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.

Miguel Davila v. County of Lackawanna

April 15, 2013

MIGUEL DAVILA, PLAINTIFF
v.
COUNTY OF LACKAWANNA, ET AL.
DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Malachy E. Mannion United States District Judge

(Mannion, D.J.) (Schwab, M.J.)

MEMORANDUM

Before the court are plaintiff's objections, (Doc. No. 6), to the report and recommendation of Judge Susan Schwab, (Doc. No. 5), recommending the dismissal of plaintiff's Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims. Plaintiff timely filed objections to the report and recommendation, arguing that he stated "numerous claims which merit relief." (Doc. No. 6, at 3.) After a de novo review of those portions of the report to which plaintiff objects, the report and recommendation of Judge Schwab, (Doc. No. 5), will be ADOPTED IN FULL and plaintiff's complaint, (Doc. No. 1), will be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

BACKGROUND

During his incarceration at Lackawanna County Prison, plaintiff claims he was denied mental health care, counseling, and therapy. (Doc. No. 1, at 3.) He also claims that he did not received adequate treatment for an ear infection, as a result of which his eardrum ruptured and he developed permanent hearing loss, tinnitus,*fn1 and vertigo. (Doc. No. 1, at 2.) Plaintiff claims he "was never seen or evaluated by a Board Certified Doctor of Medicine employed by Correctional Care, Inc. while incarcerated at the Lackawanna County Prison." (Doc. No. 1, at 2.) Moreover, plaintiff alleges that he was placed into a "filthy camera cell naked," which was contaminated with "blood, feces, urine, human hair, and other biohazardous materials" for nine days. (Doc. No. 1, at 3.) This left plaintiff "in immediate danger of contracting an illness or allergy." (Doc. No. 1, at 3.) He had "no clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, spoon, etc." and developed swollen and bleeding gums, gastrointestinal problems, constipation, internal hemorrhoids, and severe rectal bleeding. (Doc. No. 1, at 3.)

Plaintiff claims these harsh conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment and violate his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection and due process of law. (Doc. No. 1, at 3-4.) He further claims that Lackawanna County violated the ADA by denying him "medical care and mental health treatment" while he was in the custody of Lackawanna County Prison. (Doc. No. 1, at 4.)

STANDARD OF REVIEW

When objections are timely filed to the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge, the district court must review de novo those portions of the report to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1); Brown v. Astrue, 649 F.3d 193, 195 (3d Cir. 2011). Although the standard is de novo, the extent of review is committed to the sound discretion of the district judge, and the court may rely on the recommendations of the magistrate judge to the extent it deems proper. Rieder v. Apfel, 115 F.Supp.2d 496, 499 (M.D.Pa. 2000) (citing United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 676 (1980)).

For those sections of the report and recommendation to which no objection is made, the court should, as a matter of good practice, "satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation." Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), advisory committee notes; see also Univac Dental Co. v. Dentsply Intern., Inc., 702 F.Supp.2d 465, 469 (M.D.Pa. 2010) (citing Henderson v. Carlson, 812 F.2d 874, 878 (3d Cir. 1987) (explaining judges should give some review to every report and recommendation)). Nevertheless, whether timely objections are made or not, the district court may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1); Local Rule 72.31.

DISCUSSION

A.) Plaintiff's §1983 Claims

Plaintiff makes claims under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments against both Lackawanna County and Correctional Care, Inc., a "private incorporation [sic] in contractual agreement with County of Lackawanna to provide all health care services at the Lackawanna County Prison." (Doc. No. 1.) Judge Schwab recommended the dismissal of plaintiff's §1983 claims against the prison on the ground that the complaint failed to allege that the purportedly unconstitutional conduct amounted to "municipal policy or custom." (Doc. No. 5, at 10); Mulholland v. Gov't County of Berks, 706 F.3d 227, 237 (3d Cir. 2013); Monell v. Department of Social Servs. 436 U.S. 658 (1978) (rejecting vicarious liability on part of municipal governments). Furthermore, she points out that plaintiff also failed to allege a policy or custom on the part of Correctional Care, Inc. (Doc. No. 5, at 10); Natale v. Camden County Correctional Facility, 318 F.3d 575, 583 (3d Cir. 2003) (applying Monell to private company that provided healthcare services to prison); Stankowski v. Farley, 487 F.Supp.2d 543, 554 (3d Cir. 2007) (finding private company to be agent of state and, therefore, not subject to liability under theory of respondeat superior).

In his objections to the report and recommendation, plaintiff does not address the issue of policy or custom. (Doc. No. 6.) Instead, he merely states, "[p]laintiff is firm that the following claims are claims which merit relief as stated within Plaintiff's Complaint." (Doc. No. 6, at 3.) Despite his strong conviction, plaintiff has failed to allege any facts in either his complaint or his objections from which the court could infer defendants' conduct amounted to policy or custom. Plaintiff also claims that the ADA violations committed by defendants are proof of his constitutional violations, but plaintiff provides no support for this argument. (Doc. No. 6, at 4, 5.) Therefore, plaintiff has failed to state a ยง1983 claim for which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. ...


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.