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Quigley v. McCabe

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division

November 16, 2017


          OPINION & ORDER

         This matter is before the Court pursuant to two (2) Motions to Dismiss Plaintiff David Quigley's ("Plaintiffs") Amended Complaint, Doc. 28: Defendant Robert McCabe's ("McCabe's") Motion to Dismiss Counts I through IV, Doc. 29 ("McCabe's Motion"), and Defendant Imhotep Carter's ("Carter's") Motion to Dismiss Count II, Doc. 32 ("Carter's Motion"). For the reasons set forth in the Court's Opinion and Order entered August 30, 2017, Doc. 27, the Court GRANTS McCabe's Motion, Doc. 29, as to Counts I and II, and GRANTS Carter's Motion, Doc. 32. For the reasons set forth below, the Court CONSTRUES Counts III and IV as stating a single claim, and DENIES McCabe's Motion as to this claim.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations[1]

         This action arises in response to the alleged negligent medical treatment of Plaintiff during incarceration. Doc. 1, Ex. A ("Compl.") ¶¶6-9. In early August 2013, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Norfolk City Jail. Id. ¶ 5. On or about August 7, 2013, he fell from a bunk bed and landed on his head and other parts of his body, falling unconscious and suffering severe injuries that included multiple broken bones. Id. ¶ 6. He was taken to the medical ward of the jail, where Defendant Carter and another doctor were responsible for his medical treatment. Id. ¶ 7. He "begged to be taken to the hospital, " but they refused that request as well as any other "reasonable medical care." Id. Carter once dangled two aspirins in front of Quigley and then pulled them away without providing them to him. Id. Defendants provided "little to nothing in the way of medical services, " resulting in "great pain of body and mind, " subsequent medical expenses to treat those injuries, and permanent bodily injury. Id. ¶ 8. Upon his release on August 21, 2013, Plaintiff walked to Sentara Norfolk Hospital to receive care. Id. ¶ 9.

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed his complaint in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk on December 22, 2016. Doc. 1. The Complaint names three Defendants: then Sheriff Robert McCabe, and facility doctors Imhotep Carter and John Doe. The Complaint asserted three claims against all Defendants: Count I for "Breaches of Virginia's Common Law and Statutory Duties, " Count II for "Violations of the Virginia Constitution, " and Count V for "Breaches of the 8th and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988." See Compl. at 1-4, 6-7. It asserted two additional claims against Defendant McCabe alone: Count III for "Failure to Train" and Count IV for "Defacto Policy of Denying Inmates Health Care." See Id. at 5. In the original Complaint, Counts III and IV were alleged as Virginia law claims.

         McCabe removed the case to this Court on January 31, 2017. Doc. 1. McCabe filed a Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 4, on February 1, 2017, and Carter filed a Partial Motion to Dismiss Counts II and V, Doc. 15, on March 1, 2017. Plaintiff opposed both Motions. Docs. 10, 20. Defendants each replied in further support of their respective Motions. Docs. 12, 21.

         On August 30, 2017, the Court entered an Opinion and Order GRANTING McCabe's Motion to Dismiss as to Counts I and II, GRANTING Carter's Partial Motion to Dismiss as to Count II, and DENYING both Motions as to Count V. See Doc. 27 at 1. Plaintiff was given LEAVE TO AMEND Counts III and IV, so as to state these as federal claims. Id.

         Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on September 15, 2017. Doc. 28. Despite the Court's Order DISMISSING Count I as to McCabe and Count II as to McCabe and Carter, the Amended Complaint re-alleged Counts I and II against all Defendants. See Id. ¶¶ 1-20. Per the Court's Order, the Amended Complaint re-stated Counts III and IV as federal claims, specifically as violations of the 8th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, through 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988. See Id. ¶¶ 21-25. The Amended Complaint re-alleged Count V without change from the original Complaint. See Id. ¶¶ 26-31.

         On September 28, 2017, McCabe and Carter filed the instant Motions. Docs. 29, 32. Plaintiff did not respond to either Motion.


         A. Rule 12(b)(6)

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a motion to dismiss tests the sufficiency of a complaint; it does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses. Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin. 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992). "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.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal. 556 U.S. 662, 678 • (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); see also Venkatraman, 417 F.3d at 420 ("In considering a motion to dismiss, we accept as true all well-pleaded allegations and view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.") (citing Mylan Labs., 7 F.3d at 1134). A complaint establishes facial plausibility "once the factual content of a complaint allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v., Inc., 591 F.3d 250, 256 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678). Therefore, the complaint need not include "detailed factual allegations" as long as it pleads "sufficient facts to allow a court, drawing on judicial experience and common sense, to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct." Id. Although a court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations, the same is not true for legal conclusions. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         In deciding the motion, a court may consider the facts alleged on the face of the complaint as well as "'matters of public record, orders, items appearing in the record of the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint.'" Moore v. Flagstar Bank, 6 F.Supp.2d 496, 500 (E.D. Va. 1997) (quoting 5A Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure ยง 1357 (1990)). The court may look to documents attached to the complaint and those incorporated by reference without converting a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into ...

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