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Aumiller v. Wagner

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

January 30, 2015

KENNETH AUMILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN GEORGE WAGNER et al., Defendants

KENNETH AUMILLER, Plaintiff, Pro se, FRACKVILLE, PA.

For WARDEN GEORGE WAGNER, LIEUTENANT CASTRO, SERGEANT RESCARLA, Defendants: MATTHEW J. CONNELL, LEAD ATTORNEY, THE MACMAIN LAW GROUP LLC, MALVERN, PA; TRICIA M. AMBROSE, MACMAIN LAW GROUP, MALVERN, PA.

For NURSE SANDY DOE, Defendant: JOHN R. NINOSKY, LEAD ATTORNEY, JOHNSON DUFFIE STEWART & WEIDNER, LEMOYNE, PA.

MEMORANDUM

C. Darnell Jones, II, United States District Judge.

This is a pro se civil rights action filed by Kenneth Aumiller (" Plaintiff"), a state prisoner, for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging excessive force and denial of medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment against Defendants Warden George Wager (" Wagner"), Deputy Warden Berkley (" Berkley"), Lieutenant Castro (" Castro"), Sergeant Rescorla (" Rescorla"), Nurse Sandy Swartley (" Swartley"), [1] and John Does 1-3. (Dkt No. 3, Complaint [hereinafter Compl.] at 1.) Plaintiff alleged that between December 11, 2012 and December 31, 2012, he did not receive medication he required for his severe anxiety disorder. Further, during an anxiety attack on December 23, 2012, Plaintiff alleged that he was " tased 8 times, causing burns to the contacted skin area." (Compl. at 3.)

Defendants Wagner and Castro moved to dismiss all claims against them in their individual and official capacities. (Dkt No. 16, Defs. Wagner and Castro Mot. to Dismiss [hereinafter W& C MTD] at 4-7.) Defendant Swartley moved to dismiss all claims against her in her individual and official capacities. (Dkt No. 15, Def. Swartley Mot. to Dismiss [hereinafter Swartley MTD] ¶ ¶ 7-8.)

Viewing the Complaint in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the Court holds that (1) Defendants' Motions to Dismiss all claims against Defendants Wagner, Castro, and Swartley in their official capacities, (Dkt Nos. 15, 16) are GRANTED and such claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; (2) Defendant Swartley's Motion to Dismiss claims against her in her individual capacity, (Dkt No. 15), is DENIED; and (3) Defendants Wagner and Castro's Motion to Dismiss claims against them in their individual capacities, (Dkt No. 16), is GRANTED and such claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

I. Standard of Review

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), courts must " accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief." Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal quotation and citation omitted). After the Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007), " [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). " 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 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). This standard, which applies to all civil cases, " asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. at 678; accord Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (" [A]ll civil complaints must contain more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.") (internal quotation marks omitted).

II. Background

a. Facts

For the purpose of deciding the two instant Motions, the Court must take all alleged facts as true. Phillips, 515 F.3d at 233. On December 11, 2012, Plaintiff was taken to the Berks County Prison as a result of an arrest that occurred on December 10, 2012. (Compl. ¶ 13.) Plaintiff notified prison and medical staff at the Berks County Prison that he was subject to severe anxiety attacks which required medication. (Compl. ¶ 14.) Plaintiff was classified as suicidal and placed in the medical department on suicide watch. (Compl. ¶ 15.) The medical department did not give Plaintiff the medicine he continually requested. (Compl. ¶ 17.) As a result of not receiving his medication, Plaintiff suffered numerous anxiety attacks. (Compl. ¶ 16.)

At an unspecified time, Plaintiff was interviewed by Swartley who instructed the officers that Plaintiff was not suicidal. (Compl. ¶ 26.) Plaintiff requested proper medication for his anxiety disorder. (Compl. ¶ 26.) Swartley refused to provide any medication or treatment. (Compl. ¶ 26.) Swartley told Plaintiff " [y]ou just need to get out of jail and see a counselor." (Compl. ¶ 26.)

On December 23, 2012, Plaintiff suffered a severe anxiety attack. (Compl. ¶ 18.) A housing unit officer asked Plaintiff is he was suicidal and Plaintiff responded that he was not. (Compl. ¶ 18.) Roughly fifteen minutes after reporting that he was not suicidal, Rescorla accompanied by Defendant Doe 1 came to Plaintiff's cell and told Plaintiff that he was going to be moved to the medical department. (Compl. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff told Rescorla and Defendant Doe 1 that he was not suicidal and did not want to be placed in the medical department. (Compl. ¶ 20.) Plaintiff was escorted to the medical department by Rescorla, and John Does 1-3. (Compl. ¶ 21.) Upon arrival in the medical department, Plaintiff suffered an anxiety attack and was in a near catatonic state. (Compl. ¶ 22.)

Rescorla ordered Plaintiff to put on a suicide smock. (Compl. ¶ 22.) Because Plaintiff was in a near catatonic state, Plaintiff could not put on the smock. (Compl. ¶ 22.) Rescorla ordered Defendants John Does 1-3 to taser Plaintiff and restrain him. (Compl. ¶ 23.) Defendants John Does 1-3 tasered Plaintiff eight times, cut Plaintiff's clothing from his body, and handcuffed, shackled, and placed Plaintiff in a restraint chair. (Compl. ¶ 24.) Plaintiff remained shackled and in the restraint chair for a period of hours. ...


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