United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Casper United States District Judge
DeSean Wooten (“Wooten”) brings claims against
Defendant Dr. Khalid Khan (spelled as Kahn in some pleadings)
(“Khan”), alleging that Khan violated 28 U.S.C.
§ 1983 by failing to provide medical treatment to Wooten
in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. D. 5. Wooten
also asserts a negligence claim against Khan. Id.
Khan now moves to dismiss Wooten's complaint pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). D. 25.
Standard of Review
Court will grant a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) if the complaint fails to plead sufficient facts
that “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). When considering a motion to dismiss, the
Court is tasked with “separat[ing] the factual
allegations from the conclusory statements in order to
analyze whether the former, if taken as true, set forth a
‘plausible, not merely a conceivable, case for
relief.'” Juárez v. Select Portfolio
Servicing, Inc., 708 F.3d 269, 276 (1st Cir. 2013)
(quoting Ocasio-Hernández v.
Fortuño-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011)).
In conducting this examination, the court must not
“attempt to forecast a plaintiff's likelihood of
success on the merits, ” id. (internal
quotation marks omitted), but instead “give the
plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable inferences.”
Ruiz v. Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp., 496 F.3d
1, 5 (1st Cir. 2007) (citing Rogan v. Menino, 175
F.3d 75, 77 (1st Cir. 1999)).
plaintiff is pro se, the Court must apply a liberal
reading to the complaint and hold pro se litigants
to a less stringent pleading standard than that applied to
lawyers. Kruskall v. Sallie Mae Serv., Inc., No.
15-cv-11780-DJC, 2016 WL 1056973, at *1 (D. Mass. Mar. 14,
2016) (citing Green v. Commonwealth of Mass., 108
F.R.D. 217, 218 (D. Mass. 1985)). A pro se
plaintiff, however, must still comply with procedural and
substantive law and “dismissal remains appropriate . .
. when the complaint fails to even suggest an actionable
claim.” Overton v. Torruella, 183 F.Supp.2d
295, 303 (D. Mass. 2001).
following factual summary is based upon the allegations in
the amended complaint, D. 5, and are accepted as true for the
consideration of Khan's motion to dismiss.
is an inmate at Bridgewater State Hospital
(“BSH”) where Khan serves as the head medical
director in charge of medical operations involving prisoners.
D. 5 ¶¶ 3-4. In November or early December 2015,
Wooten had an “emotional meltdown” and injured
himself by giving himself a perforated bowel. Id.
¶ 6. Thereafter, Khan neglected to treat Wooten's
injuries and placed him a restricted cell. Id. It
was not until Wooten developed a fever and was barely able to
walk-roughly twenty-four hours later-that Khan sent Wooten to
an outside hospital for medical treatment. Id.
¶¶ 6, 8. At the outside facility, Wooten remained
emotionally distraught and refused treatment. Id.
¶ 8. The resulting infection was so severe, however,
that he was sent to an outside hospital a second time at
which point he accepted treatment. Id. ¶¶
8-9. Wooten remained at the outside hospital for treatment
for roughly seven weeks. Id. ¶ 9. Upon his
release from the outside facility in January 2016, Wooten was
provided with a discharge summary plan and prescribed
medications according to that plan. Id. ¶¶
10, 12, 17. Khan, however, did not follow the discharge
summary plan and did not provide Wooten with the prescribed
medications in accordance with the plan. Id.
¶¶ 10, 12, 17. Thereafter, on September 22, 2016,
Wooten had a second “emotional meltdown” as a
result of the months of pain and suffering he experienced.
Id. ¶ 14. This time, Wooten hurt himself again
which ultimately led to an operation to remove a series of
objects from his small intestine. Id.
instituted this action on August 5, 2016. D. 1. Khan has now
moved to dismiss Wooten's amended complaint, D. 5. D. 25.
Motion to Dismiss
The Court Will Not Dismiss Wooten's Eighth Amendment
first asserts that Wooten has not alleged a cognizable Eighth
Amendment violation for the medical treatment Wooten received
from Khan. D. 25-1 at 2-3. The Eighth Amendment protection
against cruel and unusual punishment shields prisoners from
medical mistreatment or neglect for physical and mental
health ailments. Feeney v. Corr. Med. Servs., Inc.,
464 F.3d 158, 161 (1st Cir. 2006); Torraco v.
Maloney, 923 F.2d 231, 234-35 (1st Cir. 1991). For
medical treatment to offend the Constitution, the care must
involve “acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to
evidence deliberate indifference” to serious medical
needs. Id. (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 105-06 (1976)) (internal quotation marks omitted).
“To succeed on a claim of deliberate indifference based
on inadequate or delayed medical care, ‘a plaintiff
must satisfy both a subjective and objective
inquiry'” in which he first establishes that the
deprivation was sufficiently serious and then that the prison
officials charged had a culpable state of mind as to the
prisoner's medical need. Perry v. Roy, 782 F.3d
73, 78 (1st Cir. 2015). To fulfill the objective test, the
plaintiff must establish that he had a serious medical need
that was either diagnosed by a physician as mandating
treatment or so obvious that a layperson ...