Solomon v. Southern Health Partners et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 24 ; granting in part and denying in part 18 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Plaintiff's claim regarding HIPAA violations is dismissed. Signed by Honorable Susan O. Hickey on October 13, 2016. (mll)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CLIFTON ORLANDO SOLOMON
Case No. 4:16-cv-4038
SOUTHERN HEALTH PARTNERS, INC., et al.
Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed August 23, 2016, by the Honorable
Barry A. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. (ECF No. 24).
Judge Bryant recommends that Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 18) be granted in part and
denied in part. Plaintiff Clifton Orlando Solomon has timely filed objections to the Report and
Recommendation. (ECF No. 22). The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.
This case arises from a § 1983 action brought by Plaintiff, suing Defendants in both their
official and personal capacities. Plaintiff alleges he was denied medical care by Defendants during
his incarceration at the Miller County Detention Center. Plaintiff alleges that he informed Defendant
Brittany Cooksey about a medical problem he was experiencing and that she failed to inform
Defendant Steven King. 1 Plaintiff states that Defendant King told him to place a written sick-call
request to address his medical problem, and that he placed seven (7) such requests before being seen
by a nurse. Plaintiff alleges he was charged ten dollar ($10) co-pays instead of the three dollar ($3)
co-pays he should have been charged. Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant King violated his
rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).
On September 1, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss and accompanying Brief in
Support (ECF Nos. 18, 20), arguing that all claims against Defendant Southern Health Partners, Inc.,
and all official-capacity claims against Defendant King and Defendant Cooksey should be dismissed
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defendants argued that Plaintiff failed to
Defendant Cooksey and Defendant King are nurses at the Miller County Detention Center.
allege any facts to support a § 1983 claim against Defendants in their official capacities because
Plaintiff did not show an official institutional policy or custom of Defendant Southern Health
Partners, Inc. that was unconstitutional, or that it was a “moving force” behind any alleged harm
suffered by Plaintiff. Defendants also argued that there is no private right of action under § 1983 for
HIPAA violations, and thus Plaintiff cannot maintain his HIPAA claim against Defendants through
The Court referred this case to Judge Bryant for the purpose of making a Report and
Recommendation. Judge Bryant’s Report and Recommendation found that, construing Plaintiff’s
Amended Complaint liberally and accepting its allegations as true, sufficient facts were alleged to
state a claim for relief for denial of medical care against Defendants in their official capacities.
Judge Bryant also stated that there is no private right of action enforceable under § 1983 for HIPAA
violations, citing Dodd v. Jones, 623 F.3d 563, 569 (8th Cir. 2010). Judge Bryant concluded that
Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 18) should be granted to the extent that Plaintiff’s
Complaint alleges a cause of action pursuant to § 1983 for HIPAA violations, and that the motion
should denied in all other aspects.
The Court finds that Plaintiff’s objections are not directly responsive to Judge Bryant’s
Report and Recommendation, and offer no error of law or fact from which the Court finds it
necessary to depart from the Report and Recommendation. 2
Accordingly, the Report and
Recommendation is adopted in toto. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 18) is GRANTED
IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff’s claim regarding HIPAA violations is DISMISSED.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 13th day of October, 2016.
/s/ Susan O. Hickey
Susan O. Hickey
United States District Judge
Plaintiff’s objections argued that the Miller County Detention Center features an Inmate Privacy/HIPAA policy
and that Defendant King violated Plaintiff’s privacy rights under that policy.
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