United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
GREGORY A. WALL, Plaintiff,
REBECCA LUBELCZYK, THOMAS GROBLEWSKI, ADRIANNA CARRILLO, GERI RIENDEAU, SHAWNA NASUTI, KAREN BERGERON, LAWRENCE WEINER, and HAROLD CLARKE, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
A. O'Toole, Jr. United States District Judge
before the Court is the motion of defendants Rebecca
Lubelczyk, Thomas Groblewski, and Geri Riendeau for judgment
on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(c) (dkt. no. 71). The defendants are medical personnel who
treated the pro se plaintiff, Gregory A. Wall, for a
shoulder injury that he sustained while incarcerated. They
seek a Rule 12(c) judgment on the pleadings on the
plaintiff's Eighth Amendment (Count I) and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 Failure to Train and Supervise (Count VI) claims,
which would dispose of the only remaining federal claims in
the case. The plaintiff has opposed the defendants'
motion and moved for summary judgment in his favor (dkt. no.
76). After consideration of the cross-motions, the
defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings is
granted and the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment
12(c) motion is determined “solely on the factual
allegations in the complaint and answer.” NEPSK,
Inc. v. Town of Houlton, 283 F.3d 1, 8 (1st Cir. 2002).
The standard of review for a motion under Rule 12(c)
“is identical to the standard of review for motions to
dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule
12(b)(6).” Jardín De Las Catalinas Ltd.
P'ship v. Joyner, 766 F.3d 127, 132 (1st Cir. 2014)
(citation omitted). The Court takes the facts pled in the
complaint as true and considers reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor. Frappier v. Countrywide Home
Loans, Inc., 750 F.3d 91, 96 (1st Cir. 2014).
Count I, the defendants argue that the facts pled are not
sufficient to establish an Eighth Amendment violation. To
make out an Eighth Amendment claim, a plaintiff must show
more than “substandard care, malpractice, negligence,
inadvertent failure to provide care, and disagreement as to
the appropriate course of treatment.” Ruiz-Rosa v.
Rullán, 485 F.3d 150, 156 (1st Cir. 2007).
Rather, a plaintiff must assert facts sufficient to support a
conclusion that a defendant's withholding of
“essential health care . . . amounted to
‘deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need.'” DesRosiers v. Moran, 949 F.2d 15,
18 (1st Cir. 1991) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). Deliberate indifference may be
established “by decisions about medical care made
recklessly with ‘actual knowledge of impending harm,
easily preventable.'” Ruiz-Rosa, 485 F.3d
at 156 (quoting Feeney v. Corr. Med. Servs., Inc.,
464 F.3d 158, 162 (1st Cir. 2006)).
the plaintiff's medical needs were obvious and serious,
his allegations against these defendants do not support an
inference that their course of treatment amounted to reckless
disregard of impending harm to the plaintiff. According to
the detailed allegations of the Complaint, the defendants
monitored the plaintiff's condition through a physical
therapy regimen, provided him with pain medication, and
assessed his progress, including through mobility exercises
and numerous in-person conversations. The plaintiff's
protests about the treatment of his shoulder injury
essentially concern the choice of non-surgical treatment
rather than surgery. The allegations, fairly understood, are
not that the defendants denied him treatment, but rather that
they chose to pursue a treatment recommended by the
plaintiff's orthopedic specialist that was ineffectual.
What is lacking are factual allegations that would support a
conclusion that the defendants chose the course they did out
of such deliberate, that is, intentional, disregard for his
well-being that it was effectively unlawful punishment
forbidden by the Eighth Amendment. The plaintiff is not
entitled to the treatment of his choice, and the fact that he
was denied the specific treatment he himself wanted pursued
does not amount to deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs. See MacLeod v. Kern, 424 F.Supp.2d 260, 266
(D. Mass. 2006).
Count VI, the defendants argue that the pleadings do not show
that the defendants were responsible for training subordinate
staff or had supervisory duties that resulted in the
plaintiff's being deprived of a civil right. Under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, state officials sued in their individual
capacities cannot be held liable “for the
unconstitutional conduct of their subordinates under a theory
of respondeat superior but rather only on the basis
of their own acts or omissions.” Canales v.
Gatzunis, 979 F.Supp.2d 164, 171 (D. Mass. 2013)
(quoting Sanchez v. Pereira-Castillo, 590 F.3d 31,
49 (1st Cir. 2009)). And such “acts or omissions must
amount to a reckless or callous indifference to the
constitutional rights of others.” Id. (quoting
Febus-Rodriguez v. Betancourt-Lebron, 14 F.3d 87, 92
(1st Cir. 1994)).
the plaintiff merely alleges that the “[d]efendants are
and were responsible for training and supervising UMASS
correctional Health Personel [sic] at Old Colony Correction
Center.” (Compl. ¶ 79 (dkt. no. 1).) The Complaint
is similarly devoid of any facts regarding any pattern or
practice of deliberate indifference. The claim cannot succeed
based on mere “general factual allegations purportedly
applicable to all Defendants.” Canales, 979
F.Supp.2d at 172.
so much of Count VI as purports to be brought pursuant to
§ 1983 is dismissed as to all defendants.
light of the foregoing, the defendants' Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c)
(dkt. no. 71) is GRANTED and Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment (dkt. no. 76) is DENIED.
Court now having dismissed all federal claims in the case,
which claims served as the sole basis for this Court's
subject matter jurisdiction, I decline to exercise pendant
jurisdiction over the plaintiff's remaining state law
claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c); Lares
Grp., II v. Tobin, 221 F.3d 41, 45 (1st Cir. 2000)
(finding it to be “well within [the court's] broad
discretion” to dismiss without prejudice
plaintiff's supplemental state law claims once federal
claim was dismissed). Those claims are DISMISSED without
Motion of the Defendant, Dr. Adriana Carrillo, to Transfer
the Claims Against Her to Massachusetts Superior Court for
the Purpose of Convening a Medical Malpractice Tribunal (dkt.
no. 66) is MOOT. The Plaintiff's Motion to Compel
Discovery Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P 26(B) (dkt. no. 75) is