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Talbert v. Corizon Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 12, 2017

CHARLES TALBERT, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON INC, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          STENGEL, J.

         I. BACKGROUND [1]

         In 2014, while incarcerated at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (“CFCF”) in Philadelphia, pro se plaintiff Charles Talbert sued Corizon Inc. (Compl. ¶ 8). Corizon is a private corporation that contracts with correctional facilities to provide medical services to inmates. In April of 2016, plaintiff settled his 2014 case against Corizon. (Id.).

         On May 5, 2016, plaintiff was released from CFCF. (Id. ¶ 9). Less than two months after being released from CFCF, plaintiff was arrested for violating his probation and transferred back to CFCF. (Id. ¶ 10). At some point after being returned to CFCF for violation of probation, plaintiff was “waiting in the Corizon medical triage to be seen by a Corizon medical staff member to be medically screened.” (Id. ¶ 11).[2] While sitting in the waiting room, an unidentified and unknown “Corizon employee” threatened to stick plaintiff with a needle that was said to be contaminated with the HIV virus. (Id.). Before threatening to stick plaintiff with the needle, this unidentified person made comments about plaintiff's prior lawsuit against Corizon that had settled. (Id. ¶ 12).

         Plaintiff then refused to be medically screened or treated by Corizon. (Id. ¶ 13). He claims he refused for fear of being stuck with a needle contaminated with HIV. (Id.). Plaintiff was then placed in “medical lock-in” for 24 hours. (Id. ¶ 14). Plaintiff claims he was placed in lock-in until he would allow “Corizon employees to stick him with a needle.” (Id.).

         After this occurred, plaintiff filed several “sick call requests” and “grievance” forms requesting to “have an x-ray examination check for tuberculosis rather than being stuck by a needle from one of Corizon' [sic] medical staff.” (Id. ¶ 15).[3] Plaintiff also requested to be sent off-site (i.e. brought to a medical facility outside the jail) to have his blood drawn. (Id. ¶ 16).[4]

         During this particular stint at CFCF-from July 14, 2016 to October 6, 2016- plaintiff claims medical staff at CFCF denied plaintiff's request for an x-ray or to be sent off-site to have his blood drawn. (Id. ¶ 17). Plaintiff's complaint avers that “[d]ue to this deprivation of x-ray and off-site referral, Plaintiff was subjected to constant isolation which severely caused him aggravated pain to his prior neck injury, and substantial mental anguish, depression, stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, fatigue, and mind altering spells where he began to become delusional.” (Id. ¶ 18).[5]

         Plaintiff filed this complaint against Corizon Inc., three Corizon doctors, and two Corizon nurses. His complaint does not identify any cause of action.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted examines the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). The factual allegations must be sufficient to make the claim for relief more than just speculative. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In determining whether to grant a motion to dismiss, a federal court must construe the complaint liberally, accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Id.; see also D.P. Enters. v. Bucks County Cmty. Coll., 725 F.2d 943, 944 (3d Cir.1984).

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require a plaintiff to plead in detail all of the facts upon which she bases her claim. Conley, 355 U.S. at 47. Rather, the Rules require a “short and plain statement” of the claim that will give the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff's claim and the grounds upon which it rests. Id. The “complaint must allege facts suggestive of [the proscribed] conduct.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 564. Neither “bald assertions” nor “vague and conclusory allegations” are accepted as true. See Morse v. Lower Merion School Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir.1997); Sterling v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Auth., 897 F.Supp. 893 (E.D. Pa. 1995). The claim must contain enough factual matters to suggest the required elements of the claim or to “raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of” those elements. Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the Supreme Court defined a two-pronged approach to a court's review of a motion to dismiss. “First, the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. at 678. Thus, while “Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure from the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era . . . it does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions.” Id. at 678-79.

         A court “may dismiss a complaint only if it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations.” Brown v. Card Service Ctr., 464 F.3d 450, 456 (3d Cir. 2006) (quoting Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984)). Courts construe a plaintiff's allegations liberally when he or she is proceeding pro se. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).

         III. ...


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