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Strain v. Regalado

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

August 6, 2019

FAYE STRAIN, as Guardian of THOMAS BENJAMIN PRATT, Plaintiff,
v.
VIC REGALADO, in his official capacity; BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF TULSA COUNTY; ARMOR CORRECTIONAL HEALTH SERVICES, INC., CURTIS MCELROY, D.O., PATRICIA DEANE, LPN; AND KATHY LOEHR, LPC, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          TERENCE C. KERN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are Motions to Dismiss filed by Vic Regalado, in his official capacity, Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc., Kathy Loehr, Curtis McElroy and Patricia Deane. Docs. 12, 14, 15, 16 and 28. Plaintiff Faye Strain objects to all of the motions.

         I. Introduction

         On August 25, 2017, Plaintiff, as guardian of Thomas Benjamin Pratt, filed suit against these defendants in 17-CV-488-CVE-FHM. Doc. 2. In her Amended Complaint, Plaintiff asserted claims for:

• cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants McElroy, Deane, Loehr and an unidentified nurse, and against Sheriff Regalado in his official capacity, as well as municipal liability against Armor;
• negligence against Armor, McElroy, Deane and Loehr; and
• cruel and unusual punishment in violation of Article II § 9 of the Oklahoma Constitution against all defendants.

Id. at 20-26.[1]

         On March 1, 2018, the Court dismissed the Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Id. Doc. 39. The Court concluded Count One of Plaintiff's Complaint-the Eighth Amendment claim-“was drafted in precisely the fashion Robbins proscribes, i.e., it is a § 1983 claim against a government agency and a number of individual government actors-referred to collectively as ‘defendant'-that fails to specify who is alleged to have done what to whom. Dkt. # 1, at 21-22.” Id. at 11. The Court further stated:

Under Robbins . . . count one of plaintiff's complaint fails to provide the individual defendants with fair notice as to the basis of the claim against them, to which they are entitled under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Moreover, even assuming, arguendo, that count one of plaintiff's complaint does provide fair notice to defendants, it nevertheless fails to state a claim for an Eighth Amendment violation because it does not allege that any defendant disregarded a risk to Pratt, intentionally denied or delayed his access to medical care, or interfered with his treatment once it was prescribed.

Id. The Court concluded that the Section 1983 claim failed because the facts alleged did not establish the prison officials “intentionally denied or delayed access to medical care or intentionally interfered with the treatment once prescribed.” Id.

         The Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's remaining claims for common-law negligence against Armor, McElroy, Deane and Loehr and violation of Article II § 9 of the Oklahoma State Constitution. Id. at 11-12.

         Plaintiff refiled the case on November 13, 2018. No. 18-CV-583-TCK-FHM. Doc. 2.[2] The Complaint asserts identical claims against the same defendants.[3] The Factual Allegation section of the Complaint is virtually identical to the Factual Allegation section of the Complaint in the previously-filed case, except that, in each claim for relief, it recites the names of individual defendants McElroy, Deane, Loehr and “the unidentified nurse who encountered Mr. Pratt at approximately 3:44 a.m. on December 14, 2015.” The Complaint also adds one new factual allegation, specifically:

59. In February 2015 an auditor/nurse hired by Tulsa County/TCSO, Angela Mariani, issued a report focused on widespread failures by Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc. to abide by its $5 million annual contract with the County. Mariani also wrote three (3) memos notifying TCSO that ARMOR failed to staff various medical positions in the Jail and recommending that the county withhold more than $35, 000 in payments. Her report shows that Jail medical staff often failed to respond to inmates' medical needs and the ARMOR failed to employ enough nurses and left top administrative positions unfilled for months. Meanwhile, medical staff did not report serious incidents including inmates receiving the wrong medication and a staff member showing up “under the influence.”

Id. at 21.

         Defendants have again filed Motions to Dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

         II. Applicable Law

         In considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must determine whether the claimant has stated a claim upon which relief may be granted. A motion to dismiss is properly granted when a complaint provides no more than “labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A complaint must contain enough “facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its fact, ” and the factual allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. (citations omitted). “Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint.” Id. at 562.

         While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, “a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555 (internal quotations omitted). For the purpose of making the dismissal determination, a court must accept as true all the well-pleaded allegations, even if doubtful in fact, and must construct the allegations in the light most favorable to the claimant. I ...


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