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McNeary v. Bear

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

October 18, 2019

KELLY McNEARY, individually, and as Administrator of the Estate of Thomas Leewalter McNeary, Deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
CARL BEAR, an individual, Defendant.

          ORDER

          TIMOTHY D. DeGIUSTI CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim [Doc. No. 8], to which Plaintiff has responded in opposition [Doc. No. 11]. The matter is fully briefed and at issue.

         BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of the death, by suicide, of Thomas Leewalter McNeary while he was an inmate at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center (“JHCC”) in Lexington, Oklahoma, on August 23, 2017. Plaintiff Kelly McNeary, as Special Administrator of Mr. McNeary's estate and his mother, asserts 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against Defendant Carl Bear, the warden at JHCC. To summarize, the First Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 4] alleges in relevant part:

• McNeary had a history of mental illness, self-harming, and suicide attempts prior to his transfer to JHCC on August 10, 2017.
• Defendant was aware of McNeary's history of mental illness, self-harming, and suicide attempts.
• Several days after his transfer to JHCC, McNeary was taken off suicide watch and placed in a therapeutic unit.
• The therapeutic unit had cameras in every cell and guards who patrolled each cell every 15 minutes.
• On August 23, 2017, McNeary was found dead, by suicide, in his cell in the therapeutic unit.
• It is believed that McNeary had been dead for about 30 minutes when he was found.
• Defendant is responsible for inmate safety at JHCC and is constitutionally obligated to provide reasonable and timely medical care to inmates.
• McNeary was at obvious risk of committing suicide, and Defendant knew this. However, Defendant failed to provide McNeary with the necessary evaluation and treatment.
• “Defendant's deliberate indifference for the safety of McNeary led to McNeary having sufficient time to tear the sheets in his cell and hang himself, causing McNeary's death, and resulting in harm to Plaintiff” Id. at ¶ 40
• Because of Defendant's failure to promulgate appropriate policies and procedures, Plaintiff ...

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