Peoples v. Corizon Health Services et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND ACCEPTING RECOMMENDATIONS that all pla's claims in this action except his Eighth Amendment medical care claims against Corizon Health Services, Dr. Tally, Health Director Oakes, and Nurse Thomas are DISMISSED; pla's Eighth Amendment medical care claims against Corizon, Talley, Oakes, and Thomas are REFERRED to the magistrate judge for further proceedings. Signed by Judge Inge P Johnson on 8/10/12. (ASL)
2012 Aug-13 AM 09:10
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CORIZON HEALTH SERVICES,
Case No. 4:11-cv-03464-IPJ-JEO
The magistrate judge filed a report and recommendation on July 3, 2012,
recommending that plaintiff's Eighth Amendment medical care claims against
Commissioner Kim Thomas, Warden Carter Davenport, and Assistant Warden Joseph
Headley be dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). (Doc. 12.) It was further recommended that
plaintiff's Eighth Amendment medical care claims against Corizon Health Services,
Dr. William Talley, Health Director Colleen Oakes, and Nurse Thomas be referred
to the magistrate judge for further proceedings. Id. On July 11, 2012, plaintiff filed
objections to the report and recommendation. (Doc. 13.)
In his objections, plaintiff alleges that pursuant to ADOC policy, medical
grievances are directed to the assistant wardens of prison facilities. He claims,
therefore, Assistant Warden Headley is liable for violating his right to medical care.
A defendant may be held liable for an Eighth Amendment violation only if he had
“knowledge of the [plaintiff’s] particular medical condition,” Hill v. DeKalb Youth
Detention Ctr, 40 F.3d 1176, 1191 (11th Cir. 1994), abrogated on other grounds by
Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730 (2002), and he acted intentionally or recklessly to deny
or to delay “access to medical care” or to interfere “with the treatment once
prescribed.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976); see Mandel v. Doe, 888
F.2d 783, 788 (11th Cir. 1989.) Plaintiff merely assumes that Headley was made
aware of plaintiff’s medical condition. Even if Headley was aware of plaintiff’s
condition, plaintiff does not allege that Headley’s failure to provide him with proper
medical care was intentional. Therefore, plaintiff has failed to sufficiently allege an
Eighth Amendment claim against Headley.
Plaintiff does not allege in his amended complaint that Commissioner Thomas
and Warden Davenport were personally involved in his medical care. Instead,
plaintiff argues that Thomas and Davenport are liable based on their duties and
responsibilities as Commissioner and Warden, respectively. However, plaintiff
cannot rely on doctrines of vicarious liability or respondeat superior in establishing
liability pursuant to § 1983. See Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 90-92
(1978); Harris v. Ostrout, 65 F.3d 912, 917 (11th Cir. 1995). Absent some allegation
that Thomas and Davenport knew of, sanctioned, participated in, or were otherwise
causally connected to the constitutional violations complained of, a claim against
them based on the actions of their subordinates is insufficient to state a cause of
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id.
Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in the court
file, including the report and recommendation and the objections thereto, the Court
is of the opinion that the magistrate judge's report is due to be and is hereby
ADOPTED and the magistrate judge's recommendation is ACCEPTED. It is
therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that all of plaintiff's claims in
this action except his Eighth Amendment medical care claims against Corizon Health
Services, Dr. Talley, Health Director Oakes, and Nurse Thomas are DISMISSED
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). It is further ORDERED that plaintiff’s Eighth
Amendment medical care claims against Corizon, Talley, Oakes, and Thomas are
REFERRED to the magistrate judge for further proceedings.
DONE, this the 10th day of August 2012.
INGE PRYTZ JOHNSON
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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