United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
JAMES GRAHAM, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Anthony Huff, Deceased, Plaintiff,
GARFIELD COUNTY DETENTION CENTER, an Oklahoma Title 60 authority, et al., Defendants.
MILES-LaGRANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is defendant Lela Goatley's
(“Goatley”) Motion to Dismiss, filed July 10,
2017. On July 31, 2017, plaintiff filed his response, and on
August 8, 2017, Goatley filed her reply.
4, 2016, Anthony Huff was arrested on a public intoxication
charge and booked into the Garfield County Detention Center
(“GCDC”). While incarcerated at GCDC, Mr. Huff
was placed in a restraint chair. Plaintiff alleges that Mr.
Huff was in the restraint chair for a period in excess of two
days without restroom breaks, medical or mental health
treatment, or adequate food or water. On June 8, 2016, Mr.
Huff died. On June 6, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant
action asserting a negligence claim, an alternative assault
and battery claim, and a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim. Goatley
now moves, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), to dismiss all claims asserted against her for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Standard for dismissal
the standard for determining whether to dismiss a claim
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, the United States Supreme Court
To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The
plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability
requirement, ” but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a
complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(internal quotations and citations omitted). Further,
“where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged - but it has not shown - that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. at 679
(internal quotations and citations omitted). Additionally,
“[a] pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked
assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement.”
Id. at 678 (internal quotations and citations
omitted). A court “must determine whether the complaint
sufficiently alleges facts supporting all the elements
necessary to establish an entitlement to relief under the
legal theory proposed.” Lane v. Simon, 495
F.3d 1182, 1186 (10th Cir. 2007) (internal quotations and
citation omitted). Finally, “[a] court reviewing the
sufficiency of a complaint presumes all of plaintiff's
factual allegations are true and construes them in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991).
§ 1983 claim
asserts that plaintiff has failed to state a § 1983
claim against her. Specifically, Goatley contends that
plaintiff does not allege that she engaged in any specific
actions in violation of Mr. Huff's constitutional rights.
Goatley further contends that the only allegation in
plaintiff's Complaint directed toward Goatley is that she
was “a nurse who worked for Defendant Turn Key [and
was] responsible for providing care, monitoring and observing
Mr. Huff during the time he was placed in the restraint
chair, and ensuring that he had been properly administered
his medications.” Complaint at ¶ 11. Goatley also
contends that plaintiff has failed to alleged that she was
aware of any facts to which she could have been deliberately
Complaint, plaintiff alleges that defendants deprived Mr.
Huff of rights and privileges afforded to him under the
Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United
States Constitution in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Specifically, with respect to Goatley, plaintiff alleges that
Goatley was deliberately indifferent to Mr. Huff's
serious medical needs.
“Deliberate indifference” involves both an
objective and a subjective component. The former is met if
the deprivation is “sufficiently serious” - that
is, if it is one that has been diagnosed by a physician as
mandating treatment or one that is so obvious that even a lay
person would easily recognize the necessity for a
doctor's attention. The latter is satisfied if an officer
knows of and disregards an excessive risk to [a
detainee's] health or safety. Essentially, the officer
must be aware of facts from which the inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he
must also draw the inference.
Olsen v. Layton Hills Mall, 312 F.3d 1304, 1315
(10th Cir. 2002) (internal quotations and ...