Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Diaz v. City of Philadelphia

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

March 23, 2018

JULIO DIAZ
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, et al.

          MEMORANDUM

          KEARNEY, J.

         Prisoners suing a city for alleged cruel and unusual punishment by prison medical supervisors and employees in treating a leg injury must plead a government policy or custom causing the lack of medical treatment and his injury. The city is not liable simply because it employs the medical personnel. When, as today, the prisoner alleges the city is liable because it employs the doctors and nurses and does not allege a government policy or custom causing his injury, we must enter the accompanying Order granting the city's motion to dismiss.

         I. Alleged Facts

         While incarcerated at the Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center, Julio Diaz complained to a corrections officer about "pain, swelling, and inflammation in his right leg" on January 12, 2016.[1] Mr. Diaz asked the corrections officer to take him to the infirmary where an unnamed nurse examined him.[2] The unnamed nurse diagnosed Mr. Diaz with an abscess in his right leg.[3] She prescribed Motrin to relieve his pain and sent him back to his cell.[4]

         For the next six days, Mr. Diaz continued having pain, swelling, and redness in his right leg.[5] Mr. Diaz complained about his right leg to numerous corrections officers but no one treated him.[6] Mr. Diaz could not stand up on January 17 because of the pain in his right leg and someone sent him to the infirmary.[7] No. doctor saw Mr. Diaz on January 17 or 18.[8] On January 19, 2016, a doctor referred Mr. Diaz to the emergency department of a nearby hospital.[9] The hospital doctors drained Mr. Diaz's right leg and treated him with antibiotics and pain medication.[10] The doctors diagnosed Mr. Diaz with "right lower extremity abscesses, cellulitis, swelling and erythema."[11] After four days, the hospital discharged Mr. Diaz and, since then, Mr. Diaz has continuing pain in his right leg and difficulty walking.[12] Mr. Diaz also requires medication and physical therapy to treat his symptoms.[13]

         II. Analysis

         Mr. Diaz sued the City of Philadelphia, John Doe Correction Officers 1-2, Corizon Health, Inc., and John Does Medical Personnel 1-2 alleging they each violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by being deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. Mr. Diaz also sues the John Doe medical personnel for state law medical negligence claims. Mr. Diaz names Bruce Herdman, Chief of Medical Operations of the Philadelphia Prison System, as a defendant but does not name him in a specific count.[14]

         The City moves to dismiss Mr. Diaz's Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment claim against it because Mr. Diaz fails to allege municipal liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[15]The City cannot be held viciously liable for the acts of its agents because "there is no respondeat superior theory of municipal liability."[16] Instead, to allege a § 1983 Monell claim against the City, Mr. Diaz must identify a policy or custom because "municipal liability attaches only when 'execution of a government policy or custom ... inflicts the injury.' "[17]

         Mr. Diaz fails to identify a policy or custom of the City causing the correction officers or nurses to allegedly fail to treat Mr. Diaz's right leg.[18] Mr. Diaz's only alleges acts of individual persons employed by the City, which is the prohibited "respondeat superior theory of municipal liability."[19]

         III. Conclusion

         We grant the City of Philadelphia's motion to dismiss Mr. Diaz's Eighth Amendment claim against it in the accompanying Order because Mr. Diaz fails to allege injury caused by a City policy or custom.

---------

Notes:

[1]ECF Doc. No. 1, ¶14, 15.


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.