2d at 1369. Rather, given this discrepancy between Harper and
previously decided cases in this Circuit establishing a higher standard for plausibly showing a supervisor’s custom
or policy, the court concludes that Harper’s holding must be carefully limited to its factual context. Cf. Anders v.
Hometown Mortg. Servs., Inc., 346 F.3d 1024, 1031 (11th Cir. 2003) (“[T]he holdings of a prior decision can reach
only as far as the facts and circumstances presented to the court in the case which produced that decision.”). And, as
discussed above, this case is factually distinct from the Harper case because Plaintiff has not alleged that a strikingly
similar incident occurred in very close temporal proximity to the Hays incident.
Alternatively, Defendants Curry and Fondren Are Entitled to Qualified
Defendants Curry and Fondren have also raised the defense of qualified immunity.
(Docs. # 36 at 1, 37 at 1). Qualified immunity “completely protects government officials
performing discretionary functions from suit in their individual capacities unless their conduct
violates ‘clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would
have known.’” Gonzalez, 325 F.3d at 1233 (quoting Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 739 (2002)).
Because the court has found that Plaintiff’s Section 1983 claims against Curry and Fondren for
supervisory liability do not state a claim, it follows that Plaintiff has not established the first
necessary element to respond to Defendants’ qualified immunity affirmative defense.7 Simply
stated, Plaintiff has not shown that Curry and/or Fondren violated Hays’s constitutional rights.
Also, Plaintiff has failed to present sufficient factual allegations for the court to plausibly
infer that Curry or Fondren violated Hays’s clearly established Fourteenth Amendment rights by
enacting a policy or custom or by not responding to a history of widespread abuse. As an initial
matter, Curry’s and Fondren’s alleged policy or custom of delaying access to outside medical
care fails to present a violation of a clearly established constitutional right because it relies on a
violation of an abstract and generalized legal proposition, rather than a particularized policy or
custom of deliberately indifferent medical care in a specific factual context.8
After a defendant who has asserted a qualified immunity defense shows that he was acting within his
discretionary authority, a plaintiff must establish two elements in order to show that the defendant is not entitled to
qualified immunity: (1) the defendant’s conduct violated a statutory or constitutional right; and (2) the violation of
plaintiff’s statutory or constitutional right was “clearly established.” Skop v. City of Atlanta, Ga., 485 F.3d 1130,
1136-37 (11th Cir. 2007).
For similar reasons, Curry and Fondren’s failure to respond to an alleged “widespread history” of “cost
control” does not allege a violation of a clearly established constitutional right, since Plaintiff has provided no case
law prohibiting generalized limitations on transporting prisoners to outside medical providers for non-emergency
medical care. Cf. Youmans v. Gagnon, 626 F.3d 557, 564 (11th Cir. 2010) (“The best response to a serious medical
need is not required by federal law in these cases.”).
Gagnon, 626 F.3d 557, 563-64 (11th Cir. 2010) (stating that a plaintiff must allege a violation of
“[m]ore than a general legal proposition” unless it is “obvious that the general rule applies to the
specific situation in question,” and asserting that deliberate indifference claims “are very fact
specific”). Likewise, Curry’s and Fondren’s alleged policy or custom of allowing inmates who
are physically dependent on opiates and benzodiazepines “to suffer, without any medical
support, for extended periods of time” does not allege a violation of clearly established law
regarding deliberate indifference towards pretrial detainees. (Doc. # 33 at ¶¶ 23-28). To be sure,
the Eleventh Circuit has held that “policies or customs of delayed investigation into and
treatment of alcohol withdrawal would be unlawful.” Harper, 592 F.3d at 1237. However, the
Second Amended Complaint has not alleged that Curry or Fondren created a policy or custom of
providing delayed investigation or treatment; rather, it has asserted that Curry and Fondren
instituted a policy of taking inmates to the medical unit for monitoring and delaying their
admission to an emergency room.9 (See Doc. # 33 at ¶ 24). Plaintiff has not provided, and the
court has not found, clearly established law from the Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit, or the
Alabama Supreme Court that would have put Curry or Fondren on notice that there was a need to
create a policy directing their subordinates that a prisoner suffering from opiate withdrawal had
to receive outside medical care for opiate withdrawal at a specific point in time.
Thus, as an alternative ground for dismissal, Curry and Fondren are entitled to qualified
immunity on Plaintiff’s claims. See Gonzalez, 325 F.3d at 1233 (noting that because qualified
Harper cites two cases for its holding that a policy or custom of delayed investigation or treatment of
alcohol withdrawal constitutes deliberate indifference: (1) Lancaster v. Monroe County., Alabama, 116 F.3d 1419
(11th Cir. 1997), and (2) Morrison v. Washington County, Alabama, 700 F.2d 678 (11th Cir. 1983). Both cases are
distinguishable from this case at a basic factual level because the decedents in those cases had suffered from
delirium terems, a severe form of alcohol withdrawal, and the supervisors sued in those cases had been personally
informed about the inmate’s possible need for medical care prior to their deaths. See Lancaster, 116 F.3d at 142122 & n. 4 (asserting that a sheriff was informed of an inmate’s prior seizure and the possibility of another seizure if
the inmate did not receive alcohol or medication); Morrison, 700 F.2d at 681 (noting that a sheriff was informed that
an inmate was a patient coming from a hospital prior to the inmate’s arrest).
immunity is a defense to standing trial and facing other burdens of litigation, “[i]t is therefore
appropriate for a district court to grant the defense of qualified immunity at the motion to dismiss
stage if the complaint ‘fails to allege the violation of a clearly established constitutional right’”)
(quoting Chesser v. Sparks, 248 F.3d 1117, 1121 (11th Cir. 2001)).
For the reasons discussed above, Curry’s and Fondren’s Motions to Dismiss (Docs. # 36,
37) Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint (Doc. # 33) are due to be granted.
consistent with this opinion will be entered.
DONE and ORDERED this October 28, 2016.
R. DAVID PROCTOR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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