United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
ANTHONY L. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
DR. WIEDEMANN, et. al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION (GRANTING MOTION TO
E. HUDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
L. Thompson, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action. Thompson contends that
Defendants denied him adequate dental care during his
incarceration in the Greensville Correctional Center
("GCC"). The matter is before the Court on the
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 21) filed by Defendants Dr.
Wiedemann, DDS, and Dr. Barnwell, DDS
("Defendants"). Thompson has responded. (ECF No.
26.) For the reasons stated below, Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss will be granted.
STANDARD FOR MOTION TO DISMISS
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of a complaint; importantly, 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) (citing 5 A
Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and
the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d
1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980
F.2d at 952. This principle applies only to factual
allegations, however, and "a court considering a motion
to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that,
because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled
to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require only 'a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to 'give
the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (second alteration
in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with
complaints containing only "labels and conclusions"
or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Id. (citations omitted). Instead, a
plaintiff must allege facts sufficient "to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level, " id.
(citation omitted), stating a claim that is "plausible
on its face, " id. at 570, rather than merely
"conceivable." Id. "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."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl.
Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In order for a claim or
complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim,
therefore, the plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient
to state all the elements of [his or] her claim."
Bass v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d
761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing Dickson v. Microsoft
Corp... 309 F.3d 193, 213 (4th Cir. 2002); Iodice v.
United States, 289 F.3d 270, 281 (4th Cir. 2002)).
Lastly, while the Court liberally construes pro se
complaints, Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151
(4th Cir. 1978), it does not act as the inmate's
advocate, sua sponte developing statutory and
constitutional claims the inmate failed to clearly raise on
the face of his complaint. See Brock v. Carroll, 107
F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir. 1997) (Luttig, J., concurring);
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985).
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT ALLEGATIONS
Complaint (ECF No. I),  Thompson alleges that Defendants denied
him adequate dental care during his incarceration in the GCC,
in violation of the Eighth Amendment. As relevant to the Motion to
Dismiss, Thompson alleges:
Plaintiff arrived at Greensville Correctional Center in
December 2013. There was no oral exam performed by dental
upon arrival. Violating dental operating procedure 720.6.
On September 08, 2014, after submitting numerous requests,
and grievance forms for pain, Plaintiff was seen by Dr.
Wiedemann who performed S.O.A.P. procedure according to
dental operating procedure 720.6. He then had Plaintiff
scheduled to have #31 restored.
On October 20, 2014, Dr. Wiedemann partially restored #18,
#19. These teeth were not causing pain. He applied a
desensitizing agent to #31. He did not restore it as
On June 21, 2015, Plaintiff submitted [an] informal complaint
to address pain due to not being scheduled accordingly.
On June 30, 2015, Dental Assistant R. Allen responded,
"You were Dr. Wiedemann's patient, who is no longer
here ...." On August 17, 2015, Plaintiff submitted [an]
informal complaint about pain from ear and headaches caused
by infected tooth.
On August, 20, 2015, Plaintiff submitted an emergency
grievance (#82535) because of the constant pain and lack of
appetite. Was later treated as a non-emergency.
(Compl. Attach. 3-4.)
On January 21, 2016, Plaintiff submitted an emergency
grievance. On the same day, Plaintiff was diagnosed as having
an abscess. Plaintiff was placed on antibiotics, and
Ibuprofen, and was scheduled for [an] extraction.
On March 24, 2016, Plaintiff submitted emergency grievance
(see exhibit C) and complained of pain coming from the
abscess diagnosed by defendant Dr. Brown.
Response: Does not meet the definition of an emergency,
"We will bring you over today for an evaluation."
If not an emergency, why have Plaintiff over to evaluate a
problem already diagnosed?
On April 26, 2016, Plaintiff submitted an emergency grievance
because of pain from abcess [sic]. Defendant Dr. Brown
prescribed a lower dosage of the same prescription and ...