United States District Court, D. Delaware
Rojas, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, Wilmington,
Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
Spring Monzo, Karine Sarkisian, White & Williams LLP,
Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendants.
NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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. (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.
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).
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.).
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.
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.
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).
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.).
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).
LEGAL STANDARDS A. Rule 12(b)(6)
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 ...