The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES MUNLEY, District Judge
Norman J. Patton, a former inmate at the Clinton County Prison,
originally filed this action on October 8, 2004. An amended
complaint was filed on October 13, 2004. (Doc. 2). Presently
pending are the motion to dismiss pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P.
12(b) filed on behalf of Defendants Duran, Motter, Harkey, Kyle,
Bossert, Yost, McKnight, Ankney, Edwards and Frederick(Doc. 5)
and motion to dismiss pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b) filed on
behalf Defendant Greenburg. (Doc. 23). For the reasons set forth
below, the motion to dismiss filed on behalf of Duran, Motter,
Harkey, Kyle, Bossert, Yost, McKnight, Ankney, Edwards and
Frederick will be granted in part and denied in part and
Defendant Greenburg's motion will be granted.
Patton alleges that on October 9, 2002, while he was
incarcerated at the Clinton County Prison he fell from an
unprotected upper bunk bed and broke his left arm. He seeks to
impose liability on Defendants Duran, Motter, and Harkey, and the
prison board members, Kyle, Bossert, Yost, McKnight, Ankney, and
Edwards based upon the absence of safety equipment on upper bunks which would prevent such a fall.
Following his fall from the bunk, Patton was taken to the local
hospital emergency room. He was treated by an orthopedic surgeon,
Dr. Davis, who performed a reduction on the broken arm, and
discharged Patton to the prison with a prescription for pain
medication. Patton alleges that the pain medication was not given
to him by Defendant Frederick, a prison nurse.
On October 17, 2002, he was again seen by Dr. Davis. The doctor
was concerned about a "non-union" of his left arm. He prescribed
a brace, which was to be made at Lock Haven Hospital, and
discharged Patton to the Clinton County Prison. Upon his return
to the prison, Patton alleges that Frederick commented that "Lock
Haven Hospital did not do this work." (Doc. 2, p. 6). There was
then a two-week delay from the time the brace was prescribed to
when the order for the brace was placed. This resulted in a
four-week wait for the brace. Patton alleges that by the time the
brace was received, any healing benefit of the brace was lost. As
a result, Patton was required to have two surgeries to correct
the non-union. The first surgery took place on January 9, 2003,
and the second one occurred on May 9, 2003. Patton alleges that
all Defendants are responsible for the inadequate medical
treatment received while he was at the Clinton County Prison.
When evaluating a motion to dismiss, the court must accept all
material allegations of the complaint as true and construe all inferences in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). The court assumes the truth of plaintiff's
allegations, and draws all favorable inferences therefrom. See,
Rocks v. City of Philadelphia, 868 F.2d. 644, 645 (3d. Cir.
1989). A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a
claim unless it appears "beyond doubt that the plaintiff can
prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle
him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 44-46 (1957);
Ransom v. Marrazzo, 848 F.2d 398, 401 (3d Cir. 1988). A
complaint that sets out facts which affirmatively demonstrate
that the plaintiff has no right to recover is properly dismissed
without leave to amend. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 107-108
1. Exhaustion of administrative remedies.
Defendants move to dismiss the complaint for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997(e)a.
However, as correctly noted by Patton, the exhaustion requirement
does not apply to Patton as he is a former inmate. See, Ahmed
v. Dragovich, 297 F.3d 201, 210 (3d Cir. 2002). The motions will
be denied on this ground.
2. Conditions of confinement claim.
In order to state an Eighth Amendment claim, Patton must have
alleged facts that, if proven, would show that prison officials
acted with "deliberate indifference" toward conditions at the
prison that created a substantial risk of serious harm. Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). This test involves both an
objective and subjective component. The objective component requires an inmate to show that the
alleged deprivation is "sufficiently serious." Farmer,
511 U.S. at 834 (citations omitted). As the Supreme Court explained in
Farmer, "[t]he inmate must show that he is incarcerated under
conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm." Id. To
satisfy the subjective component, an inmate must show that prison
officials had "a sufficiently culpable state of mind." Id.
(citations omitted). "In prison-conditions cases that state of
mind is one of `deliberate indifference' to inmate health or
safety." Id. (citations omitted). Although the deliberate
indifference standard "describes a state of mind more blameworthy
than negligence," this standard is ...