United States District Court, District of Columbia
EMMANUEL S. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants.
RICHARD J. LEON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
This matter is before the Court on Defendant District of
Columbia's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 6], and plaintiffs
Motion for Appointment of Counsel [ECF No. 8], Motion for
Summary Judgment [ECF No. 10], and Motion for an Injunction,
a Permanent Injunction or a Preliminary Restraining Order,
Until Final Judgment In This Matter [ECF No. 14]. For the
reasons discussed below, the District's motion will be
granted, and plaintiffs motions will be denied.
allegedly sustained injuries to his right arm, neck, shoulder
and lower back "while working on [a] project for [the
District of Columbia's Department of] Parks and
Recreation on June 29[J 2007." Compl. [ECF No. 1] ¶
12. He and his supervisor filed incident reports. See
Id. Plaintiff received some treatment at Kaiser
Permanente in early July 2007, see Id. ¶¶
12-13, for injuries to his "[r]ight arm (elbow) [and]
nothing else, " id. ¶ 16. He claimed that
he got no "relief [from the] pain in his arm, elbow,
neck, shoulder and back." Id. ¶ 13.
alleges that the District of Columbia "denied [him]
prompt, proper and [a]dequate medical treatment.. . [f]or an
extended period of time [o]ver six (6) years."
Id.¶1; see Id. ¶¶ 13-16. He
attributes these circumstances to a practice whereby the
District's Office of Risk Management, the only
"entity that the District of Columbia Government
employee is [a]uthorized to communicate with after an
accident... on the [j]ob, " id. ¶ 1, sends
injured workers to certain doctors, and pursuant to
"these special [d]octors['] orders, " the
District would "take these worker[s] off work[ers']
compensation and .. . return [them] back to work, "
id. ¶ 14. In this way, plaintiff states, the
District has denied him proper medical care for job-related
injuries solely for the purpose of saving money. See
Id. ¶ 15.
asserts a "right... to adequate and proper medical
[t]reatment, which [he deems] a Constitutional [r]ight and
a [c]ivil [r]ight [and] a statutory" right. Id.
¶ 16; see Id. ¶ 17. The statute on which
he purportedly relies, "subchapter XXIII of the District
D.C. Code, sec. 1-623 et seq. (2001 Ed.), " id.
¶ 5, pertains to the workers' compensation program
for District government employees. After having "done
his best in exhausting all of his administrative remedies
that's [sic] available to him in this matter[, ]
id. ¶ 1, plaintiff brings "this action . .
. pursuant to 42 U.S.C. [§] 1983" alleging
violations of rights protected "under the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution,
" id. ¶ 2. He demands "a monetary
Judgment... for his pain and suffering[, ]" id.
¶ 18, of "$60, 000, 000 . .. with interest and
cost[s] . . ., and punitive damages in the amount of $25,
000, 000[, ]" id. ¶ 31.
District of Columbia moves to dismiss plaintiffs complaint in
its entirety under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
on the ground that it fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. See generally Mem. of P.
& A. in Support of Def. District of Columbia's Mot.
to Dismiss [ECF No. 6] ("Def.'s Mem.") at 3-6.
Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)
complaint is subject to dismissal if it fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). A plaintiff need only provide a "short and
plain statement of [his] claim showing that [he] is entitled
to relief, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), that
'"give[s] the defendant fair notice of what the . .
. claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, '"
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per
curium) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To survive a motion to dismiss under
Rule 12(b)(6), "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) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). In other words, it must
"plead factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Patton Boggs LLP v. Chevron
Corp., 683 F.3d 397, 403 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (internal
quotation omitted). Although a complaint filed by apro
se plaintiff is "to be liberally construed, "
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (internal citation
omitted), it, too, must set forth factual allegations that
"raise a right to relief above the speculative
level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Constitutional Claims Against the District of Columbia
relevant part, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
Id. Section 1983 is not itself a source of
substantive rights; rather, it is a method of vindicating
federal rights conferred elsewhere. Albright v.
Oliver,510 U.S. 807, 811 (1994); Baker v.