Williams v. Turner et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying 79 Motion to Dismiss Party filed by Kim Villancourt. Signed by Honorable James R. Marschewski on June 8, 2011. (cap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
TRACY BERNARD WILLIAMS
WARDEN TURNER, Miller
County Correctional Facility;
NURSE WILLIAMS; DR. NASH;
KIM VILLANCOURT; and
CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Tracy Bernard Williams (hereinafter Williams), an inmate of the Arkansas
Department of Correction, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds
pro se and in forma pauperis. This case is before me pursuant to the consent of the parties (Doc. 20).
Separate Defendant Kim Villancourt (hereinafter Villancourt) filed a motion to dismiss (Doc.
79). In the motion, Villancourt contends the complaint and supplements to it are devoid of any
allegations against her. Williams filed a response to the motion (Doc. 95).
Williams filed this case contending he was denied adequate medical care while incarcerated
at the Miller County Correctional Facility (MCCF). Specifically, he maintains he was: denied his
chemotherapy medication for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia because of the cost of the medication;
denied proper treatment for a bleeding rectum; always cold because of low blood and was denied an
extra blanket to keep him warm; and not provided his blood pressure medication on a regular basis.
Plaintiff alleges that for months he sought medical treatment from the medical staff and
submitted multiple grievances to the “medical staff” in an effort to obtain the treatment he needed.
See e.g., Doc. 1 at pg. 5. On a number of occasions, Williams alleges he was taken to the nurses’
office and they “jumped down his throat.” Id. Williams makes other similar allegations regarding
the actions, or lack thereof, of the “medical staff” or the nurses.
In responding to the motion to dismiss, Williams indicates he wrote letters to Villancourt in
an effort to obtain medical care. Doc. 95 at pg. 1. He states he received no response. Id. Williams
believes Villancourt could have prevented his suffering if she had intervened on his behalf. Id. He
maintains she neglected him and his health for thirteen months. Id. at pg. 2.
Rule 8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a complaint to present “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).
“In order to meet this standard, and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), ‘a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on
its face.’” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009)(quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009)).
“The plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to show at the pleading stage that success on
the merits is more than a ‘sheer possibility.’” Braden, 588 F.3d at 594 (quoting Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at
1949. The standard does “not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage; it simply calls
for enough fact to raise a reasonable expectation,” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127
S. Ct. 1955, 1965, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007), or reasonable inference, that the “defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. See Twombly, 127 S. Ct. at 1965 (“And, of
course, a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of
those facts is improbable, and that a recovery is very remote and unlikely.”)(quotation marks and
citation omitted). See also Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004)(While pro se
complaints are liberally construed, they must allege sufficient facts to support the claims.).
To state an Eighth Amendment denial of medical care claim, the inmate must show the
defendant deliberately disregarded an objectively serious and known medical need. See e.g.,
Alberson v. Norris, 458 F.3d 762, 765 (8th Cir. 2006). Supervisory officials may be held liable only
if they knew of the medical problems or of problems with the distribution of medication. See e.g.,
Clemmons v. Armontrout, 477 F.3d 962, 967 (8th Cir. 2007)(to establish personal liability of a
supervisory defendant, plaintiff must show personal involvement in, or direct responsibility for,
deprivation of constitutional rights).
In this case, it is true that the complaint and supplements filed by Williams did not set forth
separate factual allegations regarding Villancourt. However, Williams repeatedly asserts that the
medical staff or nursing staff denied him adequate medical care. Liberally construing these claims,
we believe a plausible claim is asserted against Villancourt.
For the reasons stated, the motion to dismiss filed by Separate Defendant Kim Villancourt
Doc. 79) is denied.
DATED this 8th day of June 2011.
/s/ J. Marschewski
HON. JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI
CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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