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Rayne v. Gannon

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

April 17, 2019

SARAH RAYNE, Plaintiff,


          James Patrick Hanlon United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, Sarah Rayne, alleges that Correct Care Solutions (“CCS”), a contract medical services provider for the Marion County Jail, along with several individual employees of CCS and the Marion County Sheriff's Office were deliberately indifferent to her medical needs. Dkt. 50. Before the Court and ripe for disposition are a motion for judgment on the pleadings, dkt. 62, and a motion to dismiss, dkt. 54. For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS the motion to dismiss and GRANTS in part the motion for judgment on the pleadings.

         I. Factual Background and Procedural History

          In deciding the motions, the Court accepts as true Plaintiff's account of how she was treated while in the custody of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011).

         A state trooper found Plaintiff crying on the side of the road with a red, swollen arm. Dkt. 50 ¶¶ 25-26. Plaintiff told the trooper that she was in pain and needed medical attention. Id. ¶ 27. Discovering an open warrant for Plaintiff's arrest based on a finding of probable cause, the trooper arrested Plaintiff and took her to the Arrest Processing Center (“APC”) in Marion County. Id. ¶¶ 28, 31.

         Plaintiff was held at the Marion County Sheriff's Office jail (the “jail”) for a few days before being transferred to the Marion County Community Corrections Work Release program (the “Work Release Program”). Id. ¶¶ 32-33. While Plaintiff was at the jail, CCS-a private company that the Sheriff's Office has a contract with to provide medical treatment to inmates of the jail-was responsible for her medical care. Id. ¶¶ 11, 35. During this time, Plaintiff's arm was red, swollen, and about three times its normal size. Id. ¶¶ 26, 56, 61. From the start, Plaintiff informed the staff that she was in extreme pain. Id. ¶¶ 36-37.

         On her first day in jail, Dr. Buller prescribed Plaintiff Bactrim for a urinary tract infection. Id. ¶ 38. The next day, a Medical History and Physical Assessment was performed on Plaintiff and signed by Nurses Hubbard and Petty, indicating that Plaintiff continued to complain of pain in her harm and shoulder. Id. ¶¶ 40, 42. Nurse Gebresilassie saw Plaintiff that day, noted that she looked anxious and provided her the Bactrim. Id. ¶ 43. Plaintiff also saw Nurse Carter and told him she needed to go to the hospital, but he did not provide any treatment. Id. ¶ 44. Later, Nurse Allen was called to address Plaintiff's ongoing pain, and Nurse Allen provided her with Ibuprofen and scheduled an x-ray. Id. ¶ 45. After Plaintiff complained that the pain was so intense that she struggled to breathe, Nurse Pierce saw Plaintiff and told her to relax and take deep breaths. Id. ¶¶ 37, 46. Believing that her medical condition was being ignored, Plaintiff hit the medical emergency button in her cell. Id. ¶ 47. Deputy Edgemon responded and Plaintiff was placed on suicide watch. Id. ¶¶ 47, 48. Plaintiff began screaming that her arm was hurting, id. ¶ 49, so she was placed in suicide segregation, id. ¶ 51, where Deputy Cooper was the “sitter, ” id. ¶ 54.

         On her third day in jail, Plaintiff continued to complain about her pain. Id. ¶ 57. She intentionally fell and injured her head in the hopes of getting further medical attention. Id. ¶¶ 57-58. Deputy Smith heard Plaintiff crying and called the medical staff. Id. ¶¶ 59-60. In response, Nurses Jones and Nurse Petty gave Plaintiff Ibuprofen for her head wound. Id. ¶ 60. During this time, Plaintiff “continuously talked about her shoulder being in pain, ” but the nurses were already aware of the problem and took no further action. Id. ¶ 59.

         In total, Plaintiff was seen by at least six different nurses while in the jail, but her condition remained untreated and the x-ray was never performed. Id. ¶ 66. The next day, Plaintiff was sent to the Work Release Program. Id. ¶ 65.

         Once she arrived at the Work Release Program, Plaintiff complained to the staff about her pain. Id. ¶ 68. They called 911, and Plaintiff was taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with MRSA in her arm, shoulder, elbow, blood, lungs, and possibly her heart. Id. ¶¶ 68, 69. She spent weeks in the hospital and may have suffered permanent damage to her arm. Id. ¶¶ 71-72.

         Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint sues seventeen different defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for these injuries. Three of these defendants are law enforcement officers who worked at the jail (“Deputy Defendants”), [1] one is CCS, and ten are medical personnel (“Medical Defendants”) who worked for CCS.[2] The other three defendants are William Gannon, John Layton, and Lena Anderson. They have not sought dismissal of any claims or joined in the pending motions. The Deputy Defendants have moved to dismiss Count II, dkt. 54; the Medical Defendants and CCS have moved to dismiss Counts III and V, dkt. 62. In those counts, Plaintiff alleges that: (1) the Deputy Defendants were deliberately indifferent to her medical needs (Count II), (2) the Medical Defendants were deliberately indifferent to her medical needs (Count III), and (3) CCS implemented a policy or custom that failed to protect her constitutional rights (Count V). Dkt. 50.

         II. Legal Standard

         The Medical Defendants and CCS have moved for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A motion for judgment on the pleadings is evaluated under the same standard as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, Katz-Crank v. Haskett, 843 F.3d 641, 646 (7th Cir. 2016), so the Court reviews both pending motions under the Rule 12(b)(6) standard.

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A facially-plausible claim is one that allows “the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. When ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court will “accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true” but will not defer to “legal conclusions and conclusory allegations merely reciting the elements of the claim.” McCauley, 671 F.3d at 616.

         III. ...

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