Sean Deady as Personal Representative of the Estate of James F. Davison, III
Peter Koutoujian, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Sheriff of Middlesex County et al No. 131121
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT PETER KOUTOUJIAN'S MOTION TO DISMISS
DENNIS J. CURRAN, Associate Justice.
This action arises out of the tragic death of James F. Davison, III, which occurred while he was in the custody of the Middlesex Sheriff's Office. Sean Deady, as personal representative of Mr. Davison's estate, has filed claims against Middlesex County, Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, and three corrections officers, alleging that the defendants violated Mr. Davison's constitutional rights and are tort-liable for their failure to provide him adequate medical care.
Sheriff Koutoujian now moves, under Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), to dismiss Mr. Deady's claims against him, individually and in his official capacity. For the following reasons, his motion to dismiss must be ALLOWED.
Mr. Deady's amended complaint sets forth the following allegations.
Mr. Davison was incarcerated at the Middlesex County Jail on September 2, 2011, under an order of the Somerville District Court for violating conditions of his probation. He suffered from drug dependency as well as many other serious health issues. On September 22, 2011, while he was being transported to the hospital wing at Billerica House of Correction, Mr. Davison went into cardiac arrest. When he asked for assistance, the corrections officers ignored his cries for help, and ignored the cries from other inmates who witnessed his distress. Instead, they brought him to the correctional facility in Concord, and then contacted emergency medical services. Ambulance personnel transported Mr. Davison to the Concord Hospital, where he died the next day.
Mr. Deady alleges that Mr. Davison died as a result of the poor medical care he received from the defendants. He asserts one cause of action against each defendant under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating Mr. Davison's constitutional rights, and three claims against each under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, G.L.c. 258; one claim in negligence for damages occurring before Mr. Davison's death, one claim for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress before Mr. Davison's death, and one claim for negligently and intentionally causing the death of Mr. Davison.
The motion before me addresses only the claims lodged against Peter Koutoujian, individually and officially.
I. The Standard of Review
To survive a motion to dismiss under Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must set out factual allegations that " raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . [based] on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true." Iannacchino v. Ford Motor Co., 451 Mass. 623, 636, 888 N.E.2d 879 (2008), quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). In other words, the plaintiff's factual allegations and the reasonable inferences drawn therefrom must " plausibly suggest[ ] . . . an entitlement to relief." Iannacchino, 451 Mass. at 636. The plaintiff must plead the grounds of his entitlement to relief with " more than labels and conclusions, " id.; the court will not accept " legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations." Id. at 633, quoting Schaer v. Brandeis Univ., 432 Mass. 474, 477, 735 N.E.2d 373 (2000).
A. Count I--42 U.S.C. § 1983