United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
Cynthia Reed Eddy United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants
Correct Care Solutions, LLC., Mark Hammer, P.A., and Joseph
Mollura, M.D.,  with brief in support (ECF Nos. 59 and
60), and Plaintiff's response in opposition. (ECF No.
62). After careful consideration of the motion and brief, in
light of the standards governing motions to dismiss set forth
by the United States Supreme Court in Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 668 (2009), and as articulated in
United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit precedent,
see, e.g., Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d
780, 790 (3d Cir. 2016), and for the following reasons, the
motion will be denied.
Tyree Wallace (“Plaintiff” or
“Wallace”) is a state prisoner in the custody of
the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
(“DOC”) currently confined at SCI - Smithfield.
The events giving rise to this lawsuit occurred while Wallace
was incarcerated at SCI-Pittsburgh. Wallace initiated this
lawsuit through the filing of a pro se complaint;
however, on September 8, 2017, counsel entered an appearance
for Wallace and on March 2, 2018, Wallace, through counsel,
filed a two-count Amended Complaint in which he alleges in
Count I that Defendant Mollura and Hammer violated his Eighth
Amendment rights when they were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs and in Count II that Defendants
Mollura, Hammer, and Correct Care Solutions, LLC, committed
professional negligence as they violated their duty of care
owed to Wallace. (ECF No. 57). The Amended Complaint remains
Plaintiff's operative pleading.
purposes of resolving the pending motion, the facts as
alleged in the amended complaint, are viewed in the light
most favorable to Plaintiff, and liberally construed.
Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231
(3d Cir. 2008).
his Amended Complaint, Wallace alleges that on October 4,
2014, he had facial reconstructive surgery at Mercy Hospital.
Upon discharge, his surgeon, Dr. Wang, instructed prison
officials to return Wallace the following week to have his
sutures and bolster removed. Wallace alleges that he spoke
with both Dr. Mollura and PA Hammer about the need to have
his sutures removed. On October 17, 2014, approximately
thirteen days post-op, Wallace was transported back to Mercy
Hospital to be seen by Dr. Wang. The nursing note from that
Patient had surgery on Oct 4, 2014 for scar contractures of
the nose, columella, upper lip and philitrum. Patient was
to come last week but the jail did not send him. The
bolster fell off 5 days ago but the sutures were still
intact, sutures removed by Dr. Wang and incision areas were
shaved. Patient return in two weeks. Instructions were sent
with the guards on wound care. The guards stated Tyree should
be able to keep supplies in his cell and change his own
Complaint, at ¶ 32 (emphasis added). Dr. Wang told
Wallace that because the medical staff at SCI Pittsburgh had
failed to bring him to her office to remove the sutures, or
in the alternative remove the sutures themselves, skin had
grown completely over the sutures, sealing them in
Wallace's upper lip. As a result, Wallace was informed
that most likely the pigment in his lip would not return and
there would be gross scarring. Id. at ¶ 35.
After Wallace was returned to SCI Pittsburgh, Wallace was
denied any pain medication, which resulted in him
experiencing severe pain caused by the new wounds to his
filed the instant motion to dismiss (ECF No. 59) arguing that
Wallace has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. This matter is now ripe for consideration.
accordance with the Eighth Amendment's prohibition
against cruel and unusual punishment, the government is
obliged to “provide medical care for those whom it is
punishing by incarceration.” Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976). “[Deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners
constitutes the ‘unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain' . . . proscribed by the Eight Amendment.”
Id. at 104 (citation omitted). In West v.
Keve, 571 F.2d 158, 162 (3d Cir. 1978), the United
States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, instructed
that “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs,
resulting in  a denial of recommended post-
operative treatment . . . violates the
constitutional standard enunciated in
Estelle.” (emphasis added).
Court finds that Wallace has alleged enough to create
plausible Eighth Amendment and professional negligence
claims. The Court recognizes that discovery may well reveal
that the alleged conduct does not give rise to either of
these claims, but at this early stage of the litigation, the
allegations of the Amended Complaint must be accepted as true
and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in Wallace's
reasons stated herein, the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 59)
will be ...