Whitefield v. Correct Care Solutions et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT. Signed by District Judge Aleta A. Trauger on 5/15/12. (xc:Pro se party by regular and certified mail.)(afs)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
TERRY RICHARD WHITEFIELD
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, et al.
M E M O R A N D U M
The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, is an inmate at the West
Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning, Tennessee. He brings this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Correct Care Solutions,
the medical care provider for prisoners in the custody of the
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office; the Davidson County Sheriff’s
Office; and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson
County; seeking damages.
In April, 2010, the plaintiff was a prisoner in the custody of
the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. He slipped and fell in a
puddle of water, injuring his knees, lower back, right hip, spine
and left shoulder. The plaintiff claims “to this date being denied
medical attention for my serious injuries or serious medical
Correct Care Solutions is the employer of those individuals
providing medical care to prisoners in the custody of the Davidson
County Sheriff’s Office. The plaintiff can not sue this defendant
solely because of its status as a supervisor or employer of alleged
tortfeasors. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 will not support a claim posed on a
respondeat superior theory of liability. Polk County v. Dodson, 454
participation, either directly or indirectly, by an employer in an
allegedly wrongful act, the complaint fails to state a cause of
action against that defendant upon which relief can be granted. See
Dunn v. Tennessee, 697 F.2d 121, 128 (6th Cir.1982), cert. denied,
460 U.S. 1086 (1983).
In this case, there has been no showing that the plaintiff has
been denied medical care pursuant to a policy or decision arising
from Correct Care Solutions. Personal liability “must be based on
the actions of that defendant in the situation that the defendant
faced, and not based on any problems caused by the errors of
others.” Gibson v. Matthews, 926 F.2d 532, 535 (6th Cir.1991).
Consequently, the plaintiff has failed to state a claim against
Correct Care Solutions.
Government of Nashville and Davidson County and its agent, the
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. A claim of governmental liability
requires a showing that the misconduct complained of came about
pursuant to a policy, statement, regulation, decision or custom
promulgated by Davidson County or its agent. Monell v. New York
City Department of Social Services, 98 S.Ct. 2018 (1978). In short,
for these defendants to be liable under § 1983, there must be a
direct causal link between an official policy or custom and the
alleged constitutional violation. City of Canton v. Harris, 109
S.Ct. 1197 (1989). Here, the plaintiff offers nothing to suggest
that he was denied medical care pursuant to a policy or decision of
Office. Accordingly, the plaintiff has failed to state a claim
against these defendants as well.
The plaintiff has sued a business entity and two municipal
entities alleging the denial of medical care. These entities can
only be sued if the plaintiff was denied treatment pursuant to one
or more of their policies. The plaintiff made no such allegation.
As a consequence, the plaintiff’s claims would only be actionable
indifferent to his need for medical care. No individual defendants
are being sued by the plaintiff and he, as a plaintiff proceeding
in forma pauperis, is not allowed to amend his complaint to include
such individuals in order to avoid a sua sponte dismissal. Benson
v. O’Brian, 179 F.3d 1014, 1016 (6th Cir. 1999).
In the absence of an actionable claim, therefore, the Court is
An appropriate order will be entered.
Aleta A. Trauger
United States District Judge
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