United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
OWEN BOWDRE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Defendants Ron Smith, Shea
Brown, Talladega County Sheriff's Department, and
Talladega County Jail's “Motion to Dismiss”
(doc. 17). In this § 1983 action, Plaintiff Lacey Daniel
contends that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to her
serious medical needs, namely, an ulcer condition that
appears to have caused Ms. Daniel to suffer severe internal
bleeding while she was a pretrial detainee at Talladega
Defendants move to dismiss for several reasons. First, they
contend that the Talladega County Sheriff's Department
and the Talladega County Jail are not suable entities.
Second, they contend that the court must dismiss any
unspecified “state law claims” made by Ms.
Daniel. Third, Defendants Shea Brown and Ron Smith contend
that Ms. Daniel has failed to state a claim under § 1983
because the complaint does not include sufficient allegations
on causation. Fourth, Defendants contend that any fictitious
parties should be dismissed from the case.
initial matter, Defendants' fourth argument is MOOT. The
court has already dismissed all entities named in the
complaint that remained unserved and noted that Ms. Daniel
could move for leave to amend her complaint if she later
discovered information about the identities of other
potential defendants. (Doc. 30).
court will otherwise GRANT Defendants' motion. Neither
the Sheriff's Department nor the Jail are legal, suable
entitles in Alabama. Ms. Daniel's complaint brings no
specified state law claims. And the complaint fails to state
a claim under § 1983 because Ms. Daniel does not
establish facts permitting the court to infer that Ms. Brown
and Mr. Smith knew about Ms. Daniel's “ulcer
condition.” The court will DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Ms.
Daniel's claims against the Sheriff's Department and
the Jail, but DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE Ms. Daniel's
claims against Ms. Brown and Mr. Smith because the failure to
state a claim could be the result of unartful pleading.
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss attacks the legal sufficiency of
the complaint. Generally, the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure require only that the complaint provide
“‘a short and plain statement of the claim'
that will give the defendant fair notice of what the
plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)). A plaintiff must provide
the grounds of his entitlement, but Rule 8 generally does not
require “detailed factual allegations.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting
Conley, 355 U.S. at 47). It does, however,
“demand[ ] more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Pleadings that contain nothing more than “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action” do not
meet Rule 8 standards nor do pleadings suffice that are based
merely upon “labels or conclusions” or
“naked assertions” without supporting factual
allegations. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557.
Supreme Court explained that “[t]o survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting and explaining its decision in
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). To be plausible on its
face, the claim must contain enough facts that “allow[
] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. If the court determines that
well-pleaded facts, accepted as true, do not state a claim
that is plausible, the claim must be dismissed. Id.
following facts come from the allegations in the complaint;
the court accepts these as true for the purpose of reviewing
this motion to dismiss. In 2013, Ms. Daniel underwent surgery
after suffering a perforated ulcer. The ulcer had perforated
Ms. Daniel's liver, colon, and stomach, and Ms. Daniel
spent 21 days in the intensive care unit recovering.
years later, in late-June 2015, members of the Talladega
County Sheriff's Department arrested Ms. Daniel.
According to Ms. Daniel, they booked her into the Talladega
County Jail and told “the Sheriff's
Department” about her medical condition. The Jail also
had Ms. Daniel's medical records, which would have
reflected the 2013 perforated ulcer.
time of the arrest and booking, Ms. Daniel still suffered
from the “ulcer condition.” At some point during
Ms. Daniel's incarceration, she began “vomiting
blood, passing blood in her stool, straining to breathe,
sometimes to the point of fainting, and [had] severe
abdominal pain and tenderness.” (Doc. 1 ¶ 20).
“During the last two weeks of her incarceration,
” Ms. Daniel “filed numerous medical requests,
grievances, emergency sick calls, ” and an inmate
request to the “Chief” to inform him about how
“dire” her situation was. Ms. Daniel also gave
descriptions of her conditions to the Jail's
“staff.” Ms. Daniel asked to be taken to the
hospital and requested a blood transfusion. The complaint
implies that Jail staff refused or ignored those requests and
eventually released her.
her release, Ms. Daniel “ended up collapsing” in
a store. Paramedics transported Ms. Daniel to the hospital,
where she received a blood transfusion and “the
hospital” told her she had been minutes from death.
Daniel states that “[a]ll named Defendants were made
aware of [Ms. Daniel's] serious medical condition at some
point during her period of incarceration. All named
Defendants failed to take an action in ...