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Gamble v. Onouha

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

March 20, 2018

EDDIE GAMBLE, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
DR. JUDE O. ONUOHA, REGINALD WRIGHT, ALL FOUR OFFICERS UNDER L. WRIGHT AUTHORITY, and ALL UNDER L.T. WILLIAMS AUTHORIZE AUTHORITY, [1] Defendants.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment. (DE 47). The issues raised have been fully briefed and are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants defendants' motion.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         On March 7, 2016, plaintiff, a federal inmate, filed this civil rights action pro se pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiff asserts in this action that he was given the wrong medication which has caused him harm and that he was assaulted by prison officials. (See Amended Complaint (DE 20) at 5-6).

         Plaintiff has filed several complaints in this case. In the original complaint, filed on March 7, 2016, plaintiff alleged that defendant Dr. Onuoha (“Onuoha”) caused him injury by giving him the wrong medication, namely “lasex.” Plaintiff asserted no other claims in that complaint. (See Complaint (DE 1 at 2-3)). On April 4, 2016, plaintiff refiled his complaint on the proper form, naming defendant Onuoha as the sole defendant. (Refiled Complaint (DE 7)). The factual allegations in that complaint, in their entirety, were that “[defendant Onuoha] is responsible for the plaintiff having a heart attack, stroke, and castration, when medical indications did not require it. In addition, the plaintiff has cataracts on his eyes due to [defendant Onuoha's] actions and conduct.” (See id.).

         On November 15, 2016, the court found that the allegations in that complaint were conclusory, and lacked sufficient factual support to state a claim, informing plaintiff that he could file an amended complaint within 14 days and directing that the amended complaint “must state the injury stemming from defendant Dr. Onouha's actions or inactions, and the alleged facts to support his claim.” (DE 17).

         After the court allowed for an additional extension of time in which plaintiff could file his amended complaint, plaintiff filed the instant operative amended complaint on January 24, 2017. (Amended Complaint (DE 20)). In the complaint, plaintiff again names defendant Onuoha, and additionally names for the first time defendant L. Wright (“Wright”) and “all four officers under L.T. Wright authority all under L.T. Williams authorize authority.” (Id. at 3-4).[2]

         In his complaint, plaintiff alleges that defendant Onuoha “gave plaintiff lasex (sic) that cause castration heart attack catracts (sic) blurred eye vision lost visability (sic).” (Id. at 5). Plaintiff additionally alleges that “[a]ll four officer (sic) under L.T. Wright authority beat plaintiff in the face broke teeth” while he was “in segregation unit.” (Id. at 6.) He reportedly “need[s] a partial plate to go in [his] mouth.” (Id. at 5.) He makes no allegations against the unnamed defendants “under L.T. William['s]” authority. Plaintiff asserts that all of the conduct complained of occurred in June 2013, while he was confined FCI II Butner.

         The court conducted a frivolity review of the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, allowing plaintiff's claims against defendants Onuoha and Wright to proceed and directing “[t]he United States Attorney [] to provide plaintiff with the discovery materials necessary to discover the identity of the unnamed (i.e. ‘John Doe') defendants within 21 days after service of the complaint.” (DE 22 at 3). In response, the government moved the court to reconsider its order, and asked the court to dismiss the claims asserted against defendants Wright and the John Doe defendants as time-barred. (DE 31). On March 31, 2017, the court denied the government's motion to reconsider, but held that the defendants may raise the statute of limitations argument in a future dispositive motion. (DE 35). The government subsequently provided plaintiff the names of all Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) employees who worked or were scheduled to have worked in the Special Housing Unit (referred to by plaintiff as “segregation unit”) at FCI II Butner in June 2013, when plaintiff was housed there.

         On June 13, 2017, defendants filed their instant motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment, including in support of their motion plaintiff's relevant medical records and records regarding grievances filed by plaintiff with BOP. Plaintiff did not file a response.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

         The undisputed facts are as follows. Plaintiff is confined in BOP custody serving the remainder of a federal term of imprisonment. He was confined at FCI II Butner from May 2007 until August 2014.

         Defendant Onuoha worked at FCI II Butner from 2009 until July 2013 as a medical officer and was plaintiff's primary medical care provider in 2012 but not 2013. BOP medical records show that plaintiff was prescribed Lasix medication in 2013 by BOP medical staff (other than defendant Onuoha) for treatment of plaintiff's congestive heart failure and hypertension.

         Plaintiff claims that four unnamed officers “under L.T. Wright authority” assaulted him in June 2013, while he was in the “segregation unit” at FCI II Butner, but provides no information as to defendant Wrights involvement in the alleged ...


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