United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
MEMORANDUM RULING AND ORDER
B. WHITEHURST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is an unopposed Motion To Dismiss Under FRCP Rule
12(b)(6) On Grounds Of Prematurity On Behalf Of Sandra
Chaisson. [Rec. Doc. 84]. “[F]ailure to oppose a
12(b)(6) motion is not in itself grounds for granting the
motion. Rather, a court assesses the legal sufficiency of the
complaint.” Servicios Azucareros de Venezuela, C.A.
v. John Deere Thibodeaux, Inc., 702 F.3d 794, 806
(5th Cir. 2012). After reviewing the record, the
Court finds that the Motion has merit.
action is brought by Plaintiff, Kenward Alexander, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments and the laws of Louisiana, for injuries allegedly
sustained by Plaintiff while he was a pre-trial detainee in
the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center
(“LPCC”). Plaintiff also asserted a cause of
action related to allegedly inadequate medical treatment
rendered to him by various healthcare providers relative to
his alleged injuries.
March 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint with the Division
of Administration seeking to present his claims against,
inter alia, Defendant Chaisson's employer,
University Hospital and Clinics (“UHC”), in
accordance with Louisiana law. R. 84-2. Thereafter,
on December 22, 2016, Plaintiff added Defendant Chaisson in
its Second Supplemental and Amended Complaint based on her
alleged involvement in the medical care of Plaintiff by and
in association with UHC. R. 60. Chaisson contends
that, just as his claims against UHC, Plaintiff's claims
against her are as a “health care provider” under
the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act. Chaisson further
contends, as Plaintiff must file a medical malpractice claim
with the Division of Administration Patient's
Compensation Fund related to this action against her, this
action is therefore premature.
Motion To Dismiss Standard
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs
must plead enough facts “to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007)). A
claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff pleads facts
that allow the court to “draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. A court
must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and must draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Lormand
v. U.S. Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 232-33 (5th
Cir.2009); Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th
Cir.1996). But the Court is not bound to accept as true legal
conclusions couched as factual allegations. Iqbal,
129 S.Ct. at 1949-50.
legally sufficient complaint must establish more than a
“sheer possibility” that plaintiffs' claim is
true. Id. It need not contain detailed factual
allegations, but it must go beyond labels, legal conclusions,
or formulaic recitations of the elements of a cause of
action. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. In other words,
the face of the complaint must contain enough factual matter
to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence of each element of the plaintiffs' claim.
Lormand, 565 F.3d at 255-57. If there are
insufficient factual allegations to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level, Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555, or if it is apparent from the face of the complaint that
there is an insuperable bar to relief, Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007); Carbe v.
Lappin, 492 F.3d 325, 328 & n. 9 (5th Cir.2007), the
claim must be dismissed.
Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act (“LMMA”), La.
R. S. § 40:1231.1 et seq., governs claims of
malpractice against qualified health care providers. Under
the LMMA, malpractice is defined as “any unintentional
tort or any breach of contract based on health care or
professional services rendered, or which should have been
rendered, by a health care provider, to a patient....”
La. R. S. § 40:1231.1(13). Health care providers include
a facility or hospital, as well as “an officer,
employee, partner, member, shareholder, or agent thereof
acting in the course and scope of his employment.”
Id. at § 1231.1(10). Plaintiffs must submit
malpractice claims to a medical review panel prior to filing
suit. Id. at § 40:1231.8. This requirement also
applies to malpractice claims brought within § 1983
actions. See, e.g., John v. Woods, 2016 WL 7852369,
at *3 (W.D.La., 2016); Herrin v. East Baton Rouge
Sheriff's Office, 2016 WL 4408999 at *6 (M.D.La.,
2016); Ford v. Cain, 2016 WL 923111, *2 (M.D. La.
2016); Thompson v. Ackal, 2016 WL 1394352, at *14
(W.D.La., 2016); Suffal v. Parish, 2015 WL 631452,
at *2 (E.D.La., 2015); Ricks v. City of Alexandria,
2012 WL 3255122, *5-*6 (W.D. La. 2012).
it is undisputed that Chaisson was acting within the course
and scope of her duties as a UHC employee and, as such, is a
qualified healthcare provider under the LMMA. It is also
undisputed that Plaintiff has not presented his claims
against Chaisson to a medical review panel for review.
Accordingly, the claims asserted by Plaintiff, Kenward
Alexander, Jr., against Sandra Chaisson in the Second Amended
Petition are premature and, as such, should be dismissed
reasons set forth above, IT IS ORDERED that the unopposed
Motion To Dismiss Under FRCP Rule 12(b)(6) On Grounds Of
Prematurity On Behalf Of Sandra Chaisson [Rec. Doc. 84] is
GRANTED and Plaintiff s claims against Chaisson are DISMISSED