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Ramey v. George W. Hill Correctional Facility

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

April 21, 2015

ROBERT MARQUIS RAMEY, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE W. HILL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, COMMUNITY EDUCATION CENTER, JOHN A. REILLY, JR. (Superintendent), DONNA MELLOW (Asst. Superintendent), DR. RONALD PHILLIPS (Medical Director), N. SMITH (Health Service Administrator), E. ASANTE (Grievance Coordinator), and J. DUFFY (Delaware County Sheriff), Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

EDWARD G. SMITH, District Judge.

A pro se prisoner plaintiff has filed an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on an alleged incident where he was injured after a garage gate at a county prison fell onto a vehicle in which he was a passenger. The plaintiff names as defendants the county correctional facility that had housed him on the date of the incident, the apparent third-party medical contractor providing medical services at the county correctional facility, a county sheriff, and various employees of the correctional facility and the third-party medical contractor. The plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis .

Although the court will grant the plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis , the court will (1) dismiss with prejudice his claim against the county correctional facility because it is not a legal entity subject to suit as a "person" under section 1983, (2) dismiss without prejudice his claim against the third-party medical contractor because the plaintiff cannot attempt to impose respondeat superior liability against this defendant and he has not alleged that a custom or policy caused his injuries, (3) dismiss without prejudice his claims against the named individual defendants because he has not included allegations reflecting anything other than potentially negligent conduct and he has not alleged how these defendants were either personally involved in his medical care (or lack thereof) or how they acted with deliberate indifference toward him or his serious medical needs, and (4) dismiss with prejudice as moot his claims for injunctive relief because he is no longer incarcerated at the county correctional facility. The plaintiff shall have leave to file an amended complaint within thirty (30) days of the date of the accompanying order.

I. ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The plaintiff filed an application for prisoners to proceed in district court without prepaying fees or costs (the "IFP Application") and a proposed complaint on March 19, 2015. Doc. No. 1. In the caption of the complaint, the plaintiff lists the defendants as the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, Community Education Center ("CEC"), John A. Reilly, Jr., Donna Mellow, Dr. Ronald Phillips, "N. Smith, " "E. Asante, " and "J. Duffy."[1] Compl. at 1.

In the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that at approximately 7:00 a.m. on February 19, 2014,

while [he was] being transported to court via Sheriff van, the garage gate in GWHCF was dropped on the van causing immediate pain to [his] upper back and neck stiffness. Nurses of CEC gave [him a] 3-day prescription of Ibuprofen, a tube of muscle rub, and told [him] to seek medical attention upon arrival to [his] next destination. Sgt. Moody (respondent) told [him] to continue on with court and filed a sick call or a grievance. Sheriff Duffy (driver) and Sheriff Pepe (pass.) are witnesses and possible victims.

Id. at 3.

The plaintiff alleges that he exhausted his administrative remedies, and he attaches a copy of a grievance form that he allegedly submitted while at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility to the complaint. Id. at 4 & Attach. In this grievance form, the plaintiff states that "[o]n 2-19-14, I was in a[n]... incident with the jail and Sheriffs when I was transported to court. My upper back is killing me and the nurses are brushing me off!" Id. at Attach.

While unspecified, it appears that the plaintiff is raising claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his Eighth or Fourteenth Amendment rights based upon the gate falling on the vehicle in which he was a passenger and the medical treatment (or lack thereof) that he received following the incident. See, e.g. , id. at 4 (indicating that he submitted a grievance about "[i]njuries sustain[ed] from incident. Medical attention (or lack thereof!)").

II. DISCUSSION

As indicated above, the plaintiff seeks to proceed in forma pauperis . The court will address this request first before reviewing the allegations in the complaint as permitted by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

A. The IFP Application

Regarding requests to proceed in forma pauperis , the ...


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