United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
David L. Fowler, Plaintiff,
Thomas Z. Hayward, 3rd, Olufolakemi O. Awe, Jessica Smith, Karl A. Shively, and Sidney Lois Eskenazi Hospital, Defendants.
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District Court
September 12, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff David L.
Fowler's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis, dismissed his Complaint without prejudice, and
provided leave for him to file an amended complaint. [Filing
No. 5.] Mr. Fowler has now filed a document titled
“Motion Rule 8, ” [Filing No. 6], and, because it
appears that he is attempting to set forth allegations
against Defendants in the Motion, the Court will construe the
Motion as an amended Complaint. Mr. Fowler has also filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support.
[Filing No. 7; Filing No. 8.] This Order screens the
Construed Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2), dismisses it with prejudice, and denies the
remaining motion as moot.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court shall dismiss a
case brought by a plaintiff proceeding in forma
pauperis “at any time if the court determines that
. . . the action . . . is frivolous or malicious; . . . fails
to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or . . .
seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from
such relief.” In determining whether a complaint states
a claim, the Court applies the same standard as when
addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v.
Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that 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).
Fowler's Construed Amended Complaint appears to contain
several sections, the first titled “Motion Failure of
Consideration.” [Filing No. 6 at 2.] This
section discusses what constitutes a failure of consideration
and contains quoted material from various court cases and
legal treatises. [Filing No. 6 at 3-5.] In the next section,
labelled “Motion Inculpatory Evidence, ” Mr.
Fowler alleges that he was involved in an automobile accident
that resulted in life-threatening injuries and
hospitalization. [Filing No. 6 at 6.] The following
section is called “Motion omission of guilt, ” in
which Mr. Fowler appears to allege that, while a patient at
Eskenazi Hospital, he “suffered a second life
threatening injury” caused by the doctors
“disregarding a medical misdiagnosis and standard
medical care.” [Filing No. 6 at 7.] He states that he
was never “informed of the dangerous life threatening
staphylococcus . . . infl[i]cting more pain with willful
malicious premeditated intentions to cover up the whole
criminal incident by false medical diagnosis.” [Filing
No. 6 at 7.] The section also contains what appears to be a
list of notes from his medical records, as well as legal
terms and definitions, and Mr. Fowler appears to assert that
his medical records were falsified and disclosed without his
consent. [Filing No. 6 at 7-11.] In the final section,
“Motion closing arguments, ” Mr. Fowler states
that his medical records show a “medical
misdiagnosis” and violation of the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act
(“HIPPA”). [Filing No. 6 at 11.] He
appears to assert that the doctors' error resulted in
staphylococcus and violated his rights to “standard
medical care, ” and the “false disclosure”
of his medical information was used as a tool to
“falsely discharge him from the hospital.”
[Filing No. 6 at 11.]
Court's September 12 Order identified two problems with
Mr. Fowler's initial Complaint that warranted dismissal:
(1) HIPPA does not create a private right of action; and (2)
Mr. Fowler's remaining allegations did not demonstrate a
claim over which the Court had jurisdiction, as he did not
state a federal or constitutional claim or establish
diversity between the parties. [Filing No. 5 at 3.] These
problems persist in Mr. Fowler's Construed Amended
Complaint. Again, he cannot state a claim under HIPPA,
because HIPPA does not provide a private right of action.
See Carpenter v. Phillips, 419 Fed.
App'x 658, 659 (7th Cir. 2011).
addition, Mr. Fowler's remaining allegations do not
provide the Court with a basis to assert its jurisdiction.
Mr. Fowler has provided no information about the citizenship
of the parties, so the Court cannot conclude that diversity
jurisdiction exists. More importantly, Mr. Fowler's
allegations fail to state a federal claim upon which relief
can be granted. Although he generally asserts that doctors
failed to observe the appropriate standard of care and
falsified or disclosed his medical records, he does not
identify a federal cause of action or state actor and does
not allege specific facts that would allow the Court to draw
the inference that any of the named Defendants are liable for
the misconduct alleged. See Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678; Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403
(7th Cir. 2010) (“[A] plaintiff must do better than
putting a few words on paper that, in the hands of an
imaginative reader, might suggest that something has
happened to [him] that might be redressed by the law.”
(emphasis in original)). Accordingly, Mr. Fowler's
Construed Amended Complaint is insufficient and must be
dismissed. Furthermore, because Mr. Fowler
has been given an opportunity to cure these defects and has
failed to do so, the dismissal will be with
prejudice. See e.g., Stanard v. Nygren, 658
F.3d 792, 801 (7th Cir. 2011) (explaining that, while leave
to amend generally should be given freely, that principle is
not without limits, and leave to amend need not be granted
where a party has failed to cure deficiencies despite
previous opportunities to amend).