United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, St. Joseph Division
TERI L. DEAN, Plaintiff,
EDWARD BEARDEN, et al., Defendants.
STEPHEN R. BOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Precythe's Motion to Dismiss.
(Doc. #27). The motion is granted in part and denied in part.
The motion is granted with respect to Counts VI, XXIII, XXIV,
and XXV. The motion is also granted with respect to Plaintiff
Teri L. Dean's official capacity claim in Count V and the
corresponding request for injunctive relief. The motion is
denied with respect to Plaintiff's individual capacity
claim in Count V.
was incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Center
between June 2012 and October 2018. Plaintiff alleges she was
harassed, abused, and sexually assaulted by Defendant
Corrections Officers Edward Bearden, Elijah L. Mosier, Todd
E. Mustain, and Kevin L. Reed (collectively
“Corrections Officer Defendants”) repeatedly and
throughout her incarceration. Plaintiff alleges she
experienced retaliation after reporting the abuse. Plaintiff
alleges widespread sexual abuse occurred at the prison during
the time she was incarcerated and after she was moved to a
different facility. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Precythe, the
Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections since
February 9, 2017, “knew or should have known that the
Defendant Corrections Officers were sexually assaulting
Plaintiff and did nothing to prevent or stop the
attacks.” (Doc. #5, p. 1).
First Amended Complaint includes five claims against
Defendant Precythe: 1) Count V - 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim
for facilitation of Corrections Officer Defendants'
misconduct in violation of the Eighth Amendment stated
against Defendant Precythe in her official and individual
capacities; 2) Count VI - common law negligence against all
Defendants; 3) Count XXIII - negligence against Defendant
Precythe in her individual capacity; 4) Count XXIV -
vicarious liability/respondeat superior against
Defendant Precythe in her individual capacity; and 5) Count
XXV - premises liability against Defendant Precythe in her
individual capacity. In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff
seeks damages as well as prospective injunctive relief.
Defendant Precythe moves to dismiss all claims against her
for failure to state a claim.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court may
dismiss a claim for “failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” “To survive a
motion to dismiss [for failure to state a claim], 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)
(internal citations and quotation marks omitted) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). “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.” Ash v. Anderson
Merchs., LLC, 799 F.3d 957, 960 (8th Cir. 2015)
(internal citation and quotation marks omitted) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
Court must accept all facts alleged in the complaint as true
when deciding a motion to dismiss. See Data Mfg., Inc. v.
United Parcel Serv., Inc., 557 F.3d 849, 851 (8th Cir.
2009) (noting “[t]he factual allegations of a complaint
are assumed true and construed in favor of the plaintiff,
even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those
facts is improbable”). However, allegations that are
“legal conclusions or formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action . . . may properly be set
aside.” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588
F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
omitted) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677).
Precythe argues the claims against her should be dismissed
because: 1) Defendant Precythe is protected by official
immunity and the public duty doctrine as to the state-law
claims (Counts VI, XXIII, and XXV); 2) Defendant Precythe
cannot be found vicariously liable based on respondeat
superior (Count XXIV); 3) Defendant Precythe is not
subject to suit in her official capacity based on §
1983, and her claims for injunctive relief fail (Count V); 4)
Plaintiff's § 1983 claim fails because Plaintiff
does not allege Defendant Precythe actually knew of a
substantial risk of harm to Plaintiff (Count V); and 5)
Defendant Precythe is protected by qualified immunity as to
Plaintiff's § 1983 claim (Count V).
responding to Defendant Precythe's motion, Plaintiff
concedes “she cannot rely solely on a theory of
respondeat superior and voluntarily dismisses that
part of her claim.” (Doc. #33, p. 3). Accordingly,
Count XXIV is dismissed.