United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
KACIE KRAUSE and MARCUS HARVEY, individually and on behalf of K.H., a minor, Plaintiffs,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant United States of
America's Motion to Dismiss or, alternatively, Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 14], filed on December 13, 2016. Plaintiffs
Kacie Krause and Marcus Harvey, individually and on behalf of
K.H., a minor, filed a Complaint [ECF No. 1] on June 7, 2016.
The Defendant moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6),
asserting that the Complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. Alternatively, the Defendant
moved for summary judgment on all of the Plaintiffs'
claims. This matter is now ripe for the Court's review.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
28, 2010, Plaintiff Krause was admitted to “St.
Catherine Hospital, in East Chicago, Indiana . . . for the
birth of her child, K.H.” (Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 1.)
Plaintiff Harvey was the biological father of K.H.
(Id. ¶ 10.) At the Hospital, Dr. Keith M.
Ramsey “car[ed] for and treat[ed] Krause during the
labor and delivery of . . . K.H., ” whom Plaintiff
Krause “had never met with or been treated by
before.” (Id. ¶¶ 3, 8.) Ramsey was
allegedly an employee at “NorthShore Health Centers,
Inc., . . . a federally supported health facility, ”
and Plaintiff Krause “had never received medical
treatment at . . . [or] been a patient of NorthShore
Healthcare Centers, Inc.” (Id. ¶¶
5-6.) Ramsey's delivery of K.H. allegedly resulted in
numerous complications and injuries. (See Id. ¶
September 9, 2011, the Plaintiffs “filed a Proposed
Complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance . . .
against Ramsey alleging negligent medical care.”
(Id. ¶ 11.) During that lawsuit, Cause No.
45D01-1208-CT-178,  Ramsey allegedly “concealed and/or
otherwise failed to disclose . . . that he was an employee
and/or agent of a federally supported health facility and
subject to the Federal Tort Claims Act until June 17,
2013.” (Id. ¶ 13.) “On March 5,
2015, the Lake County Superior Court . . . found that Ramsey
was an employee of a federally funded healthcare
facility.” (Id. ¶ 14.)
on April 3, 2015, the Plaintiffs submitted an administrative
claim to the HHS regarding the events of June 28, 2010. (HHS
Compl. 1-6, ECF No. 1-1.) On August 19, 2015, the HHS denied
the Plaintiffs' administrative claim and its
“denial letter was delivered on August 24, 2015.”
(Recio Decl. ¶¶ 4-6, ECF No. 15-4.) The Plaintiffs
filed this Complaint on June 7, 2016, which the Defendant
moved to dismiss on December 13, 2016. On February 9, 2017,
the Plaintiffs filed a Notice [ECF No. 18] that they would
not respond to or seek a hearing on the Defendant's
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint and not the
merits of the suit. Gibson v. City of Chi., 910 F.2d
1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). The court presumes all
well-pleaded allegations to be true, views them in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, and accepts as true all
reasonable inferences to be drawn from the allegations.
Whirlpool Fin. Corp. v. GN Holdings, Inc., 67 F.3d
605, 608 (7th Cir. 1995).
Supreme Court has articulated the following standard
regarding factual allegations that are required to survive
While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the
“grounds” of his “entitlement to
relief” requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quotation marks, ellipsis, citations, and footnote omitted).
A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to
“state a claim that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility
when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
556). Although the court must accept as true all well-pleaded
facts and draw all permissible inferences in the
plaintiff's favor, it need not accept as true
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements.”
Id. at 678 (citing Twombly at 555). Legal
conclusions can provide a complaint's framework, but
unless well-pleaded factual allegations move the claims from
conceivable to plausible, they are insufficient to state a
claim. Id. at 680. Determining whether a complaint
states a plausible claim for relief requires a reviewing
court to “draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Id. at 679.
can also plead themselves out of court if the allegations
clearly establish all the elements of an affirmative defense,
including the defense that the action was filed after the
statute of limitations period expired. Chi. Bldg. Design,
P.C. v. Mongolian House, Inc., 770 F.3d 610, 613-14 (7th
Cir. 2014); see also Logan v. Wilkins, 644 F.3d 577,
582 (7th Cir. 2011) (“[W]hen the allegations of the
complaint reveal that relief is barred by the applicable
statute of limitations, the complaint is subject to dismissal
for failure to state a claim.”); United States v.
Lewis, 411 F.3d 838, 842 (7th Cir. 2005) (citing
exception to the rule that complaints do not have to
anticipate affirmative defenses to survive a motion to
dismiss where “the allegations of the complaint itself
set forth everything necessary to satisfy the affirmative
defense, such as when a complaint plainly reveals that an
action is untimely under the governing statute of
limitations”); Tregenza v. Great Am. Comm'ns
Co., 12 F.3d 717, 718 (7th Cir. 1993) (noting that even
though a plaintiff is not required to negate a statute of
limitations affirmative defense in his complaint, “if
he pleads facts that show that his suit is time-barred or
otherwise without merit, he has pleaded himself out of
12(b) requires that a court treat a motion to dismiss as one
for summary judgment under Rule 56 when “matters
outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by
the court.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b). Despite the language of
Rule 12(b), a court has the option to convert the motion to
one for summary judgment and consider the documents, or to
ignore the documents and confine its analysis to the motion
to dismiss. Id. 12(d); Tierney v. Vahle,
304 F.3d 734, 738 (7th Cir. 2002); Venture Ass'n
Corp. v. Zenith Data Sys. Corp., 987 F.2d 429, 431 (7th
Cir. 1993). Finally, a court may also take judicial notice of
matters of public record without converting a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion into a motion for summary judgment. Henson v. CSC
Credit Servs., 29 F.3d 280, 284 (7th Cir. 1994) (citing
United States v. Wood, 925 F.2d 1580, 1582 (7th Cir.
1991)); see also Ennega v. Starns, 677 F.3d 766,
773-74 (7th Cir. 2012) (noting ...