United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. # 52). After careful consideration, and for the reasons
explained below, the court concludes that the motion is due
to be granted in part and denied in part.
Procedural History and Background
Collier filed this civil action on May 3, 2017. (Doc. # 1).
Mr. Collier has filed three different complaints in this
case: his original complaint (Doc. # 1), his first amended
complaint (Doc. # 23), and his second amended complaint (Doc.
# 50). Because the factual allegations of the various
complaints are relevant to deciding Defendants' motion to
dismiss, the court describes each in turn.
to his original complaint, Mr. Collier was shot multiple
times on May 3, 2015. (Doc. # 1 at ¶ 17). After Mr.
Collier was shot, he alleged a paramedic arrived on scene and
erroneously determined that he “had suffered only a
graze” when in fact two bullets were lodged in Mr.
Collier's buttocks. (Id. at ¶¶ 19,
35). Two Bessemer City police officers, identified as
“Defendants ‘A' and ‘B, '”
then arrested Mr. Collier for discharging a weapon and
transported him to the Bessemer City jail, despite his
request to go to the hospital. (Id. at ¶¶
11, 19, 21). While being processed at the jail by
“Defendants ‘C' and ‘D, '”
Mr. Collier removed his clothes, revealing two wounds in his
buttocks. (Id. at ¶ 22). Mr. Collier's
wounds were still bleeding at this time, but
“Defendants ‘C' and ‘D'”
simply gave Mr. Collier jail clothes and rushed him into his
cell, ignoring his continued requests for medical attention.
(Id. at ¶¶ 23-24). During the course of
his time in custody, additional city employees (who were also
designated as fictitious defendants) ignored Mr.
Collier's requests for medical attention. (Id.
at ¶¶ 25-33).
Collier was later released from custody, and all charges
against him were dropped. (Id. at ¶ 29). After
his release, Mr. Collier's mother smelled a strong odor
coming from his gunshot wounds and promptly took him to the
emergency room. (Id. at ¶ 34). There, medical
personnel discovered the two bullets lodged in Mr.
Collier's buttocks. (Id. at ¶ 35). By this
time, the wounds were so infected that Mr. Collier had to
undergo a week of treatment before he could have surgery to
remove the bullets. (Id. at ¶ 36). The surgeons
were unable to remove every piece of the bullet from Mr.
Collier's body, and Mr. Collier has since spent months
recovering, has experienced residual problems related to the
injury, and has experienced significant pain and suffering.
(Id. at ¶ 38).
eleven months after filing his original complaint, Mr.
Collier filed his first amended complaint. (Doc. #23). Mr.
Collier's first amended complaint tells much the same
story as his original complaint, with a few differences.
First, the first amended complaint substituted Defendants
Ronald Wilder and Jamal Bouyer for fictitious defendants
“A” and “B” in the original
complaint. (Doc. # 23 at ¶¶ 9-10). Defendants
Wilder and Bouyer are the Bessemer City police officers who
arrested Mr. Collier. (Id.). The first amended
complaint also clarifies that the paramedic(s) who treated
Mr. Collier before he was taken to jail arrived at the scene
after Officers Wilder and Bouyer had arrested Mr. Collier,
not before. (Id. at ¶¶ 11-12). The first
amended complaint repeated Mr. Collier's allegation that
the paramedic(s) improperly diagnosed his gunshot wounds as
mere grazes and that Officers Wilder and Bouyer then took him
to jail without further medical treatment, despite his
requests to go to the hospital. (Id. at ¶¶
12-13). The rest of the allegations in the first amended
complaint are substantially similar to the original
in July 2018, Mr. Collier filed his second amended complaint.
(Doc. # 50). The second amended complaint, which now purports
to be the operative pleading in this case, states that Mr.
Collier was shot twice in his buttocks prior to being
arrested by Officers Wilder and Bouyer and that the officers
took him straight to jail upon arresting him, ignoring his
requests for medical treatment at a hospital. (Id.
at ¶¶ 8-11). But the second amended complaint
entirely omits any reference to the paramedics who allegedly
stated that Mr. Collier had only suffered a graze.
(Id.). The remainder of the allegations in the
second amended complaint are substantially similar to those
in his first two complaints.
only defendants remaining in this case are the City of
Bessemer (“the City”) and Officers Wilder and
Bouyer (“the Officers”). (Doc. # 49;
Doc. # 50). Those remaining defendants now move to dismiss
Mr. Collier's second amended complaint for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); (Doc. # 52).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint
provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must include enough facts
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Pleadings that contain nothing more
than “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action” do not satisfy Rule 8, and neither do
pleadings that are based merely upon “labels and
conclusions” or “naked assertion[s]”
without supporting factual allegations. Id. at 555,
557. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, courts
view the allegations in the complaint in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Watts v. Fla.
International Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir.
considering a motion to dismiss, a court should “1)
eliminate any allegations in the complaint that are merely
legal conclusions; and 2) where there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.'” Kivisto v. Miller, Canfield,
Paddock & Stone, PLC, 413 Fed.Appx. 136, 138 (11th
Cir. 2011) (quoting Am. Dental Assn. v. Cigna Corp.,
605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010)). That task is context
specific, and to survive the motion, the allegations must
permit the court, based on its “judicial experience and
common sense . . . to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. If the
court determines that well-pleaded facts, accepted as true,
do not state a claim that is plausible, the claims must be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
Collier claims that both the City and the Officers violated
the Fourteenth Amendment through their deliberate
indifference to his need for medical care,  and that the City
is also liable for negligently failing to train and supervise
its employees. (Doc. # 50 at ¶¶ 38, 40, 43). The