United States District Court, D. Colorado
DR. JAMES BRILL, Plaintiff,
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, LLC, CORRECTIONAL HEALTHCARE COMPANIES, INC., CORRECTIONAL HEALTHCARE PHYSICIANS, P.C., CARL ANDERSON, individually, and C. GREGORY TIEMEIR, individually, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING CCS DEFENDANTS' AND CARL
ANDERSON'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S FIRST
William J. Martínez United States District Judge
Dr. James Brill (“Brill”) brings this civil
rights action against Correct Care Solutions, LLC,
Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc., Correctional
Healthcare Physicians, P.C. (together, “CCS
Defendants”), and Carl Anderson and C. Gregory Tiemeier
in their individual capacities (“Anderson” and
“Tiemeier”), alleging that they violated his
constitutional rights by terminating his employment contract
with Jefferson County Detention Facility in Golden, Colorado.
(ECF No. 23 (“Complaint”).) Before the Court is
the CCS Defendants' and Anderson's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint (“FAC”).
(ECF No. 32 (“Motion to Dismiss” OR the
“Motion”).) For the reasons set forth below, the
Motion is denied.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party may move to
dismiss a claim in a complaint for “failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” The 12(b)(6)
standard requires the Court to “assume the truth of the
plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations and view
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”
Ridge at Red Hawk, LLC v. Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174,
1177 (10th Cir. 2007). In ruling on such a motion, the
dispositive inquiry is “whether the complaint contains
‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). Granting a motion to dismiss “is a harsh
remedy which must be cautiously studied, not only to
effectuate the spirit of the liberal rules of pleading but
also to protect the interests of justice.” Dias v.
City & Cnty. of Denver, 567 F.3d 1169, 1178 (10th
Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). “Thus,
‘a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it
strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is
improbable, and that a recovery is very remote and
unlikely.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556).
Court assumes the following facts taken from Plaintiff's
Complaint (ECF No. 23) to be true for present purposes.
is a physician with over forty years of medical experience.
Most recently he was employed by the Jefferson County
Detention facility in Golden, Colorado, where he served as
the Medical Director pursuant to a contract with the CCS
Defendants beginning on September 29, 2011. (Id. at
1-2.) In that capacity, he supervised a medical practice that
included a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse practitioner,
and a physician's assistant who were collectively
responsible for the provision of medical care to
approximately 1, 500 resident inmates. (Id. at 8.)
lawsuit filed in this District Court styled as McGill v.
Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc., et al. in 2003,
the plaintiff in that case, Kenneth McGill
(“McGill”), an inmate at Jefferson County
Detention Facility, brought a constitutional claim against
the CCS Defendants, nurse Gina Battenhouse, and Brill, for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.
(Id. at 9.) McGill alleged that he sustained major
permanent disabilities as a result of the
“defendants' intentional and deliberate delay in
providing him with critical medical treatment.”
(Id.) Brill was initially included in the lawsuit as
a defendant because he was the Medical Director of the
Jefferson County Detention Facility and had treated McGill on
occasion. (Id.) The CCS Defendants retained
co-defendant and attorney Tiemeier as legal counsel to
represent them, nurse Battenhouse, and Brill as co-defendants
in the McGill case.
case proceeded, after Brill's deposition, McGill decided
to voluntarily dismiss all his legal claims against Brill and
instead only pursue claims against the CCS Defendants, nurse
Battenhouse, and certain governmental defendants, including
Jefferson County. (Id. at 10.) Tiemeier initially
refused to allow McGill to voluntarily dismiss Dr. Brill as a
defendant from that case, despite being Brill's attorney.
(Id.) This prompted the independent mediator,
retired federal district judge William Downes, to caution
Brill to retain his own counsel. (Id.) At this
point, Brill retained his own counsel to ensure that his
interests were adequately represented. (Id.) McGill
eventually dismissed Brill as a defendant, over the
objections of the CCS Defendants, represented by Tiemeier.
(Id. at 11.) Throughout the case, Tiemeier continued
to state, “[CCS] Defendants did not agree to the terms
of the stipulation [to dismiss Dr. Brill] and did not sign
it” (id.), and he even went so far as to
designate Brill as a non-party tortfeasor (id). This
caught the attention of the presiding judge in that case,
United States District Judge R. Brooke Jackson, who
commented, “I suspect Dr. Brill would be rather
surprised and disappointed, to say the least, to find that
[CCS] and its lawyers have turned on him.”
(Id. at 12.)
December 2, 2014, during the jury trial in that case,
McGill's counsel called Brill as a witness to testify
regarding McGill's treatment at the Jefferson County
Detention Facility. (Id.) McGill's counsel asked
Brill what he would have done had CCS Defendants' nurse
contacted him on the relevant night regarding the
neurological abnormalities plaintiff was exhibiting.
(Id.) Brill testified that had he been contacted, he
would have promptly sent McGill to the hospital instead of
waiting until the following morning, as the CCS Defendants
had done. (Id.) Brill's testimony undermined the
CCS Defendants', Tiemeier's, and Jefferson
County's theory of the case that McGill's symptoms
did not present as being serious enough to justify prompt
treatment outside the jail. (Id.) Brill was recalled
to testify by the CCS Defendants' counsel on December 15,
2014. (Id.) Within hours of this testimony,
Defendant Anderson, the CCS Defendants' Regional Manager,
Jail Division, called Brill to alert him that the CCS
Defendants had terminated his employment contract and were
giving him two weeks' notice. (Id. at 13.) When
Brill asked why he was being terminated, Defendant Anderson
refused to give him a reason. (Id.) That same
evening, the jury awarded Mr. McGill over $11 million in
damages, with over $7.5 million in punitive damages.
on this set of events, Brill raises four claims for relief
against the CCS Defendants and Anderson: (1) violations of
First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (id at 17);
(2) Conspiracy to tamper with and/or retaliate against
witness under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) (id at 18);
(3) Prevention of judicial access to employees under C.R.S.
§ 8-2.5-101 (id at 20); and (4) Outrageous
conduct/ intentional infliction of emotional distress
(id. at 21).
Brill's second claim, of witness tampering or
retaliation, he alleges two theories in the alternative.
First, Brill argues that Defendants' conduct was
motivated by a desire to tamper with Brill as a witness.
(Id.) According to Plaintiff, “[i]f Defendants
had already decided to terminate Dr. Brill before he provided
his testimony, but for their intention to illegally
induce and bribe Dr. Brill to provide relatively favorable
testimony for them during the McGill trial by
continuing to employ and pay him during that time, they
illegally tampered with his testimony by retaining him as an
employee until right after he finished testifying.”
(Id. at 13-14.) Alternatively, Brill argues,
“Defendants fired Dr. Brill to retaliate against him
for testifying truthfully at the McGill trial
instead of towing [sic] the party line, as his
then-employer and Defendant Tiemeier had repeatedly pressured
him to do.” (Id. at 14.)
their motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 32), the CCS Defendants and
Anderson argue that Plaintiff's Complaint should be
dismissed in its entirety on three grounds: (1) the FAC fails
to plead that the termination of Brill's contract was
controlled by a state actor, and therefore there is no state
action for purposes of § 1983 (ECF No. 32 at 5); (2)
Brill has not adequately plead that there was an agreement to
conspire against him for testifying in the McGill
case (id. at 10); and (3) Plaintiff's remaining
claims are state law claims, over which this Court ...