United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
CHARLES W. BAXTER, Plaintiff,
ERIE COUNTY PRISON, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
PARADISE BAXTER United States Magistrate Judge.
Relevant Procedural History
January 20, 2017, Plaintiff Charles Baxter, an inmate at the
Erie County Prison in Erie, Pennsylvania ("ECP"),
brought this pro se civil rights action, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Defendant ECP. Plaintiff
alleges that on September 3, 2016, he slipped and fell while
climbing onto the top bunk that was assigned to him, injuring
his left shoulder. Plaintiff alleges further that he reported
his injury to medical staff, but has since been threatened by
two officers on his cell block, which has prevented him from
obtaining medical care. Thus, Plaintiff claims a violation of
his rights under the eighth amendment to the United States
April 12, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss [ECF No.
29], arguing, inter alia, that Plaintiff failed to
exhaust his administrative remedies. Plaintiff has since
filed a response to Defendant's motion essentially
restating the allegations of his complaint. [ECF No. 33].
This matter is now ripe for consideration.
Standards of Review
Motion to Dismiss
motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) must be
viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and the
complaint's well-pleaded allegations must be accepted as
true. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007).
A complaint must be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) if it
does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007) (rejecting the
traditional 12(b)(6) standard set forth in Conlev v.
Gibson. 355 U.S. 41 (1957)); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (specifically applying
Twombly analysis beyond the context of the Sherman
need not accept inferences drawn by a plaintiff if they are
unsupported by the facts set forth in the complaint. See
California Pub. Emps'. Ret. Sys. v. The Chubb Corp.,
394 F.3d 126, 146 (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. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 citing
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986); see
also McTernan v. City of York, Pa., 577 F.3d 521,
531 (3d Cir. 2009) ("The tenet that a court must accept
as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is
inapplicable to legal conclusions."). A plaintiffs
factual allegations "must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level." Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556 citing 5 C. WRIGHT & A. MILLER,
FEDERAL Practice and Procedure § 1216, pp. 235-36 (3d
ed. 2004). Although the United States Supreme Court
("Supreme Court") does "not require heightened
pleading of specifics, [the Court does require] enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
other words, at the motion to dismiss stage, a plaintiff is
"required to make a 'showing' rather than a
blanket assertion of an entitlement to relief."
Smith v. Sullivan, No. 07-528, 2008 WL 482469, at *1
(D. Del. Feb. 19, 2008) quoting Phillips v. Ctv. of
Allegheny. 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008). "This
'does not impose a probability requirement at the
pleading stage, ' but instead 'simply calls for
enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery
will reveal evidence of the necessary element."
Phillips, 515 F.3d at 234 quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556 n.3.
Third Circuit has expounded on the Twombly/Iqbal
line of cases. To determine the sufficiency of a complaint
under Twombly and Iqbal, the court must
follow three steps:
First, the court must 'tak[e] note of the elements a
plaintiff must plead to state a claim.' Second the court
should identify allegations that, 'because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.' Finally, 'where there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and
then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an
entitlement for relief.'
Burtch v. Milberg Factors, Inc., 662 F.3d 212, 221
(3d Cir. 2011) quoting Santiago v. Warminster Twp,629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d ...