Roxanne Adams, Administrator of the Estate of Jamycheal M. Mitchell v. Naphcare, Inc. et al

Filing 150

MEMORANDUM ORDER: denying 10 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; adopting Report and Recommendations re 147 Report and Recommendations. The court, having examined the Objection to the R&R filed by Hart, and having made de novo fin dings with respect thereto, does hereby OVERRULE the Objection, ADOPT AND APPROVE IN FULL the findings and recommendations set forth in the R&R of the United States Magistrate Judge filed on December 19, 2016, ECF No. 147, and DENY the Plaintiff's Motion filed on June 8, 2016. ECF No. 10. Copy of this Memorandum Order provided to counsel for all parties. Signed by Chief District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith on 1/19/2017. (bgra)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FILED EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Norfolk Division JAN 1 9 201/ ROXANNE ADAMS, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OP JAMYCHEAL M. CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT MITCHELL, NORFOl K VA Plaintiff, CIVIL ACTION NO. V. NAPHCARE, INC., 2:16cv229 et al.. Defendants. MEMORANDUM ORDER This matter comes ("Motion") Hart and ("Hart") filed a before Memorandum on June 8, the in Support 2016. on the Motion filed ECF Nos. by 10, Reply on June 28, a Request for Hearing on June 28, On July 5, 2016, Magistrate 2016. The 2016, ECF No. 28, Gail Plaintiff ECF No. 22, as well as ECF No. 29. this court referred the Motion to United Judge provisions of 28 U.S.C. to 2016, to Dismiss Defendant 11. Memorandum in Opposition on June 22, and Hart filed a States court Lawrence R. Leonard, § 636(b)(1)(B) Procedure 72(b), conduct hearings, if necessary, district judge proposed and findings including submit of to the and Federal Rule of Civil hearings, to pursuant fact, to if the evidentiary undersigned applicable, and recommendations for the disposition of the Motion. ECF No. 38. Having October 19, conducted 2016, see a hearing regarding ECF No. 139, the the Magistrate Motion Judge on filed the Report and Recommendation {"R&R") No. 147. The Magistrate Judge R&R at 1. By copy of the R&R, right to file written on December 19, recommended denying No. 148, ECF No. 2016, objections Hart to the the Motion. findings See id. filed an Objection to and on January 6, ECF the parties were advised of their recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. On December 30, 2016. 2017, and at 17-18. the R&R, the Plaintiff filed a ECF Reply. 149. I. Pursuant Procedure, entirety, to Rule the LEGAL 72(b) court, STANDARD of having shall make a ^ the Federal reviewed the Rules of record Civil in its novo determination of those portions of the R&R to which a party has specifically objected. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, recommit the the recommendation matter to him of the with magistrate judge, instructions. 28 or U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). II. DISCUSSION This action was brought by the Plaintiff in her capacity as the administrator ("Mitchell"), who of died Roads Regional Jail the Complaint Eastern State the as a ("HRRJ"). alleges that Hospital, estate of pretrial Compl. Hart, failed as Jamycheal detainee lit 1, 20. in process the Hampton Relevant here, an admissions to Mitchell a employee of competency restraining order Mitchell's Hospital ("CRO") immediate issued by a state court that required transfer for mental health from the treatment. HRRJ See to id. Eastern HH 2, State 84. The Complaint further alleges that, as a result of Hart's failure to process the CRO, Mitchell died. Id. In the Motion to Dismiss, the Plaintiff maintaining at 4-5. has this not 208, 220, 255, Hart alleges, sufficiently action In the R&R, 200, against pled Hart. inter alia, proximate Mot. at 1; the Magistrate Judge disagrees, that cause Mem. for Supp. concluding the following: Plaintiff has plausibly alleged that Hart's conduct in preventing a mentally i l l pretrial detainee from being transferred out of a jail, where, because of his medical and mental disabilities, he did not receive necessary and proper treatment, to a mental hospital where he would have received such treatment, led to Mitchell's death. R&R at 12-13. In the Objection to finding of proximate cause. that, Obj. the R&R, for casualties improbable,'" foreseeing and that which, that which not expected "intentional acts" of other defendants, Inc. and/or v. 'wholly charged with happen.'" Messer, willful and 263 Id. (2002)). Hart then states that "Hart could not possibly the Va. , to were 435, anticipated" Cent. be "a defendant is not possible, is Hart notes Interim have of not party this {quoting 442 Pers. though "'[a] could contests at 1. Specifically, under the applicable law of Virginia, liable Hart Va. wanton "or Mitchell's subsequent death," id. at 1, the and that "[tjhere is simply no logical connection between administrative error allegedly committed Mitchell's death several months later." Having reviewed the matter ^ the Magistrate Judge's Hart's assertion, when kept in a transfer to treatment, might dismissal jail despite of the as the a agrees S.E.2d with defendants' the caused 515, this defendant's 526 in S.E.2d proximate cause 795, plausibly hereby OVERRULED. of the his immediate mental not health receiving conduct death detainee, of such other actors does not warrant As the than one proximate (citing Harman v. Honeywell Int'l, (Va. 2014)). Judge's negligence'" Payne, has for Furthermore, conclusion Mitchell as to acts. Id. 799 warrant (Va. alleged Mitchell's at "[o]ther food, dismissal and due to Jenkins v. Accordingly, Hart's and court the operation of {quoting 1996)). that death, 15 the that medication, 'so entirely supersede superseding Plaintiff Contrary to juncture against Hart. denying intervening, 465 of "there can be more Magistrate actions order Mitchell's action at water at HRRJ may not the the court agrees with in-patient that cause of an injury." R&R at 7 758 court result fact Magistrate Judge noted, Inc., novo, necessary, die also a and at 2. finding on proximate cause. receive Moreover, have Hart, it is not wholly improbable that a might treatment. Id. by conduct Hart's was Objection the a is III. The court, by Hart, does the having examined the Objection to the R&R filed and having made ^ hereby OVERRULE the findings CONCLUSION and novo findings with respect thereto, Objection, recommendations ADOPT AND APPROVE IN FULL set forth in the United States Magistrate Judge filed on December 19, No. 147, ECF No. The and DENY the 2016, ECF the Plaintiff's Motion filed on June 8, 2016. 10. Clerk is DIRECTED to send a copy of this Order to counsel for all parties. IT IS SO ORDERED. /s/ Rebecca Beach Smith -m- Chief Judge REBECCA BEACH SMITH CHIEF JUDGE January R&R of , 2017 Memorandum

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