United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS ON MOTION
C. WILKINSON, JR., UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
principally a prisoner civil rights action brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section
1983”) by plaintiff Chris Wells against Sheriff Gerald
A. Turlich, Orbon Tinson, Warden Denise Narcisse and Egan
Medical Staffing, LLC (“Egan”). This matter was
referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for all
proceedings and entry of judgment in accordance with 28
U.S.C. § 636(c) upon written consent of all parties.
Record Doc. No. 18. Wells's complaint alleges
constitutionally inadequate medical care in that defendants
exhibited deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs during his incarceration at Plaquemines Parish
Detention Center in Davant, Louisiana. Record Doc. No. 1 at
¶¶ 2, 43-65. Wells seeks compensatory damages,
attorneys' fees and costs. Id. at p. 9.
Egan filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss all of
plaintiff's claims against it. Record Doc. No. 15.
Plaintiff filed a timely opposition memorandum. Record Doc.
No. 20. Having considered the complaint, the record, the
written submissions of counsel and applicable law, and for
the following reasons, IT IS ORDERED that the motion is
moves to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to
state a claim for constitutionally inadequate medical care.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Under Rule 12(b)(6), as clarified by
the Supreme Court,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” A claim for relief is
plausible on its face “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” A claim for relief is implausible on its face
when “the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to
infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct.”
Harold H. Huggins Realty, Inc. v. FNC, Inc., 634
F.3d 787, 796 (5th Cir. 2011) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007))).
Supreme Court's decisions in Iqbal and
Twombly . . . did not alter the long-standing
requirement that when evaluating a motion to dismiss under
Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept[ ] all well-pleaded facts
as true and view[ ] those facts in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff.” Id. at 803 n.44 (quotation
omitted); accord Murchison Capital Partners,
L.P. v. Nuance Commc'ns, Inc., 625 Fed.Appx. 617,
618 n.1 (5th Cir. 2015) (citing Wood v. Moss, 134
S.Ct. 2056, 2065 n.5 (2014)).
respect to any well-pleaded allegations ‘a court should
assume their veracity and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.'”
Jabary v. City of Allen, 547 Fed.Appx. 600, 604 (5th
Cir. 2013) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 664).
“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Maloney Gaming Mgmt., L.L.C. v.
St. Tammany Parish, 456 Fed.Appx. 336, 340 (5th Cir.
2011) (quotations omitted) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 696; Elsensohn v. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's
Ofc., 530 F.3d 368, 371 (5th Cir. 2008); In re
Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation, 495 F.3d 191, 205
n.10 (5th Cir. 2007)).
officials are obligated under the Eighth Amendment to provide
prisoners with adequate medical care, regardless whether the
medical care is provided by governmental employees or by
private medical staff under contract with the government.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976); West
v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 57-58 (1988); Richardson v.
McKnight, 521 U.S. 399 (1997). Before the Fifth
Circuit's decision in Hare v. City of Corinth,
74 F.3d 633 (5th Cir. 1996), it appeared that prison
officials must provide pretrial detainees with reasonable
medical care unless the failure to provide it was reasonably
related to a legitimate government interest. Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 539 (1979); Cupit v.
Jones, 835F.2d 82, 85 (5th Cir. 1987); Mayweather v.
Foti, 958 F.2d 91 (5th Cir. 1992). The inquiry was
“whether the denial of medical care . . . was
objectively reasonable in light of the Fourteenth
Amendment's guarantee of reasonable medical care and
prohibition on punishment of pretrial detainees.”
Pfannstiel v. City of Marion, 918 F.2d 1178, 1186
(5th Cir. 1990), abrogated on other grounds as recognized in
Martin v. Thomas, 973 F.2d 449, 455 (5th Cir. 1992).
Hare, however, the Fifth Circuit held
(1) that the State owes the same duty under the Due Process
Clause and the Eighth Amendment to provide both pretrial
detainees and convicted inmates with basic human needs,
including medical care and protection from harm, during their
confinement; and (2) that a state jail official's
liability for episodic acts or omissions cannot attach unless
the official had subjective knowledge of a substantial risk
of serious harm to a pretrial detainee but responded with
deliberate indifference to that risk.
74 F.3d at 650. For the Bell “reasonable
relationship” test to be applicable, the pretrial
detainee must be able to state a claim that a prison
official's act either “implement[s] a rule or
restriction or otherwise demonstrate[s] the existence of an
identifiable intended condition or practice” or that
the “official's acts or omissions were sufficiently
extended or pervasive, or otherwise typical of extended or
pervasive misconduct by other officials, to prove an intended
condition or practice.” Id. at 645. If the
pretrial detainee is unable to plead either, the incident
will be considered to be an episodic act or omission, and the
deliberate indifference standard enunciated in
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104, will apply. Shepherd
v. Dallas County, 591 F.3d 445, 452 (5th Cir.
2009) (citing Bell, 441 U.S. at 539; Scott v.
Moore, 114 F.3d 51, 53 (5th Cir. 1997); Hare,
74 F.3d at 649); Tamez v. Manthey, 589 F.3d 764,
769-70 (5th Cir. 2009) (citing Scott, 114 F.3d at
53; Hare, 74 F.3d at 649).
Estelle, a convicted prisoner states a claim for
relief under Section 1983 for inadequate medical care only if
he alleges that there has been “deliberate indifference
to serious medical needs” by prison officials or other
state actors. Only deliberate indifference, “an
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain . . . or acts
repugnant to the conscience of mankind, ” constitutes
conduct proscribed by the Eighth Amendment. Estelle,
429 U.S. at 105-06; accord Gregg v. Georgia, 428
U.S. 153, 182-83 (1976); Tamez, 589 F.3d at 770;
Hare, 74 F.3d at 650. “Deliberate
indifference” means that a prison official is liable
“only if he knows that the inmates face a substantial
risk of serious harm and [he] disregards that ...