United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to
State a Claim. R. Doc. 8. Plaintiff opposes the motion. R.
Doc. 10. The Court scheduled the Motion for oral argument,
but Plaintiff's counsel failed to appear for the hearing.
Thus, the Court took the matter under consideration on the
briefs. Having reviewed the parties' arguments and the
applicable law, the Court now issues this Order &
personal injury case involves a dispute over damages that
Plaintiff seeks as a result of injuries he allegedly suffered
while working in Orleans Parish Prison. Plaintiff filed his
Petition in Civil District Court in New Orleans on July 25,
2016. R. Doc. 1 at 1. Defendant timely removed the matter to
federal court, and argues this Court has diversity
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1332. R. Doc. 1 at 2.
Plaintiff is a Louisiana citizen, while Defendant, Correct
Care Solutions, LLC (“Defendant”) is a Kansas
corporation with its principal place of business in
Nashville, Tennessee. R. Doc. 1 at 3.
alleges that while employed as a Sheriff's Deputy in
Orleans Parish, he was assigned to oversee the inmates on the
D-3 and D-4 tiers of the Orleans Parish Prison. R. Doc. 1-1
at 2. Defendant was the independent medical provider who
managed the inmates' medical treatment. R. Doc. 1-1 at 3.
Plaintiff alleges that on the day of his injury, Defendant
asked him to bring designated inmates to the medical unit,
despite the fact it was the medical deputy's
responsibility to complete these transfers. R. Doc. 1-1 at 3.
While transferring these inmates, Plaintiff contends he
injured his knees and back because he had to repeatedly go up
and down the stairs from the tiers to the medical unit. R.
Doc. 1-1 at 3.
to Plaintiff, his injuries were a direct result of
Defendant's negligence, including its failure to use
reasonable care, properly train its staff, or modify its
demands based on the limited staff at the prison. R. Doc. 1-1
at 4. Plaintiff claims he sustained severe and disabling
injuries to his knees and back, and seeks to recover damages
for past, present, and future pain and suffering, mental
anguish and emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages
and loss of earning capacity, as well as any other losses
that are proven at trial. R. Doc. 1 at 2.
moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claim against Correct Care
Solutions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), on
the grounds that Plaintiff's petition fails to state a
cognizable claim. R. Doc. 8 at 1. Defendant avers that
Plaintiff's claim is based on the solely on the fact
Defendant asked him to escort an inmate to the medical unit,
and that these allegations do not state a claim for a breach
of any duty the Defendant owed Plaintiff. R. Doc. 8 at 1.
Thus, Defendant contends Plaintiff's claims must be
dismissed with prejudice. R. Doc. 8 at 1.
Defendant Correct Care Solution's Motion to Dismiss (R.
argues it did not breach any duty it could have possibly owed
to Plaintiff. R. Doc. 8-1 at 1. Defendant reports that
according to Plaintiff, he was working as an Orleans Parish
Sheriff's Deputy when Defendant asked him to bring
certain inmates to the medical unit. R. Doc. 8-1 at 1.
Defendant admits that Plaintiff indicated the medical deputy
should complete the transfers, but maintains Plaintiff
“voluntarily transported inmates to the medical
area.” R. Doc. 8-1 at 1. Defendant avers Plaintiff was
not required or compelled to make this transfer, and any
alleged injury to his back and knees from going up and down
the stairs was not the result of the Defendant's alleged
negligence. R. Doc. 8-1 at 2.
argues that Plaintiff's claim does not meet
Louisiana's duty-risk requirements for negligence. R.
Doc. 8-1 at 3. According to Defendant, to prevail on a
negligence claim Plaintiff must demonstrate “(1) the
conduct in question is a cause-in-fact of the alleged harm;
(2) the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff; (3) the
defendant breached that duty; and (4) the risk and harm
caused were within the scope of protection afforded by the
duty breached.” R. Doc. 8-1 at 3 (citing Millet v.
Treasure Chest Casino L.L.C., 00-1843 (La.App. 5 Cir.
5/30/01), 788 So.2d 713, 715). Defendant contends Plaintiff
cannot meet any of these elements.
Defendant argues it was not Plaintiff's employer and did
not have any other relationship with him that would create
any duty under Louisiana law. R. Doc. 8-1 at 4 (citing
Palermo v. Port of New Orleans, 2004-1804 (La.App. 4
Cir. 3/15/06), 933 So.2d 168, 176) (holding non-employer did
not have duty to provide employee a safe workplace).
Plaintiff does not allege Defendant acted with willful or
wanton negligence, or created an unsafe workplace. Thus, he
cannot demonstrate Defendant owed any duty to Plaintiff. R.
Doc. 8-1 at 4. Second, Defendant argues that even if it
somehow owed Plaintiff a duty, Plaintiff has not made any
allegations that Defendant breached that duty. R. Doc. 8-1 at
if there was no duty, or in the alternative, that duty was
never breached, Plaintiff cannot demonstrate the alleged harm
was within the scope of protection the duty provided. R. Doc.
8-1 at 4 (citing Brodnax v. Foster, 47, 079 (La.App.
2 Cir. 4/11/12), 92 So.3d 427, 433 (“[R]isk may not be
within the scope of a duty where the circumstances of the
particular injury to the plaintiff could not be reasonably
foreseen or anticipated, because there was no ease of
association between that risk and the legal duty.”).
Finally, Defendant avers that Plaintiff's injuries were
not foreseeable as a result of Defendant's request asking
Plaintiff to help walk inmates to the medical unit. R. Doc.
8-1 at 5. Because Plaintiff has not pled facts which entitle
him to relief, Defendant argues that his claims against it
should be dismissed.