United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION OPINION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION
TO DISMISS [ECF NO. 43]
RICHARD A. LANZILLO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Robert Mickens, Sr., ("Plaintiff), an inmate at the
State Correctional Institution at Albion
("SCI-Albion"), initiated this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that various
prison officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by
displaying deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs as well as holding him in unconstitutional conditions
of confinement. ECF No. 6. Plaintiff filed a Second Amended
Complaint on November 23, 2018, which is the operative
pleading in this action. ECF No. 42. Presently pending before
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs
Second Amended Complaint [ECF No. 43] for failure to state a
claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion will
Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he
contracted a "Manny-Bacterial" infection from a
defective toilet "located in his (25) cell due to his
penis resting in tainted water prior to the discovery of the
hazardous bile leaking to and fro (sic) the malfunctioning
toilets." ECF No. 42, ¶ 8. Plaintiff alleges that
he submitted a "work order" for the malfunctioning
toilet and further states that Maintenance Manager Thomas
Mook received the work order electronically but failed to
timely address the plumbing issue for "at least three
weeks." Id. at ¶ 9. Plaintiff further
alleges that prison Superintendent Michael Clark failed to
take action to protect him from unsanitary and dangerous
conditions at SCI-Albion. Id. at ¶ 72.
alleges that Defendant RN Gloria Gibbs twice denied him
emergency treatment for an issue with his penis on July 18,
2017, first at 10:30 a.m., and again at 3:15 p.m.
Id. at ¶¶ 10-11. Plaintiff alleges that
Gibbs declined to provide treatment because Plaintiff refused
to sign a form acknowledging his obligation to pay the
medical co-payment of $5.00; she instead allowed Plaintiff to
return to his cell with his penis wrapped in toilet paper.
Id. at ¶ 11. On July 19, 2017, Plaintiff was
"sent back to medical on an emergency pass" and was
"assessed" by RN Supervisor Michael Edwards, but
Supervisor Edwards also denied Plaintiff emergency treatment
and declined to provide care because Plaintiff again refused
to sign the form acknowledging his obligation to pay the
co-pay of $5.00. Id. at ¶¶ 12, 36. During
that same visit, Supervisor Edwards referred Plaintiff to
Infectious Control Nurse Jessica Owen for investigation of a
possible sexually transmitted disease. Id. at ¶
36. The next day, on July 20, 2017, Plaintiff was assessed by
Nurse Owens and Physician Assistant Alexis Secara.
Id. at ¶ 37. P.A. Secara prescribed Plaintiff
with the following medications:
• 150 mg tab of Fluconazole, relating to a yeast
• Clotrimazole 1% cream, as a substitute for Lotrimin;
• Bacitracin Zinc Polymyxin B Sulfate, a "double
antibiotic ointment, " to "treat the trauma to
Id. at ¶ 38.
the heading of "Exhaustion, " Plaintiffs Second
Amended Complaint indicates that Plaintiff received
additional medical attention and test results on various
other dates. The dates of testing and treatment, however, are
not chronological, and it is difficult to discern whether
certain references are related to others or to the conditions
upon which Plaintiff bases his claims. Plaintiff alleges that
on July 25, 2017, he "filed a complaint alleging that he
placed a sick call slip into the medical box to have his
kidney and liver function checked." Id. at
¶ 40. In the next paragraph of the Amended Complaint,
however, Plaintiff states that "results of blood work
revealed that Mickens had contracted a bacterial
infection" and that on July 14,
2017, he "was treated with the antibiotic
prescribed by Alexis Secara." Id. at ¶ 41.
This allegation appears to contradict Plaintiffs earlier
allegation that certain Defendants initially refused to treat
him and that he was not prescribed medication for his
infection until July 20, 2017. Later paragraphs of the Second
Amended Complaint further indicate that Plaintiff was
administered a course of antibiotics and other medications
for his condition no later than July 14, 2017. See e.g.
Id . at ¶ 52 (referencing a record entry stating,
"The inmate was first evaluated on
07.14.17, for complaint of Dysuria
(painful urination and foul smelling
urine). He was administered a
course of antibiotics, sulfa drug known as Bactrim,
...")(emphasis in original). Additionally, on October 3,
2017, it appears that Plaintiff was prescribed a ten-day
course of treatment of Sulfatrim. Id. at ¶ 62.
commenced this action on January 26, 2018. He filed his
Second Amended Complaint on November 23, 2018. ECF No. 6. On
December 5, 2018, Defendants moved to dismiss the Second
Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. ECF No. 43.
Plaintiff responded to the motion on January 29, 2019. ECF
No. 55. This matter is fully briefed and ripe for
Standards of Review
Pro se Litigants
se pleadings, "however inartfully pleaded, "
must be held to "less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v.
Kerner,404 U.S. 519, 520-521 (1972). If the court can
reasonably read pleadings to state a valid claim on which the
litigant could prevail, it should do so despite failure to
cite proper legal authority, confusion of legal theories,
poor syntax and sentence construction, or litigant's
unfamiliarity with pleading requirements. Boag v.
MacDougall,454 U.S. 364 (1982); United States ex
rel. Montgomery v. Bierley,141 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir.
1969) (petition prepared by a prisoner may be inartfully
drawn and should be read "with a measure of
tolerance"); Smith v. U.S. District Court, 956
F.2d 295 (D.C. Cir. 1992); Freeman v. Dep 't of
Corrections,949 F.2d 360 (10th Cir. 1991). Under our
liberal pleading rules, during the initial stages of
litigation, a district court should construe all allegations
in a complaint in favor of the ...