United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION TO DISMISS
William T. Lawrence, Judge.
William Tobar, an inmate at the Wabash Valley Correctional
Facility, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that the defendants, medical providers at the
Pendleton Correctional Facility, failed to properly diagnose
and treat his heart condition. Tobar asserts that the
defendants' actions amounted to deliberate indifference
in violation of Tobar's Eighth Amendment rights.
Defendant Mike Smith moves to dismiss the claims against him
arguing that Tobar does not allege that he was personally
involved in the acts alleged in the amended complaint or that
he was deliberately indifferent to Tobar's medical needs.
Tobar has not responded to the motion to dismiss. For the
following reasons, Smith's motion to dismiss [dkt 94] is
Motion to Dismiss Standard
purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is to test the sufficiency of the
complaint, not the merits of the suit. Triad Assocs.,
Inc. v. Chi. Hous. Auth., 892 F.2d 583, 586 (7th Cir.
1989). The standard for assessing the procedural sufficiency
of pleadings is imposed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a)(2), which requires “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Thus, although the complaint need not recite
“detailed factual allegations, ” it must state
enough facts that, when accepted as true, “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570
(2007). A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff
pleads facts sufficient for the Court to infer that the
defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The
Twombly/Iqbal standard “is not akin to a
‘probability requirement', but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). By comparison, a complaint that merely contains
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action” does
not satisfy the factual plausibility standard.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court views the complaint
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepting all
well-pleaded factual allegations as true and drawing all
reasonable inferences from those allegations in favor of the
plaintiff. Lee v. City of Chi., 330 F.3d 456, 459
(7th Cir. 2003). Thus, a complaint should only be dismissed
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) when “it appears beyond doubt
that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claim which would entitle him to relief.”
Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nev., N.A., 507 F.3d 614,
618 (7th Cir. 2007). Additionally, the Court may not rely
upon evidence and facts outside of those alleged in the
complaint in ruling on a motion to dismiss. But for purposes
of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the pleadings “consist
generally of the complaint, any exhibits attached thereto,
and supporting briefs.” Thompson v. Ill. Dep't
of Prof. Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 753 (7th Cir. 2002).
following statement of material facts was evaluated pursuant
to the standards set forth above. That is, this statement of
facts is not necessarily objectively true, but as motion to
dismiss standard requires, the relevant facts are those
alleged in the amended complaint and its exhibits.
was an inmate at Pendleton Correctional Facility
(“Pendleton”). On February 20, 2013, Tobar began
experiencing chest pains and sought medical attention. Tobar
was sent by Pendleton's medical team to Saint Vincent
Anderson, in Anderson, Indiana. While at Saint Vincent
Anderson, Tobar received numerous tests and was diagnosed as
suffering from “musculoskeletal chest pains.” The
ER doctor at Saint Vincent Anderson recommended that Tobar
take Naproxen 375mg.
February 21, 2013, Tobar was returned to Pendleton. On March,
1, 2013, Tobar submitted a request for health care to the
Health Care Department at Pendleton, asking for the
medication recommended by the ER doctor and for follow-up
treatment. Unhappy with the outcome, on March 12, 2016, Tobar
wrote an informal complaint to Vicki Poore, RN, at Pendleton.
Poore discussed Tobar's request with the onsite medical
doctor, Doctor Wolfe. On March 15, 2016, Poore responded to
Tobar's complaint, providing him with Dr. Wolfe's
report that explained that Tobar was not provided with
medication because the pain was absent when Tobar returned
from the ER to Pendleton.
March 25, 2013, Tobar filed a Formal Grievance seeking an
unnamed medication and follow-up treatment. The initial
grievance was denied because the hospital report was negative
for heart disease, providing, instead a diagnosis of chest
wall pain, and medication was not warranted, based on
April 5, 2013, Tobar filed a Formal Appeal of his denied
grievance to defendant Smith, the Medical Contract Monitor.
Smith denied Tobar's appeal, stating:
The offender does not state what specific medications he is
suppose to be receiving nor does he state who is to see on
consult. The offender was treated appropriately for his
condition of chest wall pain. If he should have health issues
similar to this he should address with the provider at the
facility. He is being seen by the medical staff and they are
readily available to review his history at any time.
alleges that Smith's denial of the appeal was motivated
by the financial arrangement with Corizon. Tobar alleges that
Smith was aware of the practice of failing to provide Tobar
with adequate medical care and failed to correct it.