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Whitfield v. Dail

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

August 20, 2014

DOUGLAS GENE WHITFIELD, Plaintiff,
v.
LARRY DAIL, OFFICER JACOBS, OFFICER STOCKS, OFFICER MANNING, SERGEANT BORDEN, OFFICER WOODY, DR. JAMES D. ENGLEMAN, and OFFICER DEMATTY, Defendants.

ORDER

LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the court on second motion dismiss (DE 77) filed by defendant Dr. James D. Engleman ("Engleman"), pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which was fully briefed. In this posture, the issues raised are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants in part and denies in part defendant Engleman's motion.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

On March 13, 2012, plaintiff filed this civil rights action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against defendants Officer Collins ("Collins"), Larry Dail ("Dail"), Officer Jacobs ("Jacobs"), Officer Stocks ("Stocks"), and Craven Correctional Institution ("Craven").[1] Plaintiff subsequently filed several documents and letters, including a motion to amend his complaint. On October 16, 2012, the court entered an order granting plaintiff's motion to amend, but directing plaintiff to particularize his action. Plaintiff complied with the court's order and submitted an amended pleading. As part of his amended pleading, plaintiff expressed an intent to incorporate his prior filings, miscellaneous documents, and numerous letters as part of his amended pleading.

On February 8, 2013, the court conducted a frivolity review of plaintiff's amended pleading. As part of its review, the court denied plaintiff's request to incorporate his previous filings into his amended pleading, and limited plaintiff's allegations to those contained in his October 25, 2012, amended pleading. The court also allowed plaintiff to proceed with a claim alleging that Officer Manning ("Manning"), Sergeant Borden ("Borden"), Officer Woody ("Woody"), Officer DeMatty ("DeMatty"), and Engleman acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. To the extent plaintiff sought to include new and separate claims which arose subsequent to the filing of this action on March 13, 2012, the court directed plaintiff to notify it whether plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), for these new claims.

On March 22, 2013, Borden, Collins, Dail, DeMatty, Jacobs, Manning, Stocks, and Woody filed a motion to dismiss arguing that plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Then, on April 5, 2013, plaintiff filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss Collins from this action. Engleman subsequently filed a motion to dismiss arguing that plaintiff failed to properly obtain service and that plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Alternatively, defendants raised the affirmative defense of qualified immunity. The issues raised in both motions were fully briefed. Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion to amend his complaint to include additional allegations against Engleman. This motion also was fully briefed.

On December 20, 2013, the court entered an order granting plaintiff's motion to amend and motion to voluntarily dismiss Collins from this action without prejudice. The court also granted in part and denied in part Engleman's motion to dismiss. The court granted Engleman's motion as to Engleman's challenge to service of process and quashed service as to Engleman.[2] The court denied the remainder of Engleman's motion to dismiss. The court also denied the motion to dismiss filed by defendants Borden, Dail, DeMatty, Jacobs, Manning, Stocks, and Woody. Finally, the court dismissed plaintiff's action against defendant Craven pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

On January 9, 2014, Engleman filed a second motion to dismiss, arguing that plaintiff failed to state an Eighth Amendment claim against him. The motion was fully briefed.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

The facts pertaining to plaintiff's claims against Engleman as viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff are as follows. Plaintiff was a state inmate incarcerated at Craven Correctional Institution ("Craven") at the time the instant cause of action arose. Plaintiff states that he had

carpal tunnel on both hands and surgery on "(both)" hands and still suffer[ed] from carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. Plaintiff also suffer[ed] back and joint pain daily but Doctor Engleman refused to prescribe sufficient pain medication because of a past drug offense that plaintiff ha[d] in fact already paid his debt to society for.... Plaintiff [] suffered almost 3 years while Dr. Engleman knew plaintiff was in fact in pain because of his medical problems.... Plaintiff... had to seek psychological help due to depression from pain....

Am. Compl. (DE 36) pp. 2-3.

Plaintiff additionally states that "he filed sick call after sick call requesting relief from pain and suffering." (Pl.'s Resp. (DE 60).) Plaintiff states that Engleman "had full knowledge that Plaintiff suffered from Arthritis, but refused to act on behalf of plaintiff's request for help den[y]ing relief or help, causing injuries, both physical and mental. Plaintiff was forced to endure periods of intense pain and discomfort because his pleas for medical assistance went unheaded by [] Engleman." (Id.)

At some point, plaintiff was transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Otisville, New York, and began treatment with Dr. Sommers. (Am. Compl. (DE 63), p.1.) Plaintiff states that Dr. Sommers conducted the same laboratory tests that Engleman performed, and that Dr. Sommers determined that plaintiff had thyroid deficiency, testosterone deficiency, and "very high cholesterol." (Id.) ...


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