United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
H. Payne, United States District Judge.
action is before the Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the
Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) is incarcerated at
John Lilley Correctional Center in Boley, Oklahoma. He brings
this action under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
seeking monetary and injunctive relief for alleged
constitutional violations during his incarceration at Mack
Alford Correctional Center in Atoka, Oklahoma (MACC) and
Howard McLeod Correctional Center (HMCC) in Atoka, Oklahoma.
The defendants are Robert Patton, DOC Director; Tommy Sharp,
HMCC Warden; Randy Holland, D.D.S., DOC Chief Dental Officer;
and Brandi Birchfiled, HMCC Health Services Administrator.
pleading standard for all civil actions was articulated in
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). To
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must present factual
allegations, assumed to be true, that “raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555. The complaint must contain “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. at 570. A court must accept all the
well- pleaded allegations of the complaint as true, even if
doubtful in fact, and must construe the allegations in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. Id. at
555-56. “So, when the allegations in a complaint,
however true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to
relief, ” the cause of action should be dismissed.
Id. at 558. The Court applies the same standard of
review for dismissals under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) that is employed for Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Kay v.
Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217-18 (10th Cir. 2007).
se plaintiff's complaint must be broadly construed under
this standard. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
The generous construction to be given to the pro se
litigant's allegations “does not relieve the
plaintiff of the burden of alleging sufficient facts on which
a recognized legal claim could be based.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
Notwithstanding a pro se plaintiff's various mistakes or
misunderstandings of legal doctrines or procedural
requirements, “if a court can reasonably read the
pleadings to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could
prevail, it should do so . . . .” Id. A
reviewing court need not accept “mere conclusions
characterizing pleaded facts.” Bryson v. City of
Edmond, 905 F.2d 1386, 1390 (10th Cir. 1990); see
also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The Court “will not
supply additional factual allegations to round out a
plaintiff's complaint or construct a legal theory on a
plaintiff's behalf.” Whitney v. New
Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997). With
these standards in mind, the court turns to the merits of
alleges that on April 3, 2014, he was working at MACC,
assigned as a Department of Transportation crew
worker. On that date, the DOC van in which he was
a passenger was involved in a collision with a semi truck,
after the van driver made an illegal U-turn. Plaintiff and
four other occupants were transferred by medical helicopter
to a trauma center in Oklahoma City, with the other occupants
taken to local hospitals by ambulance. (Dkt. 1 at 3).
asserts his upper and lower teeth were severely damaged or
destroyed as a result of the head trauma he received in the
collision. While in intensive care, Defendant Robert Patton,
the DOC Director, visited with him and the other victims of
the collision. During the visit, Patton allegedly assured
Plaintiff the DOC would get his teeth restored to their
previous condition, stating that “we owe you some new
teeth.” Plaintiff complains Patton's statement
never was fulfilled. Id. at 2-4.
his hospital release, Plaintiff was returned to MACC where he
repeatedly requested repair or replacement of his teeth.
Id. at 4. On April 9, 2014, he filed a grievance to
Warden Jerry Chrisman, stating something needed to be done
about his teeth, because he could not eat. Id. at
17. The response, dated April 16, 2014, stated that
arrangements had been made for Plaintiff to be evaluated by
Defendant Dr. Holland on that date. Id. at 18.
Plaintiff apparently received treatment, including stainless
steel crowns which he considered “temporary, ”
prior to May 1, 2014.
1, 2014, he filed a Request to Staff (RTS), asking whether he
would receive root canals and two permanent white porcelain
crowns to replace the temporary crowns on his two front
teeth. Id. at 16. He also inquired about replacement
of the teeth that were pulled because of the accident.
Id. The May 6, 2014, response by Dr. Holland stated:
We are going to do pulp vitality testing on your two front
teeth. If the nerves are dead we will do root canals and
crowns. If the nerves are alive will do fillings. We do not
do permanent crowns in DOC so if crowns are required we will
send you to an outside dentist.
9, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a Request for Health Services,
asking when his next appointment would occur. Id. at
19. The request stated that the broken areas on his three
front teeth were beginning to “turn colors.”
Id. The response dated May 13, 2014, stated
Plaintiff would be scheduled when the dentist returned.
16, 2014, Plaintiff again submitted a Request for Health
Services. Id. at 20. The request stated that the
filling on his right front tooth had fallen out, and he
needed help. Id. The June 17, 2014, response stated
that the request had been sent to dental. Id. Also
on June 17, 2014, Plaintiff submitted another Request for
Health Services, asking to have the rest of his dental work
completed and advising that his lower front tooth needed to
be fixed. Id. at 21. The response advised that
Plaintiff had an appointment on July 10, 2014. Id.
September 25, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a Request for Health
Services, again stating that one of the fillings in his right
front tooth had fallen out. Id. at 22. The September
29, 2014, response stated that Plaintiff was on the list for
an exam. Id.
alleges that after numerous requests for a dental
appointment, he only received fillings which fell out.
Id. at 4. When he again requested to see the
dentist, he was advised that he would be fitted for partial
plate dentures. Id. On December 17, 2014, Plaintiff
sent two Requests for Health Services to Dr. Holland,
inquiring about when he could be fitted for the partial plate
and stating that it was beginning to be painful when he
chewed. Id. at 23-24. He further stated that it was
difficult for him to eat with “just one tooth.”
Id. at 23. The responses advised that Dr. Holland
would try to see Plaintiff for fillings, which were required
before impressions for the partial plate could be done.
Id. at 23-24.
April 9, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Request for Health Services,
advising Dr. Holland that there was something wrong with his
partial plate, and he was unable to eat with it. Id.
at 25. The response stated Plaintiff was on the list for an
exam. Id. On April 15, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a
another request, again stating he could not eat with the
partial plate. Id. at 26. The response advised that