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Rojas v. Connections CSP Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 16, 2019

RUBEN ROJAS, Plaintiff,
v.
CONNECTIONS CSP INC., et al., Defendants.

          Ruben Rojas, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, Wilmington, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

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

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Ruben Rojas (“Plaintiff), who appears pro se and was granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis, is an inmate at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution (“HRYCI”) in Wilmington, Delaware. He filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and later amended the complaint.[1] (D.I. 2, 13). Before the Court is a motion to dismiss filed by Defendants Erica Jenkins (”Jenkins”) and Kathryn Mitchell (“Mitchell”) and a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by Defendant Laura Brackett (“Brackett”). (D.I. 48, 57). Plaintiff opposes.

         I.BACKGROUND

         The Amended Complaint raises medical needs claims under the Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. (D.I. 13). It alleges that following Plaintiffs July 29, 2015 arrest, during the intake process he was seen by medical and informed medical personnel of his diabetic condition. (Id. at 6). Defendant intake nurse Brackett took note of his condition. (Id. at 6, 8). Plaintiff alleges that “nobody followed up on it.” (Id.). Plaintiff submitted numerous sick call slips, and none were answered. (Id. at 6).

         Plaintiff made complaints about his vision in August, another on September 2, 2015, and a third on October 19, 2015. (Id. at 8) In November 2015, Mitchell told Plaintiff that he was scheduled to see optometry. (Id.) On November 29, 2015, Plaintiff complained that he could see less and less. (Id.).

         Plaintiff alleges that on December 23, 2015, he received his morning insulin shot and when the nurse returned to give him a noon insulin shot, Plaintiff was found unresponsive. (Id. at 7).

         Plaintiff alleges that Brackett, Mitchell, and Jenkins gave him extra doses of insulin and he “ended up in Wilmington Hospital.” (Id. at 8). Plaintiff was told that he had a stroke. (Id. at 7). He believes the stroke was the result of the nurses administering too much insulin. (Id.)

         Plaintiff finally saw a physician on January 12, 2016. (Id. at 8). The specialist told Plaintiff he was unsure if Plaintiff would regain his vision. (Id. at 6). In January, Plaintiff underwent major surgery on the left eye and preventative laser surgery on the right eye. (Id. at 6). Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated due to the passage of time and waiting for him to go completely blind before deciding to act. (Id. at 7). Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 9-10).

         Service orders issued December 2, 2015, March 20, 2017, August 7, 2017, and October 23, 2017 (D.I. 12, 15, 16, 25, 30). In Brackett's answer to the Amended Complaint she states that Plaintiff's medical chart progress notes show that she saw Plaintiff one time for the intake process on July 29, 2015, and she documented Plaintiff's medical condition and complaints, including Plaintiff's complaint that he had blurry vision following an assault that morning. (D.I. 47 at 2). She further answers that she scheduled Plaintiff to see a medical provider for an initial visit the next day, July 30, 2015, and when Plaintiff saw a medical provider on July 30, 2015, Plaintiff stated he had no complaints. (Id.). Brackett finally answers that she has had no contact with Plaintiff since August 2015 when she transferred from the HRYCI to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. (Id.).

         Mitchell and Jenkins seeks dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the grounds that Plaintiff did not allege any personal action or inaction by them that amounts to claims of deliberate indifference, and he did not submit an affidavit of merit when he filed the original complaint. (D.I. 48). Brackett seek judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) for Plaintiff's failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and on the grounds that Plaintiff did not submit an affidavit of merit when he filed the original complaint. (D.I. 57).

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS A. Rule 12(b)(6)

         Because Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his Amended Complaint, “however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). When presented with a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), district courts conduct a two-part analysis. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). First, the Court separates the factual and legal elements of a claim, accepting “all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but [disregarding] any legal conclusions.” Id. at 210-11. Second, the Court determines ...


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