Henry v. Hodgson et al
Judge George A. OToole, Jr: ORDER entered. It grants the motion to dismiss in part and denies it in part. The motion is granted with regard to all counts against Thomas Hodgson, James Lancaster, and Steven Souza. The motion is also granted with regard to the excessive force claim against Joseph Oliver III. Otherwise, the motion is denied.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-11606-GAO
THOMAS HODGSON, Sherriff of Bristol County; STEVEN J. SOUZA, Superintendent;
JAMES LANCASTER, Deputy Superintendent; JOSEPH OLIVER, III, Assistant Deputy
Superintendent; ERIC COUSENS, Sergeant; EDWARD BOULEY, Lieutenant; JARED
GOSSELIN, Lieutenant; DAVID BRIZIDA, C.O.; PAUL SOUZA, C.O.;
DOUGLAS ZNOJ, C.O.; and RUSSELL LIZOTTE, Lieutenant,
January 12, 2018
The plaintiff, Corey Henry, proceeding pro se, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging in his amended complaint both the use of excessive force and deliberate indifference
to his medical needs against seven correctional officers, three prison administrators, and the sheriff
of Bristol County. The defendants previously filed a purported motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure addressed to the plaintiff’s original complaint. I
denied that motion in large part because it failed to focus on the plaintiff’s allegations and instead
attempted to argue not that the claims were inadequately pled, but rather that they could not
succeed on the merits. I noted at the time that the defendants’ motion read more like a motion for
summary judgment than a proper motion made under Rule 12(b)(6). The defendants have now
filed a second motion to dismiss addressed to the amended complaint. Despite my reminder to the
defendants in my prior order to pay attention to the standards for supporting a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion, the defendants fail again to focus on the sufficiency of the plaintiff’s allegations in the
amended complaint under the relevant legal standard, see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)), and not on evidence or
other considerations that might defeat those allegations.
Nevertheless, some claims are not adequately alleged against particular defendants. The
Court grants defendants’ motion as to supervisory defendants Thomas Hodgson, Steven J. Souza,
and James Lancaster, because there is no factual allegation that they were involved in either the
alleged excessive force incident or the alleged deliberate indifference, nor has the plaintiff pled
facts to support proof that there was an affirmative link between any acts or omissions by them
and the constitutional violations alleged. See Gaudreault v. Salem, 923 F.2d 203, 209 (1st Cir.
1990) (citing Voutour v. Vitale, 761 F.2d 812, 820 (1st Cir. 1985)). Henry’s excessive force claim
against supervisory defendant Joseph Oliver III is similarly dismissed for lack of adequate
allegation of an affirmative link. 1 See id.
Otherwise, the defendants’ motion to dismiss is DENIED.
It is SO ORDERED.
/s/ George A. O’Toole, Jr.
United States District Judge
Because Oliver is listed as playing a role in the removal of his air cast, (see Pl.’s Am. Compl.
Ex. E at 13 (dkt. no. 49)), Henry’s deliberate indifference claim against Oliver remains at this
stage. See id.
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