United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
CARLSON MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Richard Caputo United States District Judge.
before me are three (3) Reports and Recommendations (Docs.
27, 29, 31) issued by Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson.
Specifically, Magistrate Judge Carlson recommends that four
(4) motions to dismiss be granted in this pro se
prisoner civil rights action commenced by Shane Eddowes
(“Eddowes” or “Plaintiff”). For the
reasons that follow, the Reports and Recommendations will be
adopted in part and the motions to dismiss will be granted,
but Eddowes will be given the opportunity to amend his
facts alleged in the Complaint are set forth in detail in the
Magistrate Judge's Reports and Recommendations and are
not repeated at length herein. For present purposes, it is
sufficient to restate that the thrust of the Complaint is
that while Eddowes was incarcerated at SCI-Rockview, various
individuals, including, inter alia, prison
officials and employees of Diamond Pharmacy
Services, a private pharmacy company, “substituted
adulterated, experimental, placebo drugs for [his] prescribed
anti-seizure medications.” (Doc. 27, 1; see
also Doc. 30, 1). Eddowes alleges that he has been
prescribed klonopin for his seizure disorder. (See
Doc. 27, 2). Eddowes contends, however, that the medication
is being substituted or is otherwise being replaced with a
placebo, which resulted in him suffering two seizures.
(See id. at 2-3; see also Doc. 1-1,
¶¶ 34, 40, 48, 58-59, 65-66). As written, the
Complaint suggests that if he is being provided a placebo, it
is either the pharmacy or the manufacturer of the drug
sending the altered medication to SCI-Rockview. (See
id. at ¶¶ 40, 48, 59, (“Either the pill
is being manufactured deficient without the active ingredient
clonazepam or is being tampered with or intercepted by
substitution of some generic type.”), 67).
on the foregoing, Eddowes complains that his Eighth Amendment
rights have been violated by Defendants' deliberate
indifference to his medical needs. (See Doc. 1-1,
generally). Additionally, Eddowes asserts that
Defendants retaliated against him for filing grievances in
violation of the First Amendment. (See id.).
(4) motions to dismiss the Complaint have been filed.
(See Docs. 6, 15, 22, 26). Eddowes filed a brief in
opposition to the motions to dismiss submitted by Department
of Corrections Defendants, (see Docs. 6, 21), and
Pharmacy Defendants. (See Docs. 15, 21). Eddowes,
though, did not file a brief in opposition the motions to
dismiss filed by Defendants Fisher and Kakabar, (see
Doc. 22), or Finn, (see Doc. 26), despite being
directed by the Magistrate Judge to do so. (See Doc.
28). The Magistrate Judge has now issued three (3) Reports
and Recommendations on the pending motions to dismiss.
(See Docs. 27, 29, 31). Plaintiff sumitted timely
objections to the first two (2) Reports and Recommendations.
(See Doc. 30). The Reports and Recommendations, the
objections thereto, and the motions to dismiss are now ripe
Review of a Report and Recommendation.
objections to the magistrate judge's Report are filed,
the court must conduct a de novo review of the
contested portions of the Report. Sample v. Diecks,
885 F.2d 1099, 1106 n.3 (3d Cir. 1989) (citing 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)). However, this only applies to the extent
that a party's objections are both timely and specific;
if objections are merely “general in nature, ”
the court “need not conduct a de novo
determination.” Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5,
6-7 (3d Cir. 1984). Indeed, the Third Circuit has instructed
that “providing a complete de novo
determination where only a general objection to the report is
offered would undermine the efficiency the magistrate system
was meant to contribute to the judicial process.”
Id. at 7. In conducting a de novo review,
the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part,
the factual findings or legal conclusions of the magistrate
judge. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Owens v.
Beard, 829 F.Supp. 736, 738 (M.D. Pa. 1993). Uncontested
portions of the Report may be reviewed at a standard
determined by the district court. See Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 154 (1985); Goney, 749 F.2d at 7. At
the very least, the court should review uncontested portions
for clear error or manifest injustice. See,
e.g., Cruz v. Chater, 990 F.Supp. 375,
376-77 (M.D. Pa. 1998).
Motion to Dismiss.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal
of a complaint, in whole or in part, for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(b)(6). “Under the ‘notice
pleading' standard embodied in Rule 8 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff must come forward with
‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Thompson
v. Real Estate Mortg. Network, 748 F.3d 142, 147 (3d
Cir. 2014) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, “a court must
consider no more than whether the complaint establishes
‘enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that
discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary elements'
of the cause of action.” Trzaska v. L'Oreal
USA, Inc., 865 F.3d 155, 162 (3d Cir. 2017) (quoting
Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 789
(3d Cir. 2016)). In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint,
a court must take three steps: (1) identify the elements of
the claim; (2) identify conclusions that are not entitled to
the assumption of truth; and (3) assume the veracity of the
well-pleaded factual allegations and determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief. See
Connelly, 809 F.3d at 787 (citations omitted). “To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ...