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Clark v. Corizon Health Care

United States District Court, Third Circuit

September 23, 2013

DARREN CLARK, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON HEALTH CARE, et al., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

SUSAN E. SCHWAB, Magistrate Judge.

I. Introduction.

This case comes before the court for a statutorily mandated screening review of the complaint. We recommend that the plaintiff's applications for leave to proceed in forma pauperis be granted, but because the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may granted, we recommend that the complaint be dismissed. We also recommend that the plaintiff be granted leave to file an amended complaint.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History.

The plaintiff, Darren Clark, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, began this civil rights action by filing a complaint. He also filed an application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. After the Clerk of Court ordered Clark either to pay the filing fee or to file an authorization form to have funds deducted from his prison account to pay the filing fee, Clark filed an authorization form as well as another application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Clark names as defendants: (1) Corizon Health Care; Mary Lou Showalter, the Health Care Administrator at the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon; and (3) Jeffrey Beard, the former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

Although the complaint is not clear, the basis of Clark's claims appears to be the medical treatment that he received for some sort of damage to his hand. Clark alleges that defendant Showalter was responsible for failing to supervise the medical staff regarding medication and a "misdiagnosis without any professional opinions." Doc. 1 at 2. He alleges that Corizon was at fault for employing Showalter. Id. In the relief section of his complaint, Clark asserts that he is seeking to have Corizon pay for all of his medical bills concerning his hand and his health insurance after his release from prison. Id. at 3. He also asserts that the court should order that Showalter "directly participated, learned of the violation of [his] rights & failed to do anything to fix the situation, created a policy or custom allowing or encouraging illegal acts & was grossly negligent in managing the people she was supposed to supervise." Id. Further, he asserts that Beard was "responsible & director of SCI Huntingdon & failed to supervise SCI Huntingdon's condition &/or policy. In doing so put [Clark] directly in harm[']s way which bacteria of said situation cause[d] a deadly virus to my health." Id.

III. Discussion.

A. Screening of Pro Se Complaints - Standard of Review.

This Court has a statutory obligation to conduct a preliminary review of pro se complaints brought by plaintiffs given leave to proceed in forma pauperis in cases that seek redress against government officials. Specifically, we are obliged to review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915A which provides, in pertinent part:

(a) Screening.-The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for dismissal.-On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

Under Section 1915A, the court must assess whether a pro se complaint "fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." This statutory text mirrors the language of Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that a complaint should be dismissed for ...


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