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Barry v. Corizon LLC

United States District Court, D. Maine

May 27, 2015

PAUL MICHAEL BARRY, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON LLC, et al., Defendants.

RECOMMENDED DECISION

JOHN C. NIVISON, Magistrate Judge.

In this action, Plaintiff Paul Michael Barry alleges constitutional deprivations in connection with his need for medical care in prison. The matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 21).[1] As explained below, following a review of the pleadings, and after consideration of the parties' arguments, the recommendation is that the Court deny the Motion.

BACKGROUND

The facts set forth herein are derived from Plaintiff's Complaint, which facts are deemed true when evaluating the Motion to Dismiss.[2] Beddall v. State St. Bank & Trust Co., 137 F.3d 12, 16 (1st Cir. 1998).

On December 9, 2014, while an inmate at the Cumberland County Jail, Plaintiff filed a form prisoner complaint naming as defendants Corizon Medical Services, [3] Cumberland County Jail, and Edith Woodward, P.A. Plaintiff did not include a factual statement in the form complaint, but filed a letter in which he explained that he had "a medical claim" (ECF No. 1-1, PageID # 4) and that he wished to pursue a claim of "medical neglect and malpractice against" Corizon Medical Services, Cumberland County Jail, Sheriff Kevin Joyce, Edith Woodward P.A., Sergeant Duboise, Sergeant Young, and Sergeant Pickering. According to the Plaintiff, the named individuals knew that he was bleeding from his rectum for more than three weeks and did nothing to help him. Plaintiff asserted that as a result of the Defendants' inaction, he "ended up in the hospital almost dead, "where he had five "bags of blood transfused to keep [him] alive, " and now has cancer throughout his body, including in his bowel, liver, kidneys, and lungs. ( Id., PageID ## 5-6.)

On December 31, 2014, Plaintiff filed a request to assert a claim against additional defendants, namely "Janice Chamberland... Director of Nursing" and corrections officer "Pell[e]tier." (ECF No. 6, PageID # 28.) As to Mr. Pelletier, Plaintiff alleged that he interfered with and denied Plaintiff medical attention and violated Plaintiff's right to treatment and medication. ( Id., PageID # 29.)

In addition, in a letter filed on December 31, 2014, Plaintiff represented that he realized (incorrectly) that he needed to file his claim against the Corizon Defendants in a separate action from his claim against the Cumberland County Jail officers. In this letter, Plaintiff asserted that the two groups of defendants "both played separate roles"; that the Corizon Defendants failed to treat him initially and then continued to neglect him after his return from the hospital; and that he seeks to recover from the corrections officers for their "lack of responsibility to see to and ensure that... Corizon Medical Services" provided proper services. (ECF No. 8, PageID ## 31-32.)

On January 7, 2015, Plaintiff again wrote that he wanted to add as defendants "Janice Chamberland, " who "was the medical director of Corizon at Cumberland County Jail during the 10 months [he] was denied medical care, " and Corrections Officer Pelletier, who interfered with medical treatment by preventing Plaintiff "from getting medications straightened out with the new director of medical." (ECF No. 9, PageID # 35.)

On January 20, 2015, Plaintiff filed a "motion for jury demand" in which he asserted that he wanted to add as a defendant, "Eileen Mageary, " whom Plaintiff identified as Corizon's new medical director. (ECF No. 12, PageID # 52.) Plaintiff alleged that Ms. Mageary failed to meet Plaintiff's medical needs after his return from the hospital, noting that he was "still being denied proper pain medications and care, daily." ( Id. ) On January 22, 2015, the Court granted Plaintiff's request to add as defendants the three identified individuals (Chamberland, Mageary, and Pelletier). (ECF No. 13.)[4]

On February 13, 2015, Plaintiff filed a fourth motion to amend. In this motion, Plaintiff asked to increase his claim for damages from $50 million to $150 million and explained that he has experienced significant "mental and emotional injury." (ECF No. 17, PageID # 65.) Plaintiff also provided an updated report of his medical condition, which includes significant new complications, including, but not limited to, the spread of cancer and a tumorous growth. ( Id., PageID ## 65-66.) According to Plaintiff, the complications are the product of a ten-month denial of medical attention at the Cumberland County Jail. ( Id., PageID # 65.) The Court granted the fourth motion to amend on February 20, 2015. (ECF No. 19.)

DISCUSSION

Through their Motion to Dismiss, the Corizon-affiliated Defendants (Corizon, Chamberland, Mageary, and Woodward) argue that the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's claim because Plaintiff has "failed to set forth a plausible claim for relief pursuant to federal law." (Motion at 1.) Specifically, Defendants maintain that Plaintiff does not allege "personal involvement any of the Defendants had in his care" ( id. at 6), other than the fact that PA Woodward took an x-ray and found a tumor ( id. at 7). Additionally, Defendants argue that Defendant Corizon cannot be held liable based merely on the alleged acts of its employees. ( Id., citing Maldonado-Denis v. Castillo-Rodriguez, 23 F.3d 576, 581 (1st Cir.1994) (discussing supervisory liability)).

A. Standard of Review

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party may seek dismissal of "a claim for relief in any pleading" if that party believes that the pleading fails "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." In their assessment of the motion, courts must "assume the truth of all well-plead facts and give the plaintiff[] the benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom." Blanco v. Bath Iron Works Corp., 802 ...


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