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Justus v. Corizon Health, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division

July 16, 2018

HARRY JUSTUS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON HEALTH, INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          SHIRLEY PADMORE MENSAH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court upon the filing of plaintiff's amended complaint. After reviewing the amended complaint, the Court will require plaintiff to file a second amended complaint in this action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

         28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than “legal conclusions” and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 679. “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. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights during his incarceration at Moberly Correctional Center (“MCC”). He has named the following entities and individuals as defendants in this action: Corizon Health, Inc.; Dr. Ruanne Stamps (Doctor employed by Corizon); Lisa Pogue (Warden at MCC); Unknown Hunter (Nurse at MCC); Darley Taylor (unidentified in the amended complaint); J. Crader (Correctional Officer); and Tammy Gittemeier (Correctional Officer).

         Plaintiff filed his original complaint in this action on November 16, 2017. After finding plaintiff's allegations in his complaint to be serious, the Court assigned the present counsel in this matter on February 6, 2018[1], and requested that counsel file an amended complaint. The amended complaint was filed on July 5, 2018, after counsel was provided several extensions of time to file the amended complaint.

         In the amended complaint, plaintiff asserts that he had been diagnosed with an ulcer in 2014. He claims that during his incarceration at MCC in October of 2017, he began to have severe pain in his ribcage, similar to the pain he had with the pain of his ulcer in 2014. Plaintiff alleges that he made several declarations of an “emergency condition” regarding the pain, but he does not state to whom he made these declarations to.

         Plaintiff states that in response to the medical declarations, he was told by defendant Hunter, a nurse at MCC, that she would not provide him with any medical treatment and that there would be “negative consequences for declaring another medical emergency.” Plaintiff does not provide the date upon which this allegedly occurred.

         Similarly, plaintiff alleges that in response to another of his declarations of a medical emergency, defendant Dr. Ruanne Stamps told him that she would not provide him with any medical treatment. Plaintiff neither states the type of medical treatment he asked for nor the date on which he requested the treatment.

         Plaintiff next states that on or about October 27, 2017, he was suffering from pain so severe that he could not stand. He claims that because he could not stand as instructed by some unnamed correctional officer he was issued a conduct violation for “malingering.” Plaintiff does not indicate what occurred after he was issued the conduct disorder or if he was provided medical treatment as a result of not being able to stand.

         Plaintiff subsequently alleges that on or about October 31, 2017, he was informed by Correctional Officer Gittemeier that he would “be punished” if he declared another medical emergency. Plaintiff does not indicate in what context this conversation purportedly occurred or if he asked for and whether he was purportedly denied medical care by defendant Gittemeier.

         Plaintiff states that on November 1, 2017 he began defecating and vomiting significant amounts of blood while he was seated on the toilet in an unspecified housing unit at MCC. He claims that he was discovered by an unnamed individual “lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood” and that he “had lost nearly a gallon of blood” at the time of the discovery. Plaintiff purports that he was transported by ambulance to St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri. He asserts that on the way to the hospital he “died” from blood loss, but that he was revived by the EMTs. He claims that as a result of two bleeding ulcers he had to have immediate surgery by a gastrointestinal surgeon who ...


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