Gassel v. Jones, MD et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve defendant Paul Jones,MD with process in accordance with the Court's agreement with Corizon, Inc. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Corizon, Inc., is DISMISSED without prejudice. An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 12/16/16. (JAB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
PAUL JONES, MD, et al.,
No. 4:16-CV-1663 JAR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on review of plaintiff's amended complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e). Having reviewed the pleading, the Court finds that defendant Paul Jones, MD
must be served with process.
Standard of Review
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than "legal conclusions" and
"[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere
conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
A plaintiff must
demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct."
Id at 679. "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." Id at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense. Id. at 679.
When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pied
facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.
The Court reviewed plaintiffs original complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and found
that it failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Because plaintiff is pro se, the
Court gave him an opportunity to file an amended complaint. The amended complaint is the
only document under review.
Plaintiff brings this action against Dr. Jones and Corizon, Inc. Plaintiff alleges that he
had a serious spinal cord injury that Dr. Jones refused to treat. Plaintiff eventually had surgery,
but he says he has suffered unnecessarily because of the delay. Plaintiff sues Jones in both his
official and individual capacities.
Many of the allegations are entirely conclusory. However, there are enough factual
allegations to state a plausible claim against Dr. Jones for deliberate indifference under the
Eighth Amendment. So, the Court will order the Clerk to serve him with process.
The complaint, however, does not state a claim against Dr. Jones in his official capacity.
Naming a government official in his or her official capacity is the equivalent of naming the
government entity that employs the official, in this case the State of Missouri. Will v. Michigan
Dept of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). "[N]either a State nor its officials acting in their
official capacity are 'persons' under § 1983." Id. As a result, plaintiffs official-capacity claim
To state a claim against Corizon, plaintiff must allege that there was a policy, custom or
official action that caused an actionable injury. Sanders v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 984 F.2d 972,
95-76 (8th Cir. 1993). He has not alleged that a policy or custom led to his injury. Therefore,
Corizon must be dismissed.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to serve defendant Paul Jones,MD
with process in accordance with the Court's agreement with Corizon, Inc.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Corizon, Inc., is DISMISSED without
An Order of Partial Dismissal will be filed separately.
Dated this 16th day of December, 2016. ~
ED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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