United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
G. CARR SR. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
a state prisoner's civil-rights case under 42 U.S.C.
Timothy Triplett is an inmate at the Toledo Correctional
Institution. When he experienced a medical emergency in late
2012, prison staff took him to the medical ward. There,
Triplett alleges, multiple correctional officers beat him for
no reason, and doctors and nurses refused to treat his
serious medical needs.
then brought this suit alleging the defendants various
correctional officers and members of the prison's medical
staff either used excessive force, failed to protect him from
a known risk of harm, and/or were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs. He also alleges that the
defendants were negligent under Ohio law.
is proper under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1367(a).
is the defendants' motion under Fed. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6)
to dismiss for failure to state a claim. For the following
reasons, I grant the motion in part and deny it in part.
a.m. on November 5, 2012, Triplett, who was fifty-two years
old and “on chronic care, ” became nauseated, had
severe chest pains, and felt dizzy. (Doc. 66 at ¶14). It
became difficult and painful for him to breath, and Triplett
thought he was going to pass out. (Id.). A
correctional officer to whom Triplett relayed his complaints
sounded a “Major Medical Alert.” (Id. at
Captain Green, some correctional officers, and “medical
staff” entered Triplett's cell, put him in a wheel
chair, and brought him to the medical department.
(Id. at ¶13).
two nurses in the examination room either defendant Bertok or
defendant Peterson told Triplett “he would have to wait
to see” the doctor, defendant Richard Pine.
(Id. at ¶14). As Triplett described his
symptoms for the nurses, defendant Benjamin Madrid, a
correctional officer, entered the room and told Triplett
there was nothing wrong with him. Madrid then left the room,
shouting “Fuck that [m]other [f]ucker Triplett.”
(Id. at ¶15).
Bertok and Peterson then told Triplett to get up, sit in his
wheel chair, and wait for the doctor, but Triplett said that
“he could not sit up as he felt he would pass
out[.]” (Id.). Madrid re-entered the room and
told Triplett to get off the examination bed. When Triplett,
who could not stand on his own, refused, Madrid
“attacked Triplett [by] hitting him in his face, chest,
and ribs using his hands, fist and elbows[.]”
(Id. at ¶16).
three correctional officers defendants Reed, Danhoff, and
Caughorn came into the room in response to a “signal
3” or “man down” alarm that Madrid had
triggered. These defendants grabbed, twisted, and bent
Triplett's arms and handcuffed him. (Id. at
¶18). “[T]he CO defendants individually and/or
collectively violently threw [Triplett] to the floor and then
slammed him into a wheel chair[.]” (Id.).
Danhoff, Reed, and Caughorn took Triplett back to his cell,
they “purposefully ran the wheel chair and Triplett
into walls and jerked the wheel chair back and forth with
great force.” (Id. at ¶19). At least one
of the officers hurled a racial slur at Triplett.
(Id.). When the officers reached Triplett's
cell, they “dumped Triplett on the cell floor on his
face causing him to cough up blood.” (Id. at
“Triplett was evaluated by medical personnel and Dr.
Pine, ” and prison staff called for an “E.M.T.
ambulance.” (Id. at ¶23). Paramedics
determined that Triplett was experiencing “severe
cardiac arrest complications” and wanted to transport
him to an outside hospital. Nevertheless, defendant Burkin
refused to let Triplett leave the prison. (Id. at
¶25). Within twenty-four hours, prison staff relented
and transferred Triplett to the hospital at Ohio State
University. (Id. at ¶¶27 28). Triplett
underwent two cardiac surgeries and had a Pacemaker
implanted. (Id. at ¶27).
Triplett filed this suit, defendant Reed allegedly retaliated
against him by “stalking” him and interfering
with his ability to worship. (Id. at ¶30).
Moreover, “Triplett has been accused of misconduct and
had to defend himself via the appropriate [grievance]
procedures, ” which resulted in a “not
guilty” finding. (Id. at ¶31).
complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief.”
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). “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.” Id.
argue that I should dismiss the complaint for three reasons.
defendants argue that, with the exception of the
excessive-force claim against defendant Madrid, Triplett
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Second, they
contend that none of Triplett's claims is plausible under
the Iqbal/Twombly standard. Third, the
defense maintains that I lack personal jurisdiction over
defendants Caughorn, Burkin, Bertok, and Peterson because
Triplett has not served those defendants.
Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a)
(PLRA), requires that a state prisoner exhaust all available
administrative remedies before filing a federal lawsuit
challenging prison conditions. Woodford v. Ngo, 548
U.S. 81, 8384 (2006).