Odom v. Davidson County et al
MEMORANDUM signed by District Judge Aleta A. Trauger on 9/13/2017. (xc:Pro se party by regular mail. ) (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(hb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
DAVIDSON COUNTY, et al.
The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, is a pretrial detainee at the Maximum Correctional Center
in Nashville. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Davidson County and
Correct Care Solutions, a private entity under contract to provide medical services for Davidson
County prisoners, seeking injunctive relief and damages.
Sometime near the end of January, 2017, the plaintiff was confined at the Correctional
Development Center for Males in Nashville. (Docket Entry No. 1 at 5). He slipped and fell in a
puddle of “wet substance” and hurt himself. The plaintiff claims that his injury was the result of
Davidson County’s negligence. Id. He further claims that Correct Care Solutions is liable for “denied
and or delayed medical treatment.”1 Id.
As an initial matter, the Court notes that Davidson County can not be held liable for
Correct Care Solutions is a private entity that is under contract to provide medical care
for Davidson County prisoners. As such, it may be sued under § 1983. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 54 (1988).
negligence because negligence claims are not actionable under § 1983. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97 (1976). This is true with respect to negligence claims arising under both the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments. Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 319 (1986)(Eighth Amendment); Daniels
v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 333 (1986)(Fourteenth Amendment).
Moreover, the plaintiff’s claim for lack of medical care against Correct Care Solutions is
conclusory at best. He offers no factual allegations regarding the nature of his injury, what efforts
were made to obtain medical care, what care, if any, was provided the plaintiff and who provided
that care. A conclusory claim is not actionable under § 1983. Mezibov v. Allen, 411 F.3d 712, 716
(6th Cir. 2005).
In any event, neither a municipality nor a private entity can be held responsible for an alleged
constitutional tort unless there is a causal link between a policy or custom of the municipality or
private entity and the alleged constitutional violation. Minor v. Foster, 2013 WL 126369 at 4 (M.D.
Tenn., Jan. 9, 1013). To establish the requisite causal link, the plaintiff has to “identify the policy,
connect the policy to the county itself and show that the particular injury was incurred because of
the execution of that policy”. Garner v. Memphis Police Department, 8 F.3d 358, 363-64 (6th
The plaintiff has offered nothing to suggest that his rights were violated pursuant to a policy
or custom of either Davidson County or Correct Care Solutions that led to his slip and fall or
required a delay or absence of medical care. In the absence of such allegations, any claims for relief
would more properly be directed to individual jail staff rather than Davidson County and Correct
Care Solutions. The plaintiff, therefore, has failed to state a claim against the defendants. In the
absence of an actionable claim, the Court is obliged to dismiss the complaint sua sponte. 28 U.S.C.
An appropriate order will be entered.
ENTER this 13th day of September 2017.
Aleta A. Trauger
United States District Judge
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