Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CHARLES v. KELLY

April 23, 1992

MARION E. CHARLES, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
MAYOR SHARON PRATT KELLY, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES R. RICHEY

 Before the Court are Motions to Dismiss filed by the District of Columbia defendants *fn1" and the Washington State Defendants *fn2" in the above-captioned action. The plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of his civil rights arising from medical care he received while incarcerated both at a penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington, and at the District of Columbia Central Facility in Lorton, Virginia ("Lorton"). The Court has carefully considered the submissions of all parties, the applicable law, and the entire record herein, and concludes that the defendants' motions must be granted because the plaintiff fails to allege facts or produce evidence sufficient to support his claims. The Court shall, however, deem the plaintiff's complaint to be amended to include additional allegations against the District of Columbia defendants which were contained in one of plaintiff's responsive pleadings, and shall give the D.C. defendants an opportunity to respond to these charges.

 I. Background

 The plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Lorton facility. He alleges that while incarcerated at the Washington State facility, he was given a skin test for tuberculosis which indicated a positive reaction. A subsequent chest X-ray and blood test indicated a negative reaction. On about December 9, 1988, he was prescribed a medication known as Isoniazid ("INH"). After taking this medication for about two weeks, he complained to the medical staff of various symptoms including tingling, needles, numbness, headaches and "inflamed burning pain" throughout his body. Complaint IV(a); Pl. Opp. to Washington State Mot. at 1-2. A subsequent blood test revealed that his liver enzymes were elevated, and on or about February 2, 1989, Dr. Fetroe prescribed vitamin B-6 to treat possible side effects of the INH. Complaint IV(a).

 Plaintiff also alleges that on or about September 5, 1989, he was transferred to Lorton. He notified the medical staff about his treatment in Washington State and additional abdominal, neck and back pains. The medical staff allegedly told him that they did not know what was causing his symptoms. The plaintiff alleges that he received no treatment for his ailments. Complaint at IV(a). The D.C. defendants rebut these allegations with medical records documenting extensive medical treatment of the plaintiff. D.C. Def. Mot. to Dismiss, Ex. 1.

 In his oppositions to the motions to dismiss, the plaintiff makes further allegations and offers some supporting evidence. For example, he contends that Washington State prison officials "maliciously" recorded false information on his medical charts, indicating that he had no complaints since starting the INH (whereas he contends he suffered from the various symptoms described above). Pl. Opp. to Washington Def. Mot. at 3; Pl. First Opp. to D.C. Def. Mot. Ex. 8. He contends, based on the Physician's Desk Reference Book (1990) that INH should be discontinued if there are signs of hepatic damage. Pl. Opp. to Washington Def. Mot. Ex. A. He contends that the physicians improperly continued him on the INH medication even after they knew of his "hypersensitivity" to it. Pl. Opp. to Washington Def. Mot. at 3.

 The plaintiff further alleges (in a responsive pleading) that while the physicians at the Washington facility failed to prescribe Vitamin B-6 along with the INH initially to prevent liver damage to the plaintiff, an African-American, in the case of a white inmate, they did prescribe vitamin B-6. He provides a signed statement from the white inmate to support this contention. Pl. Opp. to Washington Def. Mot, Ex. 1.

 In plaintiff's most recent pleading, he claims that the treatment under which he has been transported by prison officials to D.C. General Hospital violates the Eighth Amendment. Pl. Opp. filed March 18, 1992 at 5.

 Plaintiff alleges that the allegedly inadequate medical care he received deprived him of both his Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights, in that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and racial discrimination. In one of his pleadings, he also argues that defendants violated D.C. Code § 24-422.

 II. Analysis

 A. The Washington State Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

 A motion to dismiss may be granted only when the moving party has shown "beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957). Moreover, a complaint must be liberally construed, granting the complainant "the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged." Schuler v. United States, 199 App. D.C. 23, 617 F.2d 605, 608 (D.C. Cir. 1979), quoting Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421, 23 L. Ed. 2d 404, 89 S. Ct. 1843 (1969).

 It is unclear whether the plaintiff brings this suit against the Washington State defendants in their official or individual capacities, or if he sues them for their own actions or under a respondeat superior theory. To the extent that this suit is brought against the state officials under a respondeat superior theory, it must be dismissed because "public officials are not vicariously responsible for the acts of their subordinates". Haynesworth v. Miller, 261 App. D.C. 66, 820 F.2d 1245, 1259 (D.C. Cir. 1987).

 If this suit is against the Washington State defendants in their official capacities, it must be treated as a suit against the State of Washington. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166, 87 L. Ed. 2d 114, 105 S. Ct. 3099 (1985). Under the Eleventh Amendment, however, the State of Washington is immune from a § 1983 suit for damages absent waiver from the State. Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 677, 39 L. Ed. 2d 662, 94 S. Ct. 1347 (1974); Kentucky v. Graham at 169. The State of Washington has not waived its immunity from suit in this Court; therefore to the extent plaintiff seeks damages from ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.