United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
JEFFREY A. MAYS, Administrator for the Estate of DAVID WAYNE MAYS, deceased, Plaintiff,
RONALD N. SPRINKLE, et al., Defendants.
Glen E. Conrad Senior United States District Judge.
Wayne Mays ("David") died at Carilion Roanoke
Memorial Hospital on July 28, 2016, after being arrested in
Botetourt County. Jeffrey Mays, David's brother and the
administrator of his estate, subsequently filed this action
against the Sheriff of Botetourt County, Ronald Sprinkle, and
eight of the Sheriffs officers, asserting claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 and Virginia law. The case is presently
before the court on the defendants' motion to dismiss.
For the following reasons, the plaintiffs claims under §
1983 will be dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). The court will decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the state tort claims.
following factual allegations, taken from the plaintiffs
amended complaint, are accepted as true for purposes of the
pending motion. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007) ("[W]hen ruling on a defendant's motion to
dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the factual
allegations contained in the complaint.").
25, 2016, one of Sheriff Sprinkle's deputies found David
asleep and slumped over the steering wheel of a parked
vehicle. Am. Compl. ¶ 16, Dkt. No. 25. The deputy
observed a bag of prescription medication next to David.
Id. David eventually awoke and advised the deputy
that he had taken gabapentin and alprazolam. Id. The
deputy noted that David's speech was slurred, that his
eyes were bloodshot, and that he had difficulty standing up
and staying awake. Id. David was charged with
profane swearing and public intoxication. Id. He was
ultimately "released on his own recognizance, as he was
sober enough to leave under his own power." Id.
David did not undergo any form of medical evaluation and his
prescription medication was not confiscated. Id.
next day, David's mother called 911 and requested medical
assistance. Id. ¶ 20. She advised the
dispatcher that David "had consumed alcohol and
prescription narcotics," that he was "extremely
intoxicated," and that she needed help removing him from
a vehicle. Id. Deputy Daniel Faulkner arrived on the
scene to find David sitting in the cab of his truck.
Id. ¶ 21. The plaintiff alleges that David was
"so intoxicated he could hardly lift his head to
communicate." Id. David's eyes were
bloodshot, his speech was mumbled and slurred, and his gait
was unsteady upon exiting the truck. Id. He
subsequently "lay himself down in the bed of the pickup
truck despite it being full of water." Id.
¶ 25. Deputy Joshua Golla "was present at the rear
of the truck and witnessed [David's] level of
intoxication and the surrounding circumstances."
Id. ¶ 22.
was once again arrested for public intoxication. Id.
¶ 19. At some point during the arrest, Faulkner noticed
"a bag full of multiple prescription narcotics to the
right of where [David] was seated." Id. ¶
23 (internal quotation marks omitted). The bag contained a
bottle of gabapentin capsules which had been prescribed on
July 23, 2016, and a bottle of citalopram capsules which had
been prescribed on July 7, 2016. Id. The plaintiff
alleges that 91 capsules of gabapentin and all 30 capsules of
citalopram were unaccounted for. Id.
on the scene, Faulkner spoke with an attorney with the
Commonwealth's Attorney's Office in Botetourt County
regarding potential charges. Id. ¶ 26- Faulkner
informed the attorney about David's "level of
intoxication, the fact that he had lain down in standing
water, and the fact that narcotics and alcohol were
Steven Honaker arrived on the scene and assisted Faulkner
with placing David in a patrol vehId.e. Id. ¶
27. Faulkner then took David to see a magistrate.
Id. ¶ 28. While en route, David "passed
out and began to snore." Id. Upon arriving at
the magistrate's office, Deputy Faulkner had to call out
to David several times in order to awaken him. Id.
¶ 29. The deputy also had to help David step out of the
plaintiff alleges that Deputy Michael Prillaman and
Lieutenant Travis Belcher came upon the scene and witnessed
David's level of intoxication. Id. ¶¶
30-31. Prillaman assisted Faulkner with "walking [David]
into the docket." Id. ¶ 30. Because David
"was unable to sit upright on the bench due to
impairment," Belcher advised him to sit at the end of
the bench and lean against the wall. Id. ¶ 32.
magistrate ultimately "ordered that [David] be held
until sober." Id. ¶ 33. At approximately
midnight, Sergeant Brandon Byers helped Belcher place David
in a cell at the Botetourt County Jail. Id. ¶
34-35. David required assistance removing his shoes and
eyeglasses. Id. ¶ 35. He did not receive any
form of medical evaluation prior to being placed in the cell,
and none of the defendants requested emergency medical
assistance at that time. Id. ¶36.
a.m., Belcher and Prillaman performed a security check by
looking through the glass window of David's cell, through
which David could be seen lying on a sleeping mat on the
floor. Id. ¶ 38. Roughly twenty minutes later,
Byers performed another security check in the same manner.
Id.¶ 39. Approximately two minutes later, after
leaning closer to the window to obtain a better view, Byers
asked another officer to open David's cell. Id.
¶¶ 39-43. He then entered the cell and stood next
to David for approximately 10 seconds. Id. ¶
44. Byers then prodded David's leg and realized that he
was unresponsive. Id. ¶ 45.
attempted to wake David by shaking the sleeping mat.
Id. ¶ 46. When that proved unsuccessful, he
asked another deputy to retrieve an ammonia packet.
Id. He then attempted to check David's pulse.
Id. ¶ 47.
began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation
("CPR") at approximately 3:24 a.m. Id.
¶ 48. They continued performing CPR for ten minutes
until an emergency medical services ("EMS") unit
arrived at the jail. Id. ¶ 48. The EMS unit
transported David to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital,
where an electroencephalogram ("EEG") showed no
signs of brain activity. Id. ¶ 49-50. David was
pronounced dead on July 28, 2016 at 12:59 p.m. Id.
¶ 51. "The cause of death was acute hydrocodone,
gabapentin, citalopram, and alprazolam intoxication."
plaintiff filed this action against Sprinkle, Faulkner,
Golla, Honaker, Prillaman, Belcher, Byers, Delbert Dudding,
Kenny Parker on March 7, 2018. On May 4, 2018, the
plaintiff filed an amended complaint. In Count I of the
amended complaint, the plaintiff asserts a wrongful death
claim against all nine defendants under Virginia Code §
8.01-50, based on theories of negligence, gross negligence,
and willful and wanton negligence. In Counts II and III, the
plaintiff asserts claims for damages under 42 U.S.C. ...