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Salaam-Roane v. Connections CSP, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 9, 2019

QUADREY SALAAM-ROANE, Plaintiff,
v.
CONNECTIONS CSP, INC., et al., Defendants.

          Quadrey Salaam-Roane, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, Wilmington, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Dana Spring Monzo, Esquire, and Karine Sarkisian, Esquire, White & Williams, Wilmington, Delaware, Counsel for Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Quadrey Salaam-Roane, Jr., an inmate at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] (D.I. 1). Plaintiff appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 6). Before the Court is Defendant Mitchell A. White's motion to dismiss. (D.I. 36). Briefing is complete.

         BACKGROUND

         The Court screened the Complaint on December 28, 2017, and identified cognizable and non-frivolous claims. (See D.I. 9). White moves to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) on two grounds: (1) that the Complaint fails to state a claim for deliberate indifference under the Eighth Amendment; and (2) Plaintiff did not comply with the requisites of Delaware's Health Care Negligence Insurance and Litigation Act, 8 Del. C. §§ 6801-6865. Plaintiff opposes the motion and notes that the Complaint survived the Court's initial screening.

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         In reviewing a motion filed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light most favorable to plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Because Plaintiff proceeds ; pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his complaint, "however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94. A Rule 12(b)(6) motion maybe granted only if, accepting the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and viewing them in the light most favorable to the complainant, a court concludes that those allegations "could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007).

         "Though 'detailed factual allegations' are not required, a complaint must do more than simply provide 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.'" Davis v. Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). I am "not required to credit bald assertions or legal conclusions improperly alleged in the complaint." In re Rockefeller Ctr. Props., Inc. Sec. Litig., 311 F.3d 198, 216 (3d Cir. 2002). A complaint may not be dismissed, however, "for imperfect statement of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted." Johnson v. City of Shelby, 574 U.S. 10 (2014).

         A complainant must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim has "substantive plausibility." Id. at 347. That plausibility must be found on the face of the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "A claim has facial plausibility when the [complainant] pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the [accused] is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679.

         DISCUSSION

         Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment proscription against cruel and unusual punishment requires that prison officials provide inmates with adequate medical care. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103-05 (1976). In order to set forth a cognizable claim, an inmate must allege (i) a serious medical need and (ii) acts or omissions by prison officials that indicate deliberate indifference to that need. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. at 104; Rouse v. Plantier, 182 F.3d 192, 197 (3d Cir. 1999). A prison official is deliberately indifferent if he knows that a prisoner faces a substantial risk of serious harm and fails to take reasonable steps to avoid the harm. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). A prison official may manifest deliberate indifference by "intentionally denying or delaying access to medical care." Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.; at 104-05.

         "[A] prisoner has no right to choose a specific form of medical treatment," so long as the treatment provided is reasonable. Lasko v. Watts, 373 Fed.Appx. 196, 203 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting Harrison v. Barkley, 219 F.3d 132, 138-140 (2d Cir. 2000)). An inmate's claims against members of a prison medical department are not viable under § 1983 where the inmate receives continuing care, but believes that more should be done by way of diagnosis and treatment and maintains that options available to medical personnel were not pursued on the inmate's behalf. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 107 (1976). Moreover, allegations of medical malpractice are not sufficient to establish a constitutional violation. White v. Napoleon, 897 F.2d 103, 108-09 (3d Cir. 1990); see also Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 332-34 (1986) (negligence is not compensable as a constitutional deprivation). Finally, "mere disagreement as to the proper medical treatment" is insufficient to state a constitutional violation. See Spruill v. Gillis, 372 F.3d 218, 235 (3d Cir. 2004).

         As noted above, White argues that dismissal is appropriate for failure to state a claim for deliberate indifference under the Eighth Amendment. In doing so, White relies upon a recent Third Circuit case that upheld dismissal of a prisoner civil rights medical needs case, Anderson v. Bickell, 754 Fed.Appx 113 (3d Cir. 2018), to argue that challenges questioning medical judgment do not plausibly state a constitutional claim of deliberate indifference. Anderson, however, is distinguishable from the instant case. In Anderson, the ...


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