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Dickerson v. Corizon Health

United States District Court, D. Kansas

June 12, 2019

ROBERT LEE DICKERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON HEALTH, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          SAM A. CROW, U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on motions to dismiss filed by Defendants Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), James Heimgartner, Deane Donley, and Doug Burris (“KDOC Defendants”) (ECF No. 54) and Defendants Corizon, LLC, Connie Delperdang, and Mary Einerson (“Corizon Defendants”) (ECF No. 57). Plaintiff has not filed a response to either motion.[1] For the reasons described herein, Defendants' motions are granted. Plaintiff has also filed a motion for status (ECF No. 59), which is addressed by this Order, and the KDOC Defendants have filed a motion to stay discovery (ECF No. 56), which is denied as moot.

         Summary of Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges that his Eighth Amendment rights are being violated by Defendants' deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Mr. Dickerson further alleges a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Plaintiff complains Defendants have not provided him with proper treatment for his end-stage cirrhosis of the liver, that he has not been treated by qualified medical providers, and that the pain he suffers as a result of his medical condition has been largely ignored by Defendants. He seeks an injunction ordering that he be seen by the liver transplant team at the University of Kansas and to follow the directions resulting from that consult. Plaintiff also seeks compensatory damages.

         Motion to Dismiss by KDOC Defendants (ECF No. 54)

         In their Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum in Support, the KDOC Defendants first argue that Plaintiff has failed to state an actionable claim under the ADA (Count II of the Complaint) because the ADA does not provide a means for prisoners to challenge medical decisions regarding appropriate treatment. Defendants also point out that individuals, such as Defendants Heimgartner, Donley, and Burris, cannot violate the ADA.

         In addition, Defendants argue KDOC is not a proper party to a § 1983 action and should be dismissed; Defendants Heimgartner, Donley, and Burris are entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity from claims Plaintiff makes against them in their official capacities; the same defendants should be dismissed because Plaintiff fails to allege they personally participated in the alleged civil rights violations; and the same defendants are entitled to qualified immunity on Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claim.

         Motion to Dismiss by Corizon Defendants (ECF No. 58)

         In their Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum in Support, the Corizon Defendants also argue that Count II should be dismissed because failure to provide medical treatment an inmate desires is not actionable under the ADA. Defendants further argue that neither the individuals nor Corizon are subject to the ADA.

         Legal Standards

         Rule 12(b)(6)

         “To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Schrock v. Wyeth, Inc., 727 F.3d 1273, 1280 (10th Cir. 2013) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). When applying this standard, a court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and then ask whether those facts state a plausible claim for relief. See Id. at 679. Viewing the complaint in this manner, the Court must decide whether the plaintiff's allegations give rise to more than speculative possibilities. Id. “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

         28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)

         28 U.S.C. § 1915 applies to cases, such as this, that are filed in forma pauperis. Under subsection (e)(2)(B), such cases must be dismissed if the Court determines the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. ...


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