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Magluta v. Daniels

United States District Court, D. Colorado

March 1, 2019

SALVADOR MAGLUTA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES DANIELS, Former Warden, FCC Florence, in his individual and official capacities, DAVID ALLRED, DO, Former Clinical Director, FCC Florence, in his individual and official capacities, GEORGE SANTINI, MD, Clinical director, FCC Florence, in his individual and official capacities, LISA MCDERMOTT, Assistant Health Services Administrator, FCC Florence, in her individual and official capacities, TERESA NEHLS, Former Nurse Practitioner, FCC Florence, in her individual and official capacities, NIXON ROBERTS, DDS, Dentist, FCC Florence, in his individual and official capacities, and JOHN DOE #1-15, Unknown Staff, FCC Florence, in their individual and official capacities, Defendants.

          RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          KRISTEN L. MIX UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Renewed Motion to Dismiss Remaining Claims in Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint (Doc. 87) [#129][1] (the “Motion”). Plaintiff, who proceeds in this matter pro se, [2] filed a Response [#143][3] in opposition to the Motion, and Defendants filed a Waiver of Reply [#144]. The Motion has been referred to the undersigned for recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and D.C.COLO.LCivR 72.1(c). See [#132]. The Court has reviewed the Motion, Response, the entire case file, and the applicable law, and is sufficiently advised in the premises. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion [#129] is GRANTED.

         I. Summary of the Case

         A. Factual Background

         At all times relevant to the present lawsuit, Plaintiff has been a federal prisoner incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Complex Florence, ADX (“FCC Florence”). Fourth Am. Compl. [#87] ¶ 7. Defendants are all current or former employees of FCC Florence. Id. ¶ 1. Defendant Charles Daniels (“Daniels”) was the Warden at FCC Florence. Id. ¶ 8. Defendant David Allred, DO (“Allred”) was a physician employed as the Clinical Director of Medical Services at FCC Florence until about January 2014. Id. ¶ 9. Defendant George Santini, M.D. (“Santini”) was a physician who took over as the Clinical Director of Medical Services FCC Florence in about January 2014. Id. ¶ 10. Defendant Lisa McDermott (“McDermott”) was employed as the Assistant Health Services Administrator. Id. ¶ 11. Defendant Teresa Nehls (“Nehls”) was employed as a Nurse Practitioner. Id. ¶ 12. Defendant Nixon Roberts, DDS (“Roberts”) was a dentist employed at FCC Florence. Id. ¶ 13.

         In late March 2013, Plaintiff was transferred from USP Terre Haute to FCC Florence. Id. ¶ 19. Shortly after his arrival, Plaintiff underwent medical intake screening. Id. ¶¶ 20, 24, 96-97. In short, Plaintiff alleges that this began a long period in which Defendants were deliberately indifferent to serious medical needs involving his left kidney and his dental/oral health. Id. ¶¶ 23-138. Plaintiff's specific factual allegations as to his remaining claims will be more fully discussed to the extent necessary in Section III.

         B. Procedural Background and Remaining Claims

         The Fourth Amended Complaint [#87] (the “Complaint”) was filed on January 17, 2017, and is the operative pleading in the matter. The Complaint asserts eight Bivens claims consisting of deliberate indifference (Claims One through Four), atypical and significant hardship (Claims Five and Six), and retaliation for accessing the courts (Claims Seven and Eight). Id. ¶¶ 142-65. For purposes of Defendants' Motion [#129], the Court need only address Claims One and Three which, as explained below, are the only remaining claims in this matter.

         Claim One asserts an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim regarding the care of Plaintiff's left kidney against Defendants Daniels, Allred, Santini, McDermott, and Nehls in their official and individual capacities. Id. ¶¶ 142-144. Claim Three asserts an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim regarding Plaintiff's oral/dental health against Defendants Daniels, McDermott, and Roberts in their official and individual capacities. Id. ¶¶ 148-150.

         On February 10, 2017, Defendants filed their [First] Motion to Dismiss Fourth Amended Complaint [#91] (the “First Motion to Dismiss”) which sought to dismiss all of Plaintiff's claims pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Thereafter, on May 25, 2017, Defendants filed their Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Relating to Plaintiff's Unexhausted Claims [#104] (the “Motion for Partial Summary Judgment”) in which Defendants argued that Plaintiff had failed to administratively exhaust his claims in full or in part.

         On August 7, 2017, the undersigned issued my Recommendation [#112] on the First Motion to Dismiss [#91]. Because Defendants had separately raised the threshold issue of exhaustion in the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [#104], the Recommendation only addressed the merits of Plaintiff's claims for which Defendants had not asserted the failure-to-exhaust defense. [#112] at 3, 4-6. Specifically, the Recommendation addressed: “(1) allegations occurring before August 19, 2013 regarding Claim One and failure to treat kidney disease, and (2) paragraphs 96-109 and 111 of the Fourth Amended Complaint regarding Claim Three and failure to provide adequate dental care.” Id. at 6. In doing so, the undersigned denied the First Motion to Dismiss [#91] without prejudice to the extent that Defendants sought to dismiss claims that were implicated by issues of exhaustion, and recommended that the motion be granted to the extent that Defendants sought to dismiss claims not implicated by the exhaustion defense. Id. at 20.[4] Without objection, the Court adopted the Recommendation [#112] in full on September 1, 2017. See Order [#118]. On February 9, 2018, the presiding District Judge issued his Order [#125] on Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [#104], granting summary judgment in part and dismissing in full Claim Two and Claims Four through Eight. [#125] at 20. In light of this somewhat complicated procedural history, the Court next summarizes to what extent Claims One and Three remain.

         1. Claim One

         Pursuant to the Recommendation [#112], as adopted by the Court's Order [#118], Claim One was: (1) dismissed in full as against Defendants Nehls, McDermott, and Daniels, in their individual capacities; and (2) dismissed in part as against Defendant Allred in his individual capacity. [#112] at 20; [#118] at 3. Given the exhaustion issues pending at the time, the Recommendation did not address Claim One as against Defendant Santini in his individual capacity or Defendants in their official capacities. [#112] at 15, 19.

         With respect to Defendant Allred, the Court found that Plaintiff had failed to assert any allegation of unlawful conduct by Defendant Allred occurring after October 5, 2013 (the statute of limitations cut-off). [#112] at 17-18. Therefore, in the absence of a viable constitutional violation, the Court concluded that Defendant Allred was entitled to qualified immunity and recommended that Claim One against him in his individual capacity “be dismissed with prejudice to the extent issues of exhaustion are not implicated.” Id. at 18. The Court adopted the Recommendation [#112] and the exhaustion issues raised by Defendants with respect to Claim One were later withdrawn. See Order [#118] at 2; Motion [#129] at 2 n.2.

         Accordingly, pursuant to the Court's Order [#118], Claim One remains pending: (1) against Defendants Daniels, Allred, Santini, McDermott, and Nehls in their official capacity; (2) in part against Defendant Allred in his individual capacity; and (3) against Defendant Santini in his individual capacity.

         2. Claim Three

         Pursuant to the Recommendation [#112], as adopted by the Court's Order [#118], Claim Three was: (1) dismissed in full as against Defendants McDermott and Daniels in their individual capacities; and (2) dismissed in part as against Defendant Roberts in his individual capacity as to those allegations Plaintiff had not exhausted (i.e., allegations found in paragraphs 96-109 and 111 of the Complaint [#87], which spanned the period of March 27, 2013 to October 31, 2013).

         Pursuant to the Order [#125] on Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [#104], the Court held with respect to Claim Three that Plaintiff had exhausted his administrative remedies for actions taken between March 27, 2013, and October 31, 2013. [#125] at 3, 13, and 20. The only allegation against Defendant Roberts falling within this exhausted period is found in paragraph 109 of the Complaint [#87]. The undersigned specifically addressed this allegation in the Recommendation, finding that it failed to state a claim. [#112] at 13-14. Thus, given that the Recommendation was adopted, no viable individual capacity claim currently remains pending against Defendant Roberts. Accordingly, pursuant to the Court's Orders [#118 and #125], Claim Three remains pending only against Defendant Daniels, McDermott, and Roberts in their official capacities.

         C. The Motion [#129]

         In the present Motion [#129], Defendants seek to dismiss the remainder of Claims One and Three as outlined above. Specifically, Defendants argue that: (1) Plaintiff cannot state his Bivens claims against Defendants in their official capacities, (2) Plaintiff fails to show that the remaining official capacity claims are not barred by the statute of limitations, (3) Plaintiff's claim for injunctive ...


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