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Talley v. Harper

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

December 11, 2017

MR. ORLANDO H. HARPER, et al, Defendants.


          Cynthia Reed Eddy, United States Magistrate Judge

         Presently pending before the Court for disposition is the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 122) Plaintiff's Amended Complaint filed by Defendants Robin DeVaughn, Carla Ivan, Suzanne Larry, and Maria Beth Long, all of whom were at the relevant time employed in the medical department provided to inmates at the Allegheny County Jail (“ACJ”). Plaintiff has filed a Response in opposition[2] (ECF No. 129). For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff, Antron Talley (“Plaintiff” or “Talley”) is a pro se inmate currently housed at the State Correctional Institution - Forest. The alleged incidents giving rise to this lawsuit, however, occurred when Talley was previously housed at ACJ.[3]

         In his Amended Complaint (ECF No. 112), Talley sues numerous individuals who worked at ACJ, either as County employees or as employees of Corizon, a contractor employed by Allegheny County to provide health care services to inmates at the ACJ. The claims in the Amended Complaint relate to an approximate eight-month period from December 19, 2013, through August 2014.

         As to movants herein, Talley avers as follows. Defendant Robin DeVaughn is identified as a supervisor for the medical department of the Allegheny County Jail (ECF No. 112, para. 7); Suezanne Larry is a physician's assistant in the mental health department at the Allegheny County Jail, responsible for evaluating inmates brought into Pod 5C (ECF No. 112, para. 8); and Maria Long and Carla Ivan are nurses at the Allegheny County Jail (ECF No. 112, paras. 9, 10). Talley alleges he was injured after an altercation with a corrections officer Arlottta on December 19, 2013. (ECF No. 112, para. 20). The alleged injuries from that altercation, which will be addressed separately as to whether Talley has stated a claim against Arlotta, included fractured left thumb, fractured jaw that caused temporomandibular joint syndrome (“TMJ”), an injured right knee, along with mental and emotional injuries. (ECF No. 112 at para. 20).

         Following that altercation, he was transferred to the Disciplinary Housing Unit (DHU). He then was “refused meals” and thus pretended to be suicidal so he could be transferred to pod 5C, where inmates with mental problems are housed. (ECF No. 112, para. 21). While there, Talley alleges that Defendant Corrections Officer Brosovich refused to provide him showers and fed him “bag” meals, which caused Talley to lose a “tremendous amount of weight that was not healthy to lose, and developed sores in his crotch area due to not receiving a shower.” (ECF No. 112 at para. 21). Mr. Talley remained on this pod until January 28, 2014, when he was transferred back to the DHU. (ECF No. 112, para. 21). He remained in the DHU until March 27, 2014.

         He alleges Carla Ivan, a day or two before January 28, 2014 while he was still at pod 5C, fabricated Mr. Talley being a disturbance to get him to leave pod 5C, and also, that he was given shots against his will by Ivan. He further alleges that he was not, and has “never been prescribed any type of drug that would knock you unconscious as these drugs did” and that he suffered from sciatic nerve problems from where Ivan injected him, as well as mental and emotional stress. (ECF NO. 112, para. 22). He then returned to pod 8E on January 28, 2014, had a hearing in front of the program review committee and was found guilty of assaulting a corrections officer. (ECF No. 112, para. 23).

         On pod 8E, nurses walk to every cell and ask inmates if they have a medical problem that needs to be addressed by the medical department. (ECF No. 112, para. 25). Talley claims he gave Defendant Long medical request forms dated January 30, 2014, February 17, 2014, and February 23, 2014 “pertaining to the injuries the Plaintiff suffered since December 19, 2013.” (ECF No. 112, para. 25). He further alleges that he wrote to supervisor DeVaughn on March 28, 2014 asking to be seen. (ECF No. 112, para. 25). These requests, according to Talley:

pertained to “the massive weight lost due to the bag lunches on pod 5C. The Plaintiff never received medical attention. The injuries the Plaintiff received healed wrong, and continue to cause the Plaintiff pain, and limited range of motion, due to the lack of medical attention.

(ECF No. 112 at para. 25).

         On June 18, 2014, Talley was involved in another altercation with a corrections officer and was placed on pod 5C until July 11, 2014. (ECF No. 112, paras. 26-28). He thought the cell was unsanitary and he did not receive soap, rags, toothpaste or a toothbrush as such items are not handed out in the pod. (ECF No. 112, para. 28). Talley alleges that Defendant Larry told Mr.

         Talley his living conditions and receipt of bag meals would continue while he was on pod 5C. (ECF No. 112 para. 28).

         II. ...

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