United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
OPINION AND ORDER
MAUREEN P. KELLY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Richard Heary (“Plaintiff”) is an inmate in the
custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), and is currently incarcerated at the
State Correctional Institution at Greene
(“SCI-Greene”). Plaintiff brings this civil
rights action against Defendant Doctor Jin (“Dr.
Jin” or “Defendant”), alleging that Dr. Jin
failed to provide adequate medical care to Plaintiff and that
Dr. Jin was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's
medical needs in violation of his rights provided by the
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (the
“Motion”) submitted on behalf of Dr. Jin. ECF No.
40. For the reasons that follow, the Motion will be denied.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
appears that Plaintiff sought medical treatment at SCI-Greene
for agonizing pain in his left hand sometime in the middle of
2012. ECF No. 29-1 at 2. According to the
Amended Complaint, Dr. Jin subsequently performed surgery on
Plaintiff's hand which involved the simple excision and
release of fibrous tissue that was causing a
contracture. ECF No. 39 ¶ 6. Plaintiff alleges
that on or about August 2013, he suffered severe pain as a
result of the in-house surgery. Id. ¶ 5. Plaintiff
was subsequently seen by Dr. Jin on September 17, 2013. At
that time, Plaintiff complained to Dr. Jin about the pain and
that he was unable to move “his pinky finger and close
his hand, and that the pain was getting worse.”
Id. ¶ 7.
alleges in the Amended Complaint that Dr. Jin told him that
there was “nothing else that could be done and told
plaintiff that he needed outside medical treatment and he
shouldn't have come to prison, that plaintiff
wouldn't be going through what he was going through and
all he can give him at this time was Ibuprofen
(“Motrin”).” Id. ¶ 8.
Plaintiff asserts that he told Dr. Jin that he should be able
to receive proper treatment for his hand, that the pain was
excruciating and the Motrin was not working. Id.
¶ 9. Plaintiff alleges that “Doctor Jin, always
gave his personal opinion to plaintiff and was very sarcastic
to plaintiff stating: Why should plaintiff care about being
able to use his hand, because he was doing life in prison and
this is the only treatment he would receive.”
Id. ¶ 10. Plaintiff claims that he constantly
complained to Dr. Jin about the pain and that Dr. Jin
repeatedly ignored Plaintiff, telling him that nothing could
be done and that Plaintiff just had to deal with the pain.
Id. ¶ 11. Further, Plaintiff asserts that Dr.
Jin was the only doctor that he could see and that because
Dr. Jin was the Medical Director at SCI-Greene that there was
nothing else Plaintiff could do. Id. ¶¶
response to the original Complaint, the DOC Defendants filed
a Motion to Dismiss and an accompanying brief on May 16,
2016. ECF Nos. 15, 16. The Medical Defendants, including Dr.
Jin, filed a Motion to Dismiss and an accompanying brief on
July 29, 2016. ECF Nos. 28, 29. Plaintiff filed an
Affidavit/Declaration in Opposition on August 22, 2016, ECF
No. 33, and on December 5, 2016, this Court issued an Opinion
and Order granting the Motions to Dismiss. ECF No. 38. In the
Opinion and Order, this Court found that it was apparent from
the original Complaint that Plaintiff's claims against
Dr. Jin sounded in negligence and did not give rise to an
Eighth Amendment violation. Id. Under these
circumstances, although the Court found that permitting
Plaintiff to amend his Complaint would likely be futile, to
the extent the Plaintiff could allege additional specific
facts to make out an Eighth Amendment claim against Dr. Jin,
Plaintiff was permitted to file an Amended Complaint only as
to Dr. Jin. The Court expressly held that Plaintiff must
allege more than negligence. Id. at 13.
December 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint
against Dr. Jin. ECF No. 39. Contrary to this Court's
prior Order, Plaintiff has not confined his amendment to his
Eighth Amendment claim but has alleged multiple other claims
for “damages and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging negligence . . . . [and] the torts of
negligence and malpractice. Id. at 1.
filed a Motion to Dismiss and accompanying brief on January
7, 2017. ECF Nos. 40, 41. Plaintiff filed a “Motion is
Opposition” and Memorandum of Law in Support. ECF Nos.
45, 46. As such, the second Motion to Dismiss of Dr. Jin is
ripe for review.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
assessing the sufficiency of the complaint pursuant to a
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true all material
allegations in the complaint and all reasonable factual
inferences must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Odd v. Malone, 538 F.3d 202, 205 (3d Cir.
2008). The Court, however, need not accept bald assertions or
inferences drawn by the plaintiff if they are unsupported by
the facts set forth in the complaint. See California Pub.
Empl. Ret. Sys. v. The Chubb Corp., 394 F.3d 126, 143
(3d Cir. 2004), citing Morse v. Lower Merion Sch.
Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). Nor must the
Court accept legal conclusions set forth as factual
allegations. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Rather, “[f]actual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Id., citing Papasan v.
Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). Indeed, the United
States Supreme Court has held that a complaint is properly
dismissed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) where it does not
allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face, ” id. at 570, or where
the factual content does not allow the court "to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). See Phillips v. Cty. of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008) (finding
that, under Twombly, “labels, conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” do not suffice but, rather, the complaint
“must allege facts suggestive of [the proscribed]
conduct” and that are sufficient “to raise a
reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of
the necessary element[s] of his claim”).
forth in the “Introduction” of the Amended
Complaint, Plaintiff has brought his claims pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section ...