United States District Court, D. Delaware
RAMON A. JOYNER, Plaintiff,
ADRIAN HAREWOOD, et al., Defendants.
A. Joyner, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware; Pro Se Plaintiff.
Sabesan, Esquire, White and Williams, Wilmington, Delaware,
Counsel for Defendants.
CONNOLLY, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Ramon A. Joyner ("Plaintiff'), an inmate at the
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("JTVCC") in
Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. He proceeds pro se and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 5)
The Court screened the Complaint on July 2, 2018 and
identified cognizable and non-frivolous clams. (See D.I. 10)
Defendants move for dismissal and Plaintiff opposes. (D.I.
20, 23, 27, 28) Plaintiff also seeks leave to amend and
requests counsel. (D.I. 25) Briefing is complete.
was housed at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution
("HRYCI"), in Wilmington, Delaware, from February
2015 through November 2016. (D.I. 3 at ¶¶ 1, 4)
Plaintiff became ill in late 2015, and received a chest
x-ray. (Id. at ¶ 2) He was administered
"TB [tuberculosis] tests" in February 2016 that
were "all negative." (Id.) Plaintiff was
housed in the HRYCI infirmary and then released to population
but he continued to have breathing issues, no appetite, and
chills. (Id. at ¶ 3)
November 2016, Plaintiff was transferred to the JTVCC, where
he explained his health issues to a nurse and was
administered a TB test. (Id. at ¶ 4) Plaintiff
showed Defendant Nurse Diane Kibuuka
("Kibuuka") his arm because it was severely swollen
and irritated from the TB test. (Id. at ¶ 5)
Plaintiff alleges that Kibuuka told Plaintiff that "it
was okay" and that Plaintiff "had nothing to worry
about." (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that in
December 2016 an outbreak of TB occurred at the HRYCI where
he had been housed. (Id. at ¶ 10)
alleges that from November 2016 until April/May 2017, he
"progressively got worse, chills, sweats, coughing,
breathing issues, weight loss, and no appetite."
(Id. at ¶ 6) Plaintiff alleges the was seen by
Defendant Nurse Practitioner Carla Cooper
("Cooper") who did not detect that Plaintiff was
"really sick." (Id. at ¶ 7) Plaintiff
was also seen by Defendant Dr. Mazur ("Dr. Mazur"),
and infectious disease doctor, who told Plaintiff that he had
received an e-mail about Plaintiffs x-rays from a year ago
and needed to do some tests." (Id. at ¶ 8)
Plaintiff explained to Dr. Mazur the issue with his arm after
the TB test. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Mazur
told him it was nothing to worry about. (Id.)
Plaintiff alleges that he was getting worse and none of the
treatments were working. (Id. at ¶ 9)
April 2017, it was discovered that Plaintiff had no breath
sounds on his right side. (Id. at ¶ 11)
Plaintiff was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed
with a collapsed right lung and a severe case of TB that had
caused a hole in the right lung. (Id.) Plaintiff
alleges his condition was due to lack of a timely diagnosis
and treatment. (Id.) Plaintiff was hospitalized for
three months. (Id. at ¶ 12) While hospitalized,
his right lung was removed. (Id.) He was released to
the prison infirmary and two months later underwent a second
operation due to infection. (Id. at ¶¶
"does not understand why" Defendant Connections
C.E.O. Matthew Wofford ("Wofford") "did not
assure his medical staff are properly trained to notice,
diagnosis, and treat the obvious symptoms of TB."
(Id. at ¶ 15) Plaintiff wrote to Defendant
Medical Administrator Adrian Harewood ("Harewood")
and questioned the training of the staff who "could not
have [failed to] noticed what the medical issue was."
(Id. at ¶ 16) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that
nothing was done to properly diagnose or treat the
progressive disease of TB. (Id. at ¶ 18) He
seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive
Defendants move to dismiss pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the grounds that Plaintiff failed
to: (1) plausibly show how each medical defendant knew of but
ignore substantial risk of harm to Plaintiff; and (2) plead
allegations of Wofford's personal involvement. (D.I. 20,
reviewing a motion to dismiss 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 court may
consider the pleadings, public record, orders, exhibits
attached to the complaint, and documents incorporated into
the complaint by reference. Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues
& Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007). 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." BellAtl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007).
'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."' Daws v.
Abington Mem'l Hosp.,765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir.
2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). The Court
is "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,