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Walker v. Hill

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

July 13, 2018

BRANDON J. WALKER, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE W. HILL CORRECTIONAL, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          C. DARNELL JONES, JUDGE

         Plaintiff Brandon J. Walker, an inmate currently incarcerated at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, has filed this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against "George W. Hill Correctional," Shelly Mealo, CO Anderson of Pod 4, Sergeant Moor, Kitchen Staff Supervisor YG, Kitchen Staff Supervisor Rollin Payetee, and Kitchen Staff Supervisor Apollo. He has also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. (ECF No. 1.) For the following reasons, the Court will grant Walker leave to proceed in forma pauperis, dismiss his claims against all Defendants except Mealo and Moor, and allow him to proceed at this time with his claims against Mealo and Moor.

         I. FACTS

         In his Complaint, Walker alleges that he "was brought into George W. Hill Correctional with severe police related injuries without first being taken to a hospital and denied medical attention." (Compl. at 3.) According to him, Sergeant Moor is the one who "denied [him] of medical attention by a nurse." (Id.) He was placed in a cell with two other inmates and was forced to sleep on the floor in a "boat unit." (Id.) Walker claims that these conditions were "unhealthy and unsanitary" because he was "two feet from the toilet bowl." (Id.) Subsequently, Walker was "forced to a top bunk where [he] would re-injure [him]self jumping down and climbing up." (Id.)

         Walker also raises allegations concerning his job in the kitchen at George W. Hill. YG issued him "damaged kitchen footwear that formed blisters on both of [his] feet." (Id.) Walker requested proper footwear, but YG showed "no compassion for [his] pain and fired [him]." (Id.) He alleges that he "refus[ed] to allow the cuts on [his] feet to be infected by following [YG] and the two kitchen supervisors['] orders to continue the use of the damage[d] kitchen wear." (Id.) Subsequently, Walker was "sent to medical by a block officer [who] witnessed [his] walking condition." (Id.) The officer saw the bottoms of Walker's feet and "called for [him] to receive [wound] care." (Id.) However, Shelly Mealo denied Walker "emergency medical attention." (Id.)

         In the section of the form complaint asking about relief sought, Walker indicates that he is seeking $12.5 million dollars for being denied proper medical treatment as well as for experiencing mental anguish, anxiety, and depression. (Id. at 5-6.) He then asserts that he was "forced to wash out the trays inmates eat off of in trash cans the same trash cans garbage is handled in." (Id. at 6.) Walker further alleges that he and the other inmate who worked in the kitchen "were made to make juice and coffee in a grey trash can for inmate consumption. A very disturbing process." (Id.) He contends that he and other inmates are "being under fed with very little food served on the trays or things missing from the meals." (Id.) Finally, Walker states that he is "subjected to being bitten by the swarms of flying insects that cover our shower walls daily unknowing if any disease was transmitted from who may have been bit before [him]." (Id.)

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court will grant Walker leave to proceed in forma pauperis because it appears that he is not capable of paying the fees to commence this civil action.[1] Accordingly, Walker's Complaint is subject to 28 U.S.C. § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(ii), which requires the Court to dismiss the Complaint if it fails to state a claim. Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard applicable to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to determine whether the complaint contains "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). "[M]ere conclusory statements do not suffice." Id. As Walker is proceeding pro se, the Court construes his allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).

         III. DISCUSSION

         "To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law." West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). As discussed below, Walker's Complaint fails to allege a meritorious claim against the named Defendants, with the exception of his claims against Mealo and Moor.

         A. Discussion of the Named Defendants

         1. Shelly Mealo and Sergeant Moor

         Walker alleges that Shelly Mealo denied him medical care for his feet after a block officer witnessed his "walking condition" from the damaged kitchen footwear. (Compl. At 3.) He further claims that Sergeant Moor refused to allow him to be treated by a nurse upon intake despite his "severe police-related injuries." (Id.) In light of Walker's claims that Mealo and Moor were aware of potential harm to him and did nothing, he will be permitted to proceed on his claims against them at this time. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834-35 (1994).

         2. George W. Hill ...


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