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Watson v. Mohr

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

December 14, 2017

ROBERT WATSON, Plaintiff,
v.
GARY MOHR, et al., Defendants.

          ALGENON L. MARBLEY JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 11.), Plaintiff's Response in Opposition (ECF No. 16), and Defendant's Reply (ECF No. 17). For the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, a prison inmate under the custody and control of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (“ODRC”), brings his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, alleging that Defendants have been deliberately indifferent in their treatment of his Hepatitis C. (ECF No. 1 at 2.) Plaintiff sues Defendants in both their individual and official capacities. (ECF No. 1-2 at 1.)

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff states that he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1994 and that Defendants have subsequently treated him with Interferon. (Id. at 9.) According to Plaintiff, Defendants have refused to treat him with the antiviral medication Harvoni, which is allegedly both available and able to cure his Hepatitis C. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' repeated denials of his requests to receive treatment with Harvoni constitute deliberate indifference to his serious medical condition and a violation of the ADA. (Id. at 5, 12.) Plaintiff states that, as a direct result of his condition, “he gets easily confused, dizzy spells, lack of concentration and fear of liver cancer due to lack of proper medication.” (Id. at 12.) According to Plaintiff, as a result of his Hepatitis C, he suffers from an impairment of several major life activities, “including speaking, learning, thinking, working.” (Id. at 11.) Plaintiff believes these “impairments amount to an exclusion [and] services from other programs and activities which constitutes discrimination based on my disability under the ADA.” (Id.)

         According to Plaintiff, Defendant Eddy is the state medical official “responsible for the overall supervision of inmate [medical] services.” (Id. at 10.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant Eddy was personally involved in denial of Harvoni treatment because “[the] denial of medication was based on ODRC policy, not because of any medical exclusions.” (Id. at 11.) Plaintiff also claims that the ODRC ADA Coordinator's failure to respond to Plaintiff's requests and complaints indicates Defendant Mohr's involvement in a conspiracy to deny Plaintiff antiviral treatment. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against both Defendants. (Id. at 12-13.)

         II. Standard of Review

         To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff must satisfy the basic federal pleading requirements set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Thus, Rule 8(a) “imposes legal and factual demands on the authors of complaints.” 16630 Southfield Ltd., P'ship v. Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., 727 F.3d 502, 503 (6th Cir. 2013).

         Although this pleading standard does not require “‘detailed factual allegations, ' . . . [a] pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, '” is insufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A complaint will not “suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Instead, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter . . . to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Facial plausibility is established “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. “The plausibility of an inference depends on a host of considerations, including common sense and the strength of competing explanations for the defendant's conduct.” Flagstar Bank, 727 F.3d at 504 (citations omitted).

         Further, the Court holds pro se complaints “‘to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Garrett v. Belmont Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't., No. 08-3978, 2010 WL 1252923, at *2 (6th Cir. April 1, 2010) (quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)). This lenient treatment, however, has limits; “‘courts should not have to guess at the nature of the claim asserted.'” Frengler v. Gen. Motors, 482 Fed.Appx. 975, 976-77 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989)).

         III. Analysis

         A. Section 1983 Claims

         Plaintiff brings his Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims against Defendants under 42 U.S.C. ...


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