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Manchas v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

February 1, 2017

DANIEL MANCHAS, III, Plaintiff
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          RICHARD P. CONABOY, United States District Judge

         Background

         Daniel Manchas, III an inmate presently confined at the State Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania initiated this pro se action asserting both state and federal claims. Defendants previously removed Plaintiff s action from the Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas to this Court.

         Named as Defendants are the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), Correct Care Solutions, Wexford Health Sources, Doctor Andrew Dancha, Doctor Phillip Balk, Doctor Kevin Kollman and Physician's Assistant Michael Gomes. Manchas states that he that he was diagnosed with scleroderma by a dermatologist in 1995.[1] He subsequently entered DOC custody in 2001. A 2010 biopsy performed on Manchas allegedly resulted in a diagnosis which was "suggestive" of scleroderma. Doc. 2-1, ¶ 15.

         Plaintiff alleges that while confined at SCI-Huntingdon he been experiencing suffering from an array of symptoms stemming from his disease. However, Manchas contends that despite his numerous complaints, he has been denied adequate medical care for scleroderma by the SCI-Huntingdon medical staff. He concludes that Defendants' actions constituted both deliberate indifference to a serious medical need in violation of the Eighth Amendment and negligence. The Complaint seeks punitive and compensatory damages as well as injunctive relief.

         Presently pending is a motion to dismiss filed by Defendants DOC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. See Doc. 12. The opposed motion is ripe for consideration.

         Discussion

         Moving Defendants claim entitlement to dismissal on the grounds that they are not persons under § 1983 and are entitled to sovereign immunity with respect to Manchas' state law claims.

         Standard of Review

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of complaints that fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. When ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must "accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Kanter v. Barella, 489 F.3d 170, 177 (3d Cir. 2007)(quoting Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 350 (3d Cir. 2005)). A plaintiff must present facts that, if true, demonstrate a plausible right to relief. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(stating that the complaint should include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief"); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

         This requirement "calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of" the necessary elements of the plaintiff's cause of action. Id. at 556. A complaint must contain "more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not suffice." Id. Legal conclusions must be supported by factual allegations and the complaint must state a plausible claim for relief. See id. at 679. Legal conclusions must be supported by factual allegations and the complaint must state a plausible claim for relief. See id. at 679.

         "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Twombly, at 555. The reviewing court must determine whether the complaint "contain[s] either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain recovery under some viable legal theory." Id. at 562; see also Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008)(in order to survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must allege in his complaint "enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary element[s]" of a particular cause of action). Additionally, pro se pleadings are to be construed liberally, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).

         DOC

         The Moving Defendants initially asserts that because it is an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the DOC is not a properly named defendant for purposes of § 1983. See Doc. 13, p. 5. ...


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