United States District Court, D. Colorado
A. Brimmer, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on County Defendants' Motion
for Partial Dismissal [Docket No. 26] filed by Defendants
Sheriff Mike Ensminger, Undersheriff Stanley Bishop, Corporal
Frank Scofield, and Deputy Eric Voigt (collectively,
“County Defendants”); Correctional Healthcare
Management, Inc.; Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc.;
and Correct Care Solutions, LLC's Motion to Dismiss in
Lieu of Answer [Docket No. 28]; and Nurse Sue's Motion to
Dismiss in Lieu of Answer [Docket No. 29] filed by defendant
Nurse Susan Campbell. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331.
suit arises from plaintiff Cathleen Carmody's fall while
in custody at Teller County Detention Center. In September
2014, when plaintiff was sixty-three years old, she had hip
replacement surgery. Docket No. 38 at 6, ¶ 24. Because
of the surgery, plaintiff was told by her doctor to use a
walker to aid her balance until she no longer needed it.
Id., ¶ 25.
October 23, 2014, plaintiff was arrested for an alleged
probation violation. Docket No. 38 at 6, ¶ 26. After
appearing in court, plaintiff was taken to Teller County
Detention Center. Id. The detention center is run by
defendants Sheriff Mike Ensminger and Undersheriff Stanley
Bishop, who set policy for the facility and determined the
training of prison officials. Id. at 15, ¶ 79
and at 16, ¶¶ 82-83. Teller County had a contract
with defendants Correctional Healthcare Management, Inc.,
Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc., and Correct Care
Solutions, LLC (collectively “CCS Defendants”) to
provide medical staff and services at the detention center,
including training of prison staff regarding medical care.
Id. at 4-5, ¶¶ 17-21 and at 16, ¶ 81.
At facilities that contract with CCS Defendants, including
Teller County Detention Center, numerous inmates have
suffered injuries as a result of inadequate medical care.
Id. at 11-14, ¶¶ 58-69.
plaintiff arrived at the detention center for processing,
defendant Corporal Frank Scofield approached plaintiff and,
ignoring plaintiff's protests and inability to walk on
her own, took away plaintiff's walker and told her that
she was going to have to do without it. Id. at 6-7,
¶¶ 28-32. During her incarceration, plaintiff was
only allowed to use her walker when her attorney visited and
for court appearances. Id., ¶ 33. Because of
her limited ability to walk, plaintiff stayed in her room
most of the time and other inmates brought her food in her
room. Id., ¶ 34.
October 27, 2014, plaintiff went to the dayroom to watch
television and, while attempting to sit down, she lost her
balance and fell on her back. Docket No. 38 at 8,
¶¶ 36-37. Defendants Nurse Susan Campbell and
Deputy Eric Voigt responded to the scene. Id.,
¶ 39. When plaintiff said she needed an ambulance, Nurse
Campbell responded, “[w]e don't do that
here.” Id., ¶¶ 39-40. Nurse Campbell
and Deputy Voigt pulled plaintiff off the floor and took her
back to her room. Id., ¶ 41. Nurse Campbell did
not perform an examination of plaintiff, but she did give
plaintiff more Tylenol. Id., ¶ 42.
suffered constant, severe pain for the remainder of her
incarceration. Docket No. 38 at 9, ¶ 43. On November 5,
2014, plaintiff was ordered released and, the next day, she
was discharged from custody. Id., ¶¶
45-47. Plaintiff continues to suffer chronic back pain that
is only partially relieved with morphine. Id. at 10,
October 19, 2016, plaintiff filed her complaint. She brings
three claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deliberate
indifference to her serious medical needs in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment and one claim under Title II of the
Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) denying
plaintiff a reasonable accommodation by allowing her to use
her walker. Docket No. 1. On December 23, 2016, County
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss all claims against them
except for the claims against Corporal Scofield. Docket No.
26. On January 9, 2017, CCS Defendants filed their motion to
dismiss the claims against them for failing to state a claim.
Docket No. 28. Nurse Campbell filed a motion to dismiss on
the basis of qualified immunity. Docket No. 29.
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
must allege enough factual matter that, taken as true, makes
the plaintiff's “claim to relief . . . plausible on
its face.” Bryson v. Gonzales, 534 F.3d 1282,
1286 (10th Cir. 2008) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “[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 shown - that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679
(2009) (internal quotation marks and alteration marks
omitted). Thus, even though modern rules of pleading are
somewhat forgiving, “a complaint still must contain
either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the
material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some
viable legal theory.” Bryson, 534 F.3d at 1286
(alteration marks omitted).
Deliberate Indifference Claims
the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, pretrial
detainees are entitled to the same degree of protection
against denial of medical care as that afforded to convicted
inmates under the Eighth Amendment.” Estate of
Hocker by Hocker v. Walsh, 22 F.3d 995, 998 (10th Cir.
1994). To bring a claim for deliberate medical indifference
against an institution, plaintiff must allege “such
gross deficiencies in staffing, facilities, equipment, or
procedures that the inmate is effectively denied access to
adequate medical care.” See Garcia v. Salt Lake
Cty., 768 F.2d 303, 308 (10th Cir. 1985) (citing
Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559, 575 (10th Cir. 1980)).
To bring a claim for deliberate indifference to medical needs
against an individual, a plaintiff must allege: “(i)
that he suffered from a serious medical need - that is, one
that has been diagnosed by a medical provider as requiring
treatment or one which even a lay person would easily
recognize as requiring medical attention; and (ii) the
Defendant was subjectively aware of that need and that
failing to treat it would pose an excessive risk to the
inmate's health or safety, but nevertheless elected to
delay or deny treatment for it.” Ajaj v. Fed.
Bureau of Prisons, No. 08-cv-02006-MSK-MJW, 2011 WL
902440, at *16 (D. Colo. Mar. 10, 2011) (citing Sealock