United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING THE DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE
defendants filed a motion to dismiss on December 12, 2016,
arguing this action should be dismissed because the plaintiff
has a prior parallel action pending in Indiana State Court.
of 2016, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action in
the Putnam County, Indiana, Superior Court. He named as
defendants Corizon Health, Houman Kiani, Farrah Bunch, Kayla
McDermitt, Cassandra Felix, Dawn Antle, and Finote Asfaw.
[Dkt. 28-1]. The Indiana State Court case is proceeding and
the parties are currently engaged in the discovery process.
September 30, 2016, the plaintiff filed this action alleging
the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs while he was incarcerated at the Putnamville
Correctional Facility in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
defendants assert that the complaint filed in this Court
mirrors the State Court action. Specifically:
1. Five of the defendants are the same - Corizon, Hounman
Kiani, Farrah Bunch, Kayla McDermitt, and Finote Asfaw.
2. The factual allegations are the same in each action - the
defendants failed to treat his various and chronic medical
needs, including chronic pain, while he was incarcerated.
1. There are five additional defendants in this action -
Loretta White, William Spanenberg, Cynthia Dowers, Stephanie
Vannati, Debra Price. The claims against these defendants in
this action reference treatment he received (or lack of
treatment) after he filed the State Court action.
2. The State Court action is based only on Indiana state law.
The Federal Court action is based only on federal
defendants argue this Court should dismiss this action based
on the Colorado River abstention doctrine.
Colorado River Water Conversation District v. United
States, 424 U.S. 800 (1976).
first issue for this Court in determining whether abstention
is appropriate is whether there are in fact concurrent,
parallel proceedings. Without parallel proceedings,
abstention is inapplicable. The requirement is parallel
suits, not identical suits. A suit is parallel when
substantially the same parties are contemporaneously
litigating substantially the same ...