United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge
Quilie Zeigler ("Zeigler"), an inmate currently
confined at the Smithfield State Correctional Institution in
Huntindgon, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Smithfield"),
commenced this civil rights action on August 26, 2016, in the
Court of Common Pleas of Huntingdon County. (Doc. 1-2). The
action was subsequently removed to the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1). The
matter is proceeding via an amended complaint. (Doc. 9).
Named as defendants are Correct Care Solutions, LLC and James
F. Frommer, Jr., D.O. (Id.) Before the court is
defendants' partial motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Doc. 11). For the reasons
set forth below, the partial motion to dismiss will be
granted in part and denied in part.
Standard of Review
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for
the dismissal of complaints that fail to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When
ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court
must "accept as true all [factual] allegations in the
complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn
therefrom, and view them in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff." Kanter v. Barella, 489 F.3d 170,
177 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting Evancho v. Fisher, 423
F.3d 347, 350 (3d Cir. 2005)). Although the court is
generally limited in its review to the facts contained in the
complaint, it "may also consider matters of public
record, orders, exhibits attached to the complaint and items
appearing in the record of the case." Oshiver v.
Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384
n. 2 (3d Cir. 1994); see also In re Burlington Coat
Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997).
notice and pleading rules require the complaint to provide
"the defendant notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests." Phillips v. Cty. of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 232 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). To test the sufficiency of the complaint in the face
of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must conduct a
three-step inquiry. See Santiago v. Warminster Twp,
629 F.3d 121, 130-31 (3d Cir. 2010). In the first step,
"the court must 'tak[e] note of the elements a
plaintiff must plead to state a claim.'"
Id. (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 675 (2009)). Next, the factual and legal elements of a
claim should be separated; well-pleaded facts must be
accepted as true, while mere legal conclusions may be
disregarded. Id.; see also Fowler v. UPMC
Shadvside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009). Once the
well-pleaded factual allegations have been isolated, the
court must determine whether they are sufficient to show a
"plausible claim for relief." Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556);
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (requiring plaintiffs to
allege facts sufficient to "raise a right to relief
above the speculative level"). A claim "has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal 556 U.S. at 678.
Allegations of the Amended Complaint
alleges that defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs and negligent by failing to monitor his
heart after his arrival at SCI-Smithfield. (Doc. 9,
¶¶ 7-25). Specifically, Zeigler alleges that he
arrived at SCI-Smithfield with a preexisting heart condition.
(Id. at ¶ 13). Zeigler allegedly informed Dr.
Frommer about his preexisting heart condition and stated that
his heart should be monitored. (Id. at ¶¶
December 2015, Zeigler alleges that he requested monitoring
of his heart, or use of a heart monitor. (Id. at
¶ 15). Dr. Frommer allegedly informed Zeigler that
monitoring of his heart was not necessary. (Id.)
Zeigler avers that Dr. Frommer never ordered monitoring of
his heart. (Id. at ¶ 17). Medical personnel
purportedly advised Zeigler that he had to obtain certain
cardiology records related to his defibrillator prior to any
heart monitoring. (Id. at ¶ 16).
February 24, 2016, Zeigler presented to the medical
department with complaints of chest pain and difficulty
breathing. (Id. at ¶ 18). Zeigler was
transported to an outside hospital and underwent a procedure
to replace his cardiac stents. (Id. at ¶ 19).
alleges that Correct Care and Dr. Frommer breached their
contractual agreement by failing to monitor his heart and
failing to refer him to a specialist for treatment.
(Id. at ¶ 20). Zeigler further alleges that
Correct Care breached its contractual obligations to monitor
his heart and obtain his medical records. (Id. at
¶ 21). He alleges that Correct Care and its employees
still refuse to monitor his heart condition. (Id. at
1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code offers private
citizens a cause of action for violations of federal law by
state officials. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
statute provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party ...