United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM ON DEFENDANTS DR. NAWRAS SHUKAIR
AND UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER'S
MOTION TO DISMISS (DOCKET NO. 27)
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE
Burnham (“Plaintiff”) brings a variety of claims
against several Defendants. Relevant for the purposes of this
motion, he brings claims against Dr. Nawras Shukair and
University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center
(“UMMMC”) for violations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, violations of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and a
state law claim for the failure to warn him of the
side-effects of a prescribed medication.
following facts are taken from Plaintiff's complaint
(Docket No. 1) and the documents attached to the complaint
and are assumed to be true at this stage of the litigation.
See Foley v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 772 F.3d 63, 68
(1st Cir. 2014) (“To set the factual stage for this
case, we rely on the allegation set forth in [the
plaintiff's] complaint, the documents attached to the
complaint, and relevant public records.”).
March 7, 2012, Plaintiff suffered a seizure while in custody
of the Southbridge Police Department and became incontinent.
Plaintiff claims that Southbridge Police disseminated a video
of the incident, and public employees mocked Plaintiff.
Subsequently, Plaintiff developed “major depressive
disorder and suicide [sic] ideation with multiple
self-mutilations.” Id. ¶ 9.
14, 2015, Plaintiff voluntarily presented himself to the
UMMMC's Emergency Room. He reported having a
“suicidal crisis” and contemplating
“suicide by cop.” Id. ¶ 15.
Plaintiff notes that he was rated as “severe” on
a crisis rating scale and therefore required hospitalization.
16, 2015, Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Shukair prescribed him
Effexor “without being warned or even explained [sic]
what type of medication it was other then [sic] it was an
aint-depressant [sic].” Id. ¶ 22. Later
that day, Plaintiff experienced “shaking” chest
muscles, elevated heart rate, confusion, and became
“highly upset.” Id. ¶ 25. Plaintiff
subsequently requested to be discharged and pushed through
several hospital employees to leave. Metro Crime Prevention
(erroneously identified in Plaintiff's complaint as
University of Massachusetts medical Center Patient Recovery
Center Security), who had arrived due to Plaintiff's
aggressive behavior, told Plaintiff they were “not
going to fight” him and said, “if you want to
leave just leave.” Id. ¶¶ 29, 88.
Plaintiff left the hospital, he experienced suicidal ideation
because he “was so agitated at police over the video
and mistreatment.” Id. ¶ 30. He then went
to the police station, doused a police car with gasoline, and
lit the car on fire. He was subsequently arrested and sent to
Bridgewater State Hospital for psychiatric treatment.
defendant may move to dismiss, based solely on the complaint,
for the plaintiff's “failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must
allege “a plausible entitlement to relief.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 559, 127
S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Although detailed factual allegations are
not necessary to survive a motion to dismiss, the standard
“requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Id. at 555. “The relevant
inquiry focuses on the reasonableness of the inference of
liability that the plaintiff is asking the court to draw from
the facts alleged in the complaint.”
Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 13
(1st Cir. 2011).
evaluating a motion to dismiss, the court must accept all
factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Langadinos v. American Airlines, Inc., 199 F.3d 68,
68 (1st Cir. 2000). It is a “context-specific
task” to determine “whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief, ” one that “requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (internal citations omitted).
“[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id.
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). On the other hand, a court
may not disregard properly pled factual allegations,
“even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of
those facts is improbable.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955.
Plaintiff appears pro se, we construe his pleadings more
favorably than we would those drafted by an attorney. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197
(2007). Nevertheless, Plaintiff's pro-se status does not
excuse him from complying with procedural and substantive
law. See Ahmed v. Rosenblatt, 118 F.3d 886, 890 (1st