United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, JUDGE
the Court is Dr. Cynthia Park's Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 28) the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims
of pro se Plaintiff Marlon Washington. For the
reasons that follow, the Motion (Doc. 28) is
dispute arises from a prison physician's alleged failure
to prescribe a prisoner the painkiller of his choice. (Doc.
Washington is an inmate incarcerated at the Louisiana State
Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. (Id. at p. 6). He
arrived at Angola with a bullet lodged in his leg, and he
sought medical treatment for the pain. (Id.). Dr.
Cynthia Park prescribed him Neurontin. (Id.). But
Dr. Park discontinued the prescription after testing
Washington's blood and finding no Neurontin present.
(Id. at p. 7). Washington sued Dr. Park under §
1983, alleging that Dr. Park's discontinuation of the
prescription violated his Eighth Amendment rights.
Dr. Park moves to dismiss Washington's claims under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Doc. 28). She
contends that she is entitled to qualified immunity.
(Id.). Washington did not respond to Dr. Park's
motion; accordingly, the Court considers the motion to be
overcome Dr. Park's motion to dismiss, Washington must
plead a plausible claim for relief. See Romero v. City of
Grapevine, Tex., 888 F.3d 170, 176 (5th Cir. 2018)
(citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009)). A claim is plausible if it is pleaded with factual
content that allows the Court to reasonably infer that Dr.
Park is liable for the misconduct alleged. See Edionwe v.
Bailey, 860 F.3d 287, 291 (5th Cir. 2017) (citing
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The Court accepts as true
the well-pleaded facts of Washington's amended complaint
and views those facts in the light most favorable to
him. See Midwest Feeders, Inc. v. Bank
of Franklin, 886 F.3d 507, 513 (5th Cir. 2018).
Dr. Park asserts qualified immunity, Washington "bears
the burden of pleading facts that demonstrate liability and
defeat immunity." Shaw v. Villanueva, 918 F.3d
414, 416 (5th Cir. 2019). Washington must allege facts
showing that (1) Dr. Park violated a statutory or
constitutional right and (2) the right was clearly
established at the time of Dr. Park's conduct. See
id. at 417.
has an Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care.
See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). A
prison physician like Dr. Park violates that right if her
conduct "demonstrates deliberate indifference to
[Washington's] serious medical needs, constituting an
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain."
Delaughter v. Woodall, 909 F.3d 130, 136 (5th Cir.
2018) (citation omitted). This is an "extremely high
standard to meet." Domino v. Tex. Dep't of
Criminal Justice, 239 F.3d 752, 756 (5th Cir. 2001). To
establish that Dr. Park violated that standard, Washington
must allege facts showing that Dr. Park (1) knew that
Washington faced a "substantial risk of serious bodily
harm" and (2) disregarded that risk "by failing to
take reasonable measures to abate it." Arenas v.
Calhoun, 922 F.3d 616, 620 (5th Cir. 2019) (citation
omitted). He fails to do so.
faults Dr. Park for failing to take an "alternative
approach" to his prescription. (Id. at p. 7).
He alleges that Dr. Park should have ordered a nurse to
observe him take his prescription before discontinuing it.
(Id.). And he concludes that Dr. Park
"subject[ed] [him] to unnecessary and wanton infliction
of pain" by discontinuing an "available and
effective painkiller." (Id.). He does not
plausibly allege that Dr. Park knew that he faced a
"substantial risk of serious bodily harm" upon
discontinuation of the prescription. (Id.). Nor does
he plausibly allege anything beyond mere "disagreement
with medical treatment." See Gibson v. Collier,
920 F.3d 212, 220 (5th Cir. 2019) (citation omitted). So he
fails to plausibly allege that Dr. Park violated his Eighth
Amendment rights by acting with deliberate indifference to
his serious medical needs. Because Washington fails to
plausibly allege that Dr. Park violated his constitutional
rights, Washington cannot overcome Dr. Park's
qualified-immunity defense. See Shaw, 918 F.3d at
IT IS ORDERED that Dr. Cynthia Park's
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 28) is
GRANTED. Marlon Washington's claims
against Dr. Cynthia Park are DISMISSED with
prejudice. A final judgment ...