United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
STEVEN C. BUTTOLPH, Plaintiff,
PRIME CARE MEDICAL INC., et al., Defendants.
John E. Jones III Judge
C. Buttolph (“Buttolph” or
“Plaintiff”), at all relevant times, an inmate
incarcerated at the Perry County Prison, New Bloomfield,
Pennsylvania, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, on February 22, 2016, naming as
defendants PrimeCare Medical Inc. (“PrimeCare”),
Carl A. Hoffman, D.O. (“Hoffman”), and Tanya
Schisler, PA (“Schisler”). (Doc. 1).
is Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons
set forth below, the motion will be granted.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and
conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007). In reviewing the legal sufficiency of a complaint,
the Court must accept the truth of the factual allegations.
Morrison v. Madison Dearborn Capital Partners III
L.P., 463 F.3d 312, 314 (3d Cir. 2006). Notably, the
assumption of truth is inapplicable to legal conclusions or
to “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action supported by mere conclusory statements.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The controlling question is
whether the complaint “alleges enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (rejecting the “no
set of facts” language from Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957) and requiring plaintiffs to allege
facts sufficient to “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level”); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (explaining that Rule 8 requires more than “an
unadorned, the-defendant unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation”); see also 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”).
the court is generally limited in its review to the facts
contained in the complaint, it “may also consider
matters of public record, orders, exhibits attached to the
complaint and items appearing in the record of the
case.” Oshiver v. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran &
Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384 n. 2 (3d Cir. 1994); see
also In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d
1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997).
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT
alleges that on January 11, 2009, at initial intake screening
at the Perry County Prison it is noted that he suffers from
hemorrhoids and is prescribed Proctosol Hemorrhoid cream.
(Doc 1, p. 3, ¶ 2 (a); p. 11). On September 21, 2010, he
complained of “extremely painful, swollen
hemorrhoids.” (Id. at 2(b); p. 12). Defendant
Schisler examined him on September 29, 2010 and infoms him
she can “lance them to relief pressure and pain.”
(Id.at 2(c); pp. 13, 14). Buttolph agrees to the
procedure, but in hindsight questions the unhygienic nature
of the facility. (Id. at 2(c)). The medical notes
indicate that the medical personnel cleansed the area with
betadine, lanced he hemorrhoid, and cleansed the area again,
and applied a dressing. (Id. at 14). Buttolph sought
medical attention for his “back to the painful
condition” hemorrhoids on November 15, 2010, January
27, 2011 and April 7, 2011. (Id. at 2(d), (e); pp.
15-17). On April 20, 2011, Buttolph is seen by Schlisler, who
documents that he is suffering from “severe
hemorrhoids.” (Id. at 2(f); p. 18). On a June
8, 2011 visit, Schisler notes the recurrent nature of
Buttolph's hemorrhoids. (Id. at 2(g); p. 21).
Buttolph continued treatment throughout 2011and 2012, and, on
September 5, 2012, Schisler indicated “cont concerns
re: bleeding, enlarged hemorrhoids x years.”
(Id. at 2(h)-(k); pp. 22-26).
February 20, 2013, Thomas Weber, purportedly a representative
of the Perry County Prison, sent an email to Buttolph's
attorney with the subject “Steve Buttolph's health,
” stating “[y]our client is suffering from
hemorrhoids which apparently he would like surgically
repaired. However, that is an elective procedure that can
wait until his discharge.” (Id. at 2(1); p.
year 2013, Tanya Schisler, P.A.C. is replaced by Paul
Navarro, CRNP.” (Id. at 2(m)). On August 11,
2013, Buttolph writes to medical stating his hemorrhoids are
“completely swollen shut”, he's suffering
“severe pain” and he thinks “elective is
out the door.” (Id. at 2(n); p. 28). He
continues treating for the hemorrhoid condition, inter
alia, and, on December 11, 2013, Navarro informs him
that he will notify a specialist about his hemorrhoid
condition. (Id. at 2(o) - (q); pp. 29-31). On
December 23, 2013, he is informed that he will be seen for a
surgical consult. (Id. at 2(q); p. 31).
January 6, 2014, Buttolph is seen by a surgeon who allegedly
informs him that “the only remedy for your situation is
surgery.” (Id. at 2(r); p. 31). On January 23,
2014, the surgeon confirms that Buttolph suffers from
“rectal bleeding and significant external hemorrhoidal
disease” and surgically removes two of three
hemorrhoids. (Id. at 2(s); p. 33). The surgeon
“did not take off the third hemorrhoidal pillar in risk
of having significant stricture. This can be done at a later
date when Mr. Buttolph heals.” (Id.)
alleges that the above timeline, as well as Schisler's
“admittance on medical records” demonstrates that
Schisler subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment and
“unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain for a time
period exceeding four years.” (Id. at p. 5).
And, “by not sending plaintiff to a specialist, PAC
Schisler chose instead to inflict upon plaintiff a reckless
disregard of a substantial risk of harm.”
further alleges that Defendant Hoffman “was the direct
supervisor of Tanya Schisler, P.A.C. and knowingly allowed
her to subject plaintiff to chronic and substantial pain due
to a serious medical need that he was aware of” and
“signed off on all actions taken by PAC
Schisler.” (Id. at p. 5, ¶ 3
“Defendant # 3”). He contends that “As the
supervisor of PAC Schisler Dr. Hoffman is held accountable
for all actions taken or not taken by her. He is directly
responsible for all of the medical personnel that are under
his supervision at Perry County Prison and he is responsible
for all medical files that he personally signs off on. Dr.
Hoffman has made himself culpable to the deliberate
indifference resulting in cruel and unusual punishment to
also alleges that “[a]s employers of PAC Schisler and
Dr. Hoffman, Primecare Medical Inc is directly responsible
and liable for any and all actions taken or not taken by its
medical personnel. It is Primecare Medical Inc.'s
responsibility to make sure its employees uphold all
Constitutional Law's ...