United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
PARADISE BAXTER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Relevant Procedural and Factual History
D'Metruis Woodward, initiated this pro se action
on February 24, 2017, by submitting for filing a motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis accompanied by a
complaint, in the District Court of New Jersey.
Noel L. Hillman ordered that the case be transferred to the
Western District of Pennsylvania. ECF No. 2. The case was
then transferred to this district and assigned to the Erie
Division on February 28, 2017.
Defendants to this action, Plaintiff names Bradford Regional
Medical Center, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Correctional
Officer Frantz, Emergency Medical Technician Robert Mosher
and Dr. Brian Walters. Plaintiff's complaint alleges that
Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's
medical needs, and delayed necessary treatment during his
incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution, McKean
(“FCI - McKean”). As relief, Plaintiff seeks a
declaration that the acts and omissions of Defendants
constitute a violation of his constitutional rights, as well
as monetary damages.
Dr. Walters has filed a motion to dismiss [ECF No. 26];
Defendant Bradford Regional Medical Center has filed a motion
to dismiss [ECF No. 29]; Defendants Frantz and Mosher, both
employees of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, have filed a
motion to dismiss or in the alternative, motion for summary
judgment [ECF No. 31]. Later, Bradford Regional Medical
Center and Dr. Walters filed motions for summary judgment
arguing that Plaintiff failed to file a Certificate of Merit
pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1042.3 as to
his potential professional liability claims. ECF No. 40; ECF
the filing of the motions to dismiss, this Court ordered
Plaintiff to respond to Defendants' motions, and advised
Plaintiff of the possibility that this Court may consider
Defendants' alternative request for entry of summary
judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. See Renchenski v. Williams, 622 F.3d 315,
340 (3d Cir. 2010).
filed an opposition brief addressing some of the pending
dispositive motions. ECF No. 35. Accordingly, these motions
are ripe for disposition by this Court.
Standards of Review
Pro se Pleadings
se pleadings, “however inartfully pleaded, ”
must be held to “less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). If the court can
reasonably read pleadings to state a valid claim on which the
litigant could prevail, it should do so despite failure to
cite proper legal authority, confusion of legal theories,
poor syntax and sentence construction, or litigant's
unfamiliarity with pleading requirements. Boag v.
MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364 (1982); United States ex
rel. Montgomery v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir.
1969) (petition prepared by a prisoner may be inartfully
drawn and should be read “with measure of
tolerance”). Under our liberal pleading rules, a
district court should construe all allegations in a complaint
in favor of the complainant. Gibbs v. Roman, 116
F.3d 83 (3d Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by
Abdul-Akbar v. McKelvie, 239 F.3d 307, 311 (3d Cir.
2001); see e.g., Nami v. Fauver, 82 F.3d
63, 65 (3d Cir. 1996) (discussing Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
standard); Markowitz v. Ne. Land Co., 906 F.2d 100,
103 (3d Cir. 1990) (same). Because Plaintiff is a pro
se litigant, this Court may consider facts and make
inferences when appropriate.
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 Conley 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 plaintiff's
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 ...