Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Finney v. Palakovich

September 20, 2010

EVELYN FINNEY, AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF CLIFFORD FINNEY, PLAINTIFF
v.
SUPERINTENDENT PAUL A. PALAKOVICH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Rambo

MEMORANDUM

Before the court is Defendant Dr. Dominguez's motion to dismiss, (Doc. 85), Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, (Doc. 80). For the reason's that follow, the motion will be denied.

I. Background

A. Facts*fn1

At all times relevant to this complaint, Clifford Finney was an inmate at the State Correctional Institute- Smithfield ("SCI- Smithfield"), located in Huntington County, Pennsylvania.

In 2007, while at SCI- Rockview, Plaintiff was placed on suicide watch. He was subsequently transferred to SCI- Smithfield. In June of 2007, Finney threatened to harm himself and was placed in the Psychiatric Observation Cell ("POC") from June 14 to June 19, 2007. On June 30, Finney again threatened to harm himself and was placed in the POC until July 6, 2007. On July 6, 2007, Finney was transferred to the Mental Health Unit ("MHU") at SCI-Rockview, where he was involuntarily committed until July 25, 2007.*fn2 At this time it was determined that Finney was severally mentally disabled.

From July 31 to August 20, 2007, Finney was again in the POC after using a razor to harm himself. Finney was placed in the POC from September 5 to September 11, 2007, for attempting to hang himself. On October 2, 2007, Finney was once again placed in the POC because he was hearing voices that told him to hang himself. This information was noted on a Psychiatric Review Team Meeting Summary Form, a meeting in which Dr. Dominguez participated.

On November 2, 2007, Finney's mother called a counselor at the prison to tell them she had received a note from her son which said, "If I'm found hanging dead the officers did it." (Compl. ¶ 47.) Between November 21 and November 28, 2007, Finney was again admitted to the POC because he was refusing his psychiatric pills, was hearing voices, and had a specific plan to hang himself with his bed sheets.

On November 28, 2007, Dr. Dominguez released Finney to the

Restricted Housing Unit ("RHU"), despite Finney telling her that he was not ready to go and would hurt a correctional officer if released. Dr. Dominguez commented that she thought Finney was manipulative and he was released to the RHU. A different psychologist suggested Finney be put on fifteen minute observation while in the RHU, which was done until December 1, 2007, when the guards took him off observation. After November 28, 2007, Finney was never again seen by a psychiatrist. Finney hung himself with a sheet in his cell on December 2, 2007.

Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Dominguez was deliberately indifferent to Finney's serious medical needs because she released him into the RHU before it was appropriate to do so, and because after Finney was released she failed to follow-up with any kind of psychiatric treatment.

II. Legal Standard

When presented with a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court "must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions," Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009), and ultimately must determine "whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a 'plausible claim for relief.'" Id. at 211 (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, ___U.S.___, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009)).

The complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief; it must "show such an entitlement with its facts." Fowler, 578 F.3d at 211 (citations omitted). As the Supreme Court instructed in Iqbal, "[w]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not 'show[n]'-'that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) (alterations in original).) In other words, a claim has "facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 1949 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.