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Badger v. Correct Care Solutions

United States District Court, D. Maine

March 7, 2016

DUSTIN DON BADGER, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, et al., Defendants.

RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS

JOHN C. NIVISON, Magistrate Judge.

In this action, Plaintiff Dustin Badger alleges that he received substandard medical care while he was an inmate at the Maine State Prison in November, 2015. The matter is before the Court on the motion to dismiss of Defendant Correct Care Solutions. (ECF No. 15.) Plaintiff has not filed an objection to the motion.

After review of the complaint and Defendant's motion, I recommend the Court grant the motion, and dismiss Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Correct Care Solutions without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

The facts set forth herein are derived from Plaintiff's complaint (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff's factual allegations are deemed true when evaluating a motion to dismiss.[1] Beddall v. State St. Bank & Trust Co., 137 F.3d 12, 16 (1st Cir. 1998).

Plaintiff alleges that on November 20, 2015, Defendant, the provider of medical care to prisoners at the Maine State Prison, failed to respond promptly and appropriately to his request for medical assistance for chest pain. When Defendant's agents eventually examined Plaintiff, they checked his blood pressure and lungs, and returned him to his cell with a dose of Tylenol. (PageID # 4.)

On November 21, 2015, Plaintiff again sought emergency medical attention for chest pain. Two nurses checked Plaintiff's blood pressure before sending him back to his cell. Plaintiff states that the nurses refused to perform an EKG. (PageID # 5.)

Plaintiff asserts that he "would like any and all employees of Correct Care Solutions who acted or failed to act appropriately in the commission of medical malpractice to have their licenses to practice revoked." (PageID # 3.)

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 its assessment of the motion, a court "must assume the truth of all well-plead facts and give the plaintiff[] the benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom." Ruiz v. Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp., 496 F.3d 1, 5 (1st Cir. 2007). To overcome the motion, a plaintiff must establish that his allegations raise a plausible basis for a fact finder to conclude that the defendant is legally responsible for the claim(s) at issue. Massachusetts Ret. Sys. v. CVS Caremark Corp., 716 F.3d 229, 237 (1st Cir. 2013).

Although a pro se plaintiff's complaint is subject to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, " Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the complaint may not consist entirely of "conclusory allegations that merely parrot the relevant legal standard, " Young v. Wells Fargo, N.A., 717 F.3d 224, 231 (1st Cir. 2013). See also Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir. 1980) (explaining that the liberal standard applied to the pleadings of pro se plaintiffs "is not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim"). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) "demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Correct Care Solutions is in essence a medical malpractice claim. That is, Plaintiff asserts no facts that would support a constitutional claim.[2] Plaintiff's claim thus is "an action for professional negligence" against a "health care provider" as contemplated by the Maine Health Security Act (24 M.R.S. §§ 2501, et seq.).

"Medical malpractice actions in Maine are commenced with a notice of claim, 24 M.R.S. § 2903 (2008), which is presented to a pre-litigation panel before it reaches the court system, 24 M.R.S. § 2852(2) (2008)." Dragomir v. Spring Harbor Hosp., 2009 ME 51, 970 A.2d 310, 315 n.2. While this Court might have diversity jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law malpractice action, unless and until Plaintiff has complied with the state law pre-litigation screening procedures, Plaintiff cannot proceed on his malpractice action in this Court. Henderson v. Laser Spine Inst., 815 F.Supp.2d 353, 381-82 ...


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