Stout v. Meletis et al

Filing 59

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by District Judge Robert E. Payne on 2/23/12. Copy sent: Yes(tdai, )

Download PDF
IN THE UNITED FOR THE STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Richmond Division ROBERT BENJAMIN STOUT, Plaintiff, v. Civil Action No. COLONEL MELETIS, 3:09CV538 et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION Robert and in forma U.S.C. makes Benjamin Stout, pauperis, § 1983. filed Proceeding on seven separate claims related pursuant to his to Memorandum 28 type should Court also not 1 U.S.C. Order, Court a this action After Stout that to an and initial 1915A, For to 42 Stout the screening Court, show good cause 1 through 6 as untimely. Claim 7 of the following reasons, I. be responded. se pursuant the STANDARD why by the The Particularized Complaint was before the Court for initial screening. not pro for denial of adequate medical care Claims Stout proceeding a Particularized Complaint, §§ 1915(e)(2) dismiss inmate civil diabetes. directed informed former Stout's Stout has claims will OF REVIEW ("PLRA") this DISMISSED. Pursuant to the Court must dismiss Prison Litigation Reform Act any action filed by a prisoner if the Court determines the action (1) a on relief claim which § 1915(e)(2); includes see claims 28 "is frivolous" may be § upon (2) 1915A. U.S.C. based or 'Man "fails to state granted." .The 28 U.S.C. first indisputably standard meritless legal theory,'" or claims where the xx>factual contentions are clearly baseless.'" Clay v. Yates, 1992) (quoting Neitzke v. These standards the permit 809 F. Williams, Court Supp. 490 to 417, U.S. sua 427 319, sponte (E.D. 327 Va. (1989)). dismiss claims that are clearly barred by the relevant statute of limitations. See Eriline Co. 2006); Nasim (4th Cir. S.A. v. v. Johnson, Warden, 1995). The Md. 440 House motion sufficiency contests to of a dismiss the Arthur R. 952 facts, Miller, (4th Cir. Federal P. Rule the 655-57 64 the 955 standard 12(b)(6). does of a tests not the resolve claim, Republican Party of N.C. 1992) 951, familiar it merits (4th Cir. F.3d 12(b) (6) importantly, applicability of defenses." 980 F.2d 943, Corr., R. Civ. under complaint; surrounding of second standard is for a motion to dismiss under Fed. "A F.3d 648, or the v. Martin, (citing 5A Charles A. Wright & Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and the complaint plaintiff. Cir. 1993); is viewed in Mylan Labs., see also the Inc. Martin, light most v. Matkari, 980 F.2d at favorable 7 F.3d 1130, 952. This to the 1134 (4th principle applies only to factual considering a motion identifying pleadings conclusions, are Ashcroft v. Iqbal, The to dismiss that, not Federal allegations, 129 S. Ct. of can because entitled Rules however, to 1937, Civil and to choose they the are "a begin no more assumption 1950 court of by than truth." (2009). Procedure "require [ ] only *a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' notice of what the rests.'" (second alteration 41, 47 with complaints "formulaic Id. at allege Corp. in (1957)). recitation of only the cannot facts sufficient "to reasonable misconduct Corp., the defendant its Id. fair id. "A claim has content inference 550 U.S. that Iqbal, at of a a right 556). 555 (2007) Gibson, 355 this standard or a of action." plaintiff relief a above must the stating a claim that 570, rather than merely facial plausibility when the that the 129 at v. cause to (citation omitted), factual 544, conclusions" and Instead, raise face," alleged." U.S. satisfy "labels omitted). on 550 elements (citations "plausible xgive (quoting Conley 555 plaintiff pleads Atl. to Twombly, Plaintiffs containing "conceivable." the v. original) speculative level," id. is order . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it Bell Atl. U.S. in allows defendant S. Ct. Therefore, at the is court liable 1949 to for (citing draw the Bell in order for a claim or complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the plaintiff must "allege elements of [his or] & F.3d Co., 324 Microsoft United States, it the Gordon does v. not Cir. 193, 213 281 Court as to E.I. 2003) (4th (citing the F.2d all the Dickson v. Iodice v. pro se 2002); 2002)). liberally 574 state DuPont de Nemours Cir. (4th Cir. Leeke, act Bass v. (4th F.3d while complaints, 1978), 309 765 289 F.3d 270, Lastly, sufficient her claim." 761, Corp., facts construes 1147, inmate's 1151 advocate, (4th sua Cir. sponte developing statutory and constitutional claims the inmate failed to clearly Carroll, raise 107 concurring); (4th Cir. on face 241, F.3d the 243 Beaudett v. his (4th City of complaint. Cir. See 1997) Hampton, 775 Brock (Luttig, F.2d 1274, v. J., 1278 1985) . II. A. of STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS Statute of Limitations for § 1983 Actions Because there is no explicit statute of limitations for 42 U.S.C. § 1983 statute of Warden, Md. actions, limitations House of (citing Wilson v. Virginia applies a the courts borrow the relevant from Corr., 64 Garcia, two-year 471 claims. See Code Ann. Hence, Stout required to have 951, U.S. statute injury was Va. F.3d personal state. 955 261, of § the his Cir. 266-69 8.01-243(A) filed Nasim (4th limitations injury to 1995) (1985)). personal (West original v. 2011). complaint within claim two years accrues injury, when from when when the or she inquiry' as to No. 3:08cvl38, *is put whether 2009 WL (omission in original) underlying plaintiff United States v. he the becomes Kubrick, on a aware 444 U.S. notice claim 2424084, claim to exists." at *4 his 123 make Va. or her or reasonable v. 6, Aug. Sisk, 2009) 64 F.3d at 955). filed his original complaint on June 22, 2009.1 "A (1979), Almond (E.D. (quoting Nasim, of Ill, ... accrued. Stout Thus, Stout is barred from bringing any claim which accrued prior to Thursday, June 21, B. 2007. Timeliness of Claims 1 through 6 In Claims 1 through 6, Stout asserts that Defendants denied him adequate medical care by refusing him an insulin injection for his claim). dates type 1 diabetes (Particularized Compl. range Stout's on six specific dates cause from December of action 19, (Docket No. 2006 accrued as of to the 58) (one for each 4-8.)2 February date These 16, of each 2007. claim. 1 This is the date that Stout signed the original complaint and, presumably, handed it to prison officials for mailing. See Houston v. Lack, 2 Because 487 U.S. Stout Particularized Complaint, 266, did 276 (1988). not number the pages of citations to this document will his refer to the page numbers assigned by the CM/ECF system. 3 Stout's Particularized Complaint, as well as his earlier submissions (see, e.g., Am. Comp. (Docket No. 20) 4-9) , indicates that, on each of the six specific dates in question, he personally requested insulin injections. Thus, Stout became The latest of these dates, 857 days (two years, February 16, 2007 six days) filing of the original complaint on June 22, 2009. because which these claims four months, are based on and (Claim 6), occurred incidents prior to the Accordingly, occurred more than two years before Stout filed his initial complaint in this Court, Claims 1 through 6 will be dismissed. III. DENIAL OF ADEQUATE MEDICAL CARE Stout alleges that, Fonah on "negligently gave amount of insulin (Particularized [Stout] an inaccurate blood due to dose for a blood failure Based of on to great and/or type sugar one "Ms. Fonah gave that was calibrate further mental excessive diabetes." reading properly Stout [him] Defendant Kadiatu ^overdose' disease (Id.) "caused 2009, Specifically, [Fonah's] (Id.) an 9.) monitor." actions anguish." [Stout] [Stout's] Compl. insulin glucose Fonah's for January 15, the states that and emotional the foregoing, Stout makes provided inadequate medical the care following claims: Claim 7(a) Fonah to Stout in violation of his Eighth4 and Fourteenth5 Amendment rights. aware of the denial of medical care dates. See Kubrick, 444 U.S. at 123. accrued on these dates. Almond, as of the six specific Accordingly, his claims 2009 WL 2424084 at *4. 4 "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, Const, nor amend. cruel VIII. and unusual punishments inflicted." U.S. Claim 7 (b) Fonah committed the common law tort of negligence. (Id. at 9, A. 13.) Deliberate To make out Indifference Standard an Eighth Amendment6 allege facts that indicate (1) subjectively the Asufficiently culpable 145 F.3d 164, 167 U.S. 294, must allege of was 298 extreme discomfort'" (4th Cir. (1991)). facts and that of officials mind.'" 1998) Under that ^sufficiently serious,' prison state the objective that amounted to "*part Johnson of the the v. n.3 Hudson v. F.2d McMillian, 1375, 503 1380 U.S. 1, 9 than the Cir. inmate "^routine that criminal Strickler 1993) (1992)). 501 complained society.'" (4th a Seiter, the penalty against 989 prong, (2) Quinones, deprivation more offenders pay for their offenses Waters, v. and with acted (quoting Wilson v. suggest is an inmate must that objectively the deprivation suffered or harm inflicted "was that claim, "In (quoting order to 5 "No State shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property amend. XIV, without due process of law . . . ." U.S. Const, § 1. 6 "[I]t is now well established that the Eighth Amendment Aserves as the primary source of substantive protection to convicted prisoners,' and the Due Process Clause affords a prisoner no greater substantive protection ^than does the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause.'" Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 312, 768 (4th Cir. 1996) (quoting Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 327 (1986)). Thus, Stout's Fourteenth Amendment due process claim is subsumed within his Eighth Amendment claim. Id. 7 demonstrate such an extreme deprivation, a prisoner must allege xa serious or significant physical or emotional injury resulting from the challenged F.3d 630, 634 (4th conditions.'" Cir. 2003) De'Lonta (quoting v. Angelone, Strickler, 989 330 F.2d at claim for denial of 1381). In order to state an Eighth Amendment adequate medical care, "a prisoner must allege acts or omissions sufficiently to harmful serious medical (1976). "To constitute the excessive needs." as must to 1990) be shock Cir. a v. so the Gamble, health grossly to care a subjective requires the particular plaintiff defendant substantial risk of Brennan, prong 511 U.S. Evans, U.S. provider's incompetent, conscience v. 429 serious or to Miltier v. Beorn, Rogers indifference 106 actions need, inadequate, or intolerable to be of to a deliberate allege actually facts knew serious harm to his 825, 837 F.2d 97, medical 896 F.2d 848, 792 to (1994). of 1052, 851 (4th 1986)). The (citing that deliberate indifference fundamental fairness." Cir. Estelle establish deliberate treatment evidence 1058 (11th indifference claim that and person. indicate a disregarded a See Farmer v. "Deliberate indifference is a very high standard—a showing of mere negligence will not meet it." Grayson v. Peed, Estelle, 429 U.S. 195 F.3d 692, at 105-06). 8 695 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing [A] prison official cannot be found liable under the Eighth Amendment for denying an inmate humane conditions of confinement unless the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn risk of serious harm exists, that a substantial and he must also draw the inference. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Farmer teaches "that general knowledge of facts creating a substantial risk of harm is not enough. prison official general facts to also draw and the 145 F.3d at the specific Johnson, inmate." 837); must Rich v. survive a Bruce, risk 168 129 F.3d 336, motion to inference of (citing 340 dismiss, harm between those confronting Farmer, (4th Cir. the The 511 U.S. 1997)). deliberate the at Thus, indifference standard requires a plaintiff to assert facts sufficient to form an inference that "the official in question subjectively recognized a substantial risk of harm" and "that the official in question subjectively recognized that *inappropriate in light of that risk.'" Cleveland, 372 F.3d 294, 303 (4th Cir. his actions Parrish ex rel. 2004) were Lee v. (quoting Rich, 129 F.3d at 340 n.2). B. In Deliberate Claim support a 7 (a) claim Indifference to Stout's Diabetes Stout against Stout merely states that calibrate the fails blood Fonah to allege for facts sufficient deliberate to indifference. Fonah "negligently" failed to properly sugar glucose monitor before reading his blood sugar. Fonah (Particularized "owed [Stout] a duty Compl. of 9.) care . Stout . . asserts breached [and] that that duty by her failure to exercise reasonable care." (Id. at 13.) Stout alleges no facts raising an inference that Fonah knew that the monitor was not properly calibrated. Moreover, exist suggesting that Fonah subjectively recognized, of the monitoring, Parrish, 372 suggest that Holland v. at *3 (W.D. at Fonah Dir. River Reg'l Va. F.3d her Such 303. acted actions allegations with Health Servs., Va. Mar. Jail, July 10, that 31, No. were deliberate No. 2010); v. at the time to plausibly indifference. See 2010 WL 1303417, Med. Dep't of Middle 7:06cv00636, 2007 WL 2029304, Accordingly, 2007). facts inappropriate. fail 7:10CV00086, Atkins no Claim 7(a) will at *5 be (W.D. dismissed with prejudice. C. Stout's Negligence Claim In recited Claim 7(b), above, negligence." with law claims. 6396592, pendent at asserts committed (Particularized jurisdiction jurisdiction, Stout pursuant pursuant See, *3 to e.g., (E.D. have been dismissed, Dec. Compl. to based on § 1367, 2011) because her No. has actions common-law Generally, 1983 Stolle, 20, by 13.) § U.S.C. However, Fonah, tort Sawyer v. Va. jurisdiction). 28 "a that a court supplemental over pendent 2:llcv446, state 2011 WL (declining to exercise Stout's federal claims the Court declines to exercise supplemental 10 jurisdiction City of Va. over his Danville, June 3, No. state law tort 4:10CV00012, 2011). claim. See Thompson 2011 WL 2174536, Accordingly, Claim 7(b) will at be *9 v. (W.D. dismissed without prejudice. If Stout acts promptly, Claim 7 (b) him in should not pose a statute of light 229(E)(1) this dismissal without prejudice of of the tolling limitations problem for provision found in section 8.01- of the Virginia Code. That statute provides: [I]f any action is commenced within the prescribed limitation period and for any cause abates or is dismissed without determining the merits, the time such action is pending shall not be computed as part of the period within which such action may be brought, and another action may be brought within the remaining period. Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-229 (E) (1) (West 2011). This provision applies in § 1983 actions. See Canada v. Ray, No. 2009 WL (W.D. 2009); Tim 2448557, Cheng-Chien at *2 (4th Cir. at *3 n.l Va. Chang v. Burford, Oct. 9, 1986). Aug. No. 10, 85-2224, Thus, because 7:08cv00219, 1986 the see WL 17844, statute limitations has tolled during the pendency of this action, is left with limited time to file his negligence also claim of Stout (Claim 7(b)) in the state court of proper jurisdiction. IV. For the foregoing CONCLUSION reasons, will be dismissed with prejudice. 11 Stout's Claims Claim 7(b) 1 through 7(a) will be dismissed without prejudice. Meletis and Land action will be The Clerk The (Docket Motion No. to 34) Dismiss will be filed by denied as Defendants moot. The dismissed. is directed to send a copy of the Memorandum Opinion to Stout and counsel of record. An appropriate Order shall issue. tef /s/ Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge Richmond, Virginia Date: ?*Uyi?,^v 12

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?