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Williamson v. Stieve

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

August 7, 2019

CARLOS MONTANA WILLIAMSON PLAINTIFF
v.
DR. JEFFERY STIEVE Director of Nursing, Wellpaths Corporation and NURSE JOHN DOE Wellpaths Corporation, ADC Ouachita River Unit DEFENDANTS

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O. Hickey, Chief United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and Recommendation.

         The case is before the Court for preservice screening under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on July 16, 2019. (ECF No. 1). He alleges that on February 6, 2018, Defendant Nurse John Doe denied him “proper medicine treatment” for a flu virus. (Id. at 4). Plaintiff alleges he put in a sick call because he was coughing up yellow mucous mixed with blood. (Id. at 4, 8). Plaintiff alleges he was taken to the day clinic where he was seen by Defendant Doe, who told him he had no signs of suffering from the flu. (Id. at 8-9). Plaintiff alleges she did not take his vital signs, such as his blood pressure or temperature, while he was in the clinic. (Id.).

         She told him she would prescribe him pain medication, but he never received the pain medication even though he paid a three-dollar copay for the visit. He also never received any Mucinex pills. (Id. at 8). Later in his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges she denied him “vaccine and medicine” for the flu. (Id. at 10). Plaintiff alleges she wrote that he had no symptoms of flu on his sick call request “to cover up for her actions.” (Id. at 9). Plaintiff alleges that her failure to treat him for flu provoked an incident between himself and Corporal Walters.[1] This incident resulted in Plaintiff being placed in behavior control for three days. After those three days he was “already over the flu.” (Id. at 9-10).

         Plaintiff alleges Defendant Stieve is the “main boss” and supervises the Wellpaths nurses. He alleges Stieve refused to provide the name of the Doe Nurse who denied Plaintiff medical care for the flu by denying him “vaccine and medicine.” (Id. at 9-10).

         Plaintiff proceeds against both Defendants in their official and personal capacity. (Id. at 4). He seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 7).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen the case prior to service of process being issued. The Court must dismiss a complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains claims that: (1) are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or, (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         A claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it does not allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “In evaluating whether a pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to state a claim, we hold ‘a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded ... to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)). Even a pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Official Capacity Claims

         Wellpaths Corporation is a private correctional health care services corporation contracted with the ADC to provide those services. Defendants are identified as employees of Wellpaths Corporation. Through this contract, Wellpaths Corporation and Defendants are acting under color of state law and are subject to suit under § 1983. West v. Atkins,487 U.S. 42 (1988); Burke v. North Dakota Dept. of ...


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