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Henyard v. Lasalle Corrections, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

May 14, 2018

TELVIN HENYARD
v.
LASALLE CORRECTIONS, L.L.C., ET AL.

         SEC. P.

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the undersigned Magistrate Judge, on reference from the District Court, is a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, [doc. # 17], filed by defendants Pamela Hearn and Elijah Bouthe (incorrectly named in the complaint as “Elijah Bootat”). For reasons set forth below, it is recommended that the motion be granted.

         Background

         On January 18, 2018, Telvin Henyard, a former inmate, filed the instant civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, together with associated state law tort claims, against various officials and medical providers[1] at the Richwood Correctional Center (“RCC”) and the Madison Parish Correctional Center (“MPCC”). Plaintiff alleges that on June 19, 2017, he was an inmate at the RCC when a light fixture fell from the ceiling and landed on his shoulder, fracturing his clavicle. RCC officers transported Henyard to the hospital where his bone was set and fixed in a brace. The hospital released Henyard with instructions to be seen by an orthopedic doctor for further treatment, including surgery, if needed. RCC officials and medical providers never arranged for Henyard to receive the follow-up care as instructed by the hospital.

         Because of the untreated clavicle, Henyard developed gastrointestinal problems. Drs. Boa and/or Ross prescribed Amoxicillin even though his charts indicated that he was allergic to this antibiotic. As a result, Henyard suffered a serious reaction, including elevated heart rate and a 30 pound weight loss. Although RCC officers eventually transported Henyard to the hospital on account of his allergic reaction, RCC officials and doctors failed to assure that Henyard received appropriate follow-up care for his gastrointestinal issues.

         On an unspecified date, Henyard was transferred from the RCC to the MPCC. Again, however, MPCC officials and medical providers (Dr. Hearn and LPN Boothe) failed to arrange necessary follow-up care for Henyard's broken clavicle and gastrointestinal issues.

         On October 16, 2017, Henyard was released from custody, whereupon he learned that the bones in his arm and clavicle did not heal properly because he failed to receive requisite follow-up care and/or surgery. His right arm and shoulder are now permanently disfigured and disabled. Henyard contends that defendants' failure to arrange necessary follow-up care violated his due process and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He further asserts unspecified state law tort claims against defendants, including a claim that the medical provider defendants breached the applicable standard of care as professional healthcare providers. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages against defendants, plus attorney's fees and costs.

         On April 11, 2018, defendants, Pamela Hearn and Elijah Boothe, filed the instant motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Movants contend that they are “qualified health care providers” under the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act (“LMMA”), and, as such, no malpractice action may be brought against them before the claimant's proposed complaint first has been presented to a medical review panel. La. R.S. 40:1231.8(B)(1)(a)(i). Movants assert that no medical review panel has been initiated, and thus, the instant suit against them is premature and subject to dismissal on that basis.

         On May 2, 2018, plaintiff filed a response to the motion to dismiss in which he agreed that his medical malpractice/negligence claim against movants is premature and subject to dismissal, without prejudice, or alternatively, stayed, until such time as the medical review panel process is completed. [doc. # 19]. Plaintiff further stated, however, that discovery should be permitted to proceed as to his § 1983 claims against all defendants, including Dr. Hearn and LPN Bouthe.

         On May 9, 2018, movants filed a reply brief, whereby they urged dismissal of the state law claims, in lieu of a stay. Furthermore, they expanded the scope of their original motion to include dismissal of plaintiff's § 1983 claims against them because plaintiff did not set forth any facts to plausibly support that movants were deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's medical conditions.

         Analysis

         I. Standard of Review

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sanction dismissal where the plaintiff fails “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A pleading states a claim for relief, inter alia, when it contains a “short and plain statement . . . showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). ...


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