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Jackson v. Coupe

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

July 14, 2017

JOSEPH JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT COUPE, et al. Defendants.

          Submitted: July 10, 2017

         Upon Defendants Robert Coupe, Christopher Klein, David Pierce, James Scarborough and John Brennan 's Motion to Dismiss GRANTED

         Upon Defendant William Ray Lynch, M.D. 's Motion to Dismiss GRANTED

          Joseph Jackson, Pro se

          Ophelia M. Waters, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware for Defendants Robert Coupe, Christopher Klein, David Pierce, James Scarborough and John Brennan.

          Dana Spring Monzo, Esquire and Randall S. MacTough, Esquire, White and Williams, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorneys for Defendants Connections Community Support Programs, Inc., CD. McKay, Christine Francis and William Ray Lynch, M.D.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          PRIMOS, J.

         I. Introduction

         Before the Court is (1) the motion to dismiss or in the alternative for summary judgment of Defendants Robert Coupe, Christopher Klein, David Pierce, James Scarborough and John Bennon (hereinafter the "State Defendants"); and also (2) the motion to dismiss of Defendant William Ray Lynch, M.D. ("Dr. Lynch"). This suit arises from injuries that Plaintiff Joseph Jackson, an incarcerated inmate at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (hereinafter "JTVCC"), alleges he sustained while working in a kitchen at JTVCC. Mr. Jackson alleges that he broke his foot and that he later failed to receive adequate treatment from the Department of Corrections (hereinafter "DOC") due to the alleged indifference and neglect of DOC officials as well as personnel of DOC s contractual medical provider. Mr. Jackson now brings suit alleging that Defendants' actions and inaction violated his Eighth Amendment right to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment and further that their conduct constituted negligence pursuant to 11 Del C. § 4001 (Tort Claims Act). Mr. Jackson emphasizes that his claim is not made pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         The State Defendants seek dismissal or, in the alternative, partial summary judgment on numerous bases. Dr. Lynch separately moves to dismiss for improper service.

         II. Facts and Procedural History

         As this is a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b) (6), the facts referenced herein are those found in Mr. Jackson's Complaint. On or about September 5, 2015, Mr. Jackson was working at one of the JTVCC kitchens when he accidentally stepped into an uncovered drain, breaking his right foot. While at first the pain was minor and Mr. Jackson believed his ankle was merely sprained, the pain increased over time. Soon, Mr. Jackson was unable to work. When Plaintiff submitted his first sick call, a nurse determined it was only a sprain, despite considerable swelling and pain. Returning later, Mr. Jackson informed an unknown physician that he believed his foot was broken. However, the physician did not believe Mr. Jackson and treated him only with cold compress and over-the-counter pain medicine.

         Mr. Jackson continued to seek treatment for five months, but received none. Finally, in December of 2015, Mr. Jackson had an MRI of his foot, which revealed that his right foot was broken in two places and had suffered ligament damage.

         Mr. Jackson filed this complaint on February 29, 2016. On December 1, 2016, a New Castle County Sheriffs deputy attempted to serve Dr. Lynch by leaving copies of the summons and complaint with one Heather Emig, a paralegal for Connection CSP Inc, at 500 W 10th Street, ...


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