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Jallah v. Bucks County Correctional Facility

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 4, 2018

KPALAGA J. JALLAH Plaintiff, pro se
v.
BUCKS COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, et al. Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NITZA I. QUIÑONES ALEJANDRO, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Kpalaga J. Jallah (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at the Bucks County Correctional Facility, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 (“§1983”) against several named individuals, in which he alleges that these individuals violated his constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs while incarcerated. [ECF 32]. Plaintiff has also asserted these same §1983 claims against the correctional facility.

         Before this Court are three separate motions to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(6), each seeking the dismissal of Plaintiff's second amended complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted; to wit: a motion by Warden Terrance P. Moore (“Defendant Warden Moore”), Victoria Gesner, M.D. (“Defendant Doctor Gesner”), and Britanie Grandinette, PA-C (“Defendant Grandinette”), [ECF 38]; a motion by the Bucks County Correctional Facility (“Defendant BCCF”) and Deputy Warden Lillian Budd (“Defendant Deputy Warden Budd”), [ECF 42]; and a motion by Robert Takei, M.D. (“Defendant Doctor Takei”), [ECF 45], (collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiff has filed responses opposing two of the motions to dismiss.[1] [ECF 43, 44]. The issues in the motions to dismiss have been fully briefed by the parties and, therefore, are ripe for disposition.

         For the reasons stated herein, Defendants' motions to dismiss are granted.

         BACKGROUND

         As noted, Plaintiff asserts §1983 claims premised upon Defendants' alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. When ruling on a motion to dismiss, this Court must accept as true all factual allegations in Plaintiff's operative complaint, here the second amended complaint, and construe these facts in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677 (2009)). The following is a summary of the allegations in Plaintiff's second amended complaint; to wit:

Plaintiff is, and at all relevant times, was an inmate at the Bucks County Correctional Facility. (Sec. Am. Compl. at p. 1). The Defendants are: the Bucks County Correctional Facility; Warden Terrance P. Moore; Deputy Warden Lillian Budd; Medical Physician Victoria Gessner; Physician Assistant Britanie Grandinett; and Dr. Robert Takei. (Id. at pp. 1-2).
On October 23, 2014, Plaintiff fell and broke his right wrist while playing basketball at the Bucks County Correctional Facility. (Id. at p. 3). The next morning, Plaintiff underwent an x-ray performed by a physician. The x-ray showed an acute angulated and minimally displaced fracture of the distal radius and a minimally displaced acute fracture of the ulnar styloid. (Id.). Approximately three hours after the x-ray, Plaintiff met with Defendant Grandinette, who provided Plaintiff with the results from the x-ray, and who told him that he needed an operation and that he “should be receiving the operation in a few days.” (Id.). Plaintiff alleges the surgery did not take place for “weeks.” (Id.). Defendant Grandinette also told Plaintiff that he did not need a second opinion before his operation. (Id.).
Plaintiff alleges that he requested medical care for pain, but that none was provided. (Id. at p. 3). Plaintiff also alleges that he received a “delayed operation” from orthopedic doctor, Defendant Doctor Takei, (id. at p. 3), and that he was denied physical therapy, which Defendant Doctor Takei recommended. (Id. at p. 5).
Medical records attached to Plaintiff's amended complaint indicate that Plaintiff was prescribed Vicodin and ibuprofen for pain and that he was placed on restrictions to deter further injuries to his wrist, which included, no gym, no work, low bunk, and low tier. (Sec. Am. Compl., Exs. at p. 13). He was also scheduled for an orthopedic consultation. (Id.).[2]
Plaintiff filed a grievance complaining of his medical care. (Amend. Compl. at p. 4). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant BCCF responded that “the medical department will handle it, which they did not.” (Id.). Plaintiff then wrote to Defendants Warden Moore and Deputy Warden Budd, but they did not respond to Plaintiff's request to appeal. (Id.).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court “must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions.” Fowler, 578 F.3d at 210-11 (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677). The court must determine whether the plaintiff has pled facts sufficient to show a plausible entitlement to relief. Fowler, 578 F.3d at 211. If the pled facts only allow the court to infer the mere possibility of misconduct, then the complaint has only alleged, and not shown, that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)) (emphasis added). Thus, the plaintiff “must allege facts sufficient to ‘nudge [his or her] claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.'” Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Mere “labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the ...


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