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Strutz v. Wellpath Healthcare

United States District Court, D. Kansas

September 6, 2019

ALEXANDER JOHN STRUTZ, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLPATH HEALTHCARE and JOHNSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, Defendants.

          ORDER

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

         Plaintiff has filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He is a prisoner at the Johnson County Adult Detention Center (JCADC). This case is before the Court to screen plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         I. Pro se standards

         "A pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991) . A pro se litigant, however, is not relieved from following the same rules of procedure as any other litigant. See Green v. Dorrell, 969 F.2d 915, 917 (10th Cir. 1992) . A district court should not "assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant." Hall, supra. Nor is the Court to "supply additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint." Whitney v. State of New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997).

         II. Screening standards

         Title 28 United State Code Section 1915A requires the Court to review cases filed by prisoners seeking redress from a governmental entity or employee to determine whether the complaint is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. When deciding whether plaintiff's complaint "fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted," the Court must determine whether the complaint contains "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to `state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)) .

The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.

Id. The Court accepts the plaintiff's well-pled factual allegations as true and views them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. United States v. Smith, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009) .

         To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege 1) the deprivation of a federal protected right by 2) a person or entity acting under color of state law. Schaffer v. Salt Lake City Corp., 814 F.3d 1151, 1155 (10th Cir. 2016) . The court will assume for purposes of this order that defendant Wellcare is an entity acting under color of state law.

         The Court will not accept broad allegations which lack sufficient detail to give fair notice of what plaintiff's claims are. Section 1983 plaintiffs must "make clear exactly who is alleged to have done what to whom, to provide each individual with fair notice as to the basis of the claims against him or her, as distinguished from collective allegations against the state." Robbins v. Oklahoma ex rel. Dep't of Human Servs., 519 F.3d 1242, 1250 (10th Cir. 2008) .

         III. The complaint

         The complaint contains eleven counts. Some of the counts involve a collision of a security gate at JCADC with a vehicle transporting plaintiff on March 14, 2019. Plaintiff states that he was traveling to court in a vehicle owned and operated by the Johnson County Sheriff's Department when the collision occurred. Plaintiff claims the collision caused head, neck and back injuries and that, since it occurred, his treatment by Wellpath Healthcare at JCADC has been inadequate.

         In Count One, plaintiff alleges neglect in maintaining the security gate. He asserts that the gate malfunctioned and caused the collision.

         In Count Two, plaintiff asserts that although he walks with a limp and has trouble using stairs, he has been housed in a cell on the second level.

         In Count Three, plaintiff claims that he is suffering from constant migraine headaches and sees light flashes at the boundary of his peripheral vision. He asserts that he has severe pain down his leg ...


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