United States District Court, District of Columbia
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Nathaniel Harrison alleges that on the evening of September
2, 2013, while incarcerated at the Central Treatment Facility
in Washington, D.C., he ingested a pill prescribed to another
inmate and became gravely ill. See Sec. Am. Compl.,
ECF No. , ¶¶ 16-17. He alleges that he
repeatedly requested urgent medical treatment from prison
employees and that their negligent delay in providing such
treatment resulted in his permanent impotence. Id.
¶ 25. Plaintiff has brought medical negligence and
ordinary negligence claims against Defendants Unity Health
Care, Inc. and CoreCivic. Id. ¶¶ 27-48.
With the consent of Plaintiff, the United States was
substituted for Defendant Unity Health Care, which was acting
as an “employee” of the Public Health Service at
the time of the incidents alleged in the Complaint.
before the Court are CoreCivic's  Motion to Dismiss
and the United States'  Motion to Dismiss. Upon
consideration of the pleadings, the relevant legal authorities,
and the record as a whole, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND
DENIES IN PART CoreCivic's  Motion to Dismiss and
GRANTS the United States'  Motion to Dismiss. As to
Defendant CoreCivic, CoreCivic was under no duty to provide
medical care to inmates, so Plaintiff's claim for medical
negligence against CoreCivic is dismissed. But, CoreCivic has
not shown that Plaintiff failed to state a negligence claim,
so that claim is not dismissed. As to Defendant United
States, Plaintiff's claims against the United States are
barred by the Federal Tort Claims Act's
(“FTCA”) statute of limitations, so they are
dismissed. See 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b).
time of the incident, Plaintiff was an inmate at the Central
Treatment Facility in Washington, D.C., operated by
CoreCivic. Sec. Am. Compl., ECF No. , ¶ 3. On the
evening of September 2, 2018, Plaintiff took a medication
which was prescribed to another inmate in the hope that it
would assist him with his depression. Id. at ¶
16. Within a short time, Plaintiff experienced ischemic
priapism, and this condition became worse over the course of
the evening. Id. at ¶ 17.
few hours, Plaintiff told an officer at the prison that he
urgently needed to visit the medical unit as he was in pain.
The officer told Plaintiff that he would arrange the visit.
Id. at ¶ 18. Shortly thereafter a shift change
occurred, and Plaintiff again told another officer that he
needed medical treatment as he was in pain. This officer also
told Plaintiff that he would arrange the visit. Id.
at ¶ 19.
these requests, the officers did not bring Plaintiff to the
medical unit for several more hours. Id. at ¶
20. Plaintiff was eventually brought to the medical unit at
his prison, where he was treated by employees of Unity Health
Care. Id. at ¶¶ 5, 21. Then, approximately
six to seven hours later, Plaintiff was transported to Howard
University Hospital in Washington, D.C. for treatment.
Id. at ¶¶ 21-22. Plaintiff was seen by
Howard's medical staff at approximately 2 p.m. on
September 3, 2013. Id. at ¶ 21.
contends that the delay in treating his ischemic priapism
resulted in impotence which is likely permanent. Id.
at ¶¶ 24-25. Plaintiff claims that his impotence
has severely affected his personal life. Id. at
September 11, 2015, the Department of Health and Human
Services (“HHS”), which administers claims
against Unity Health Care, received Plaintiff's claim.
Id. at ¶ 10. HHS informed Plaintiff that if no
notification of a remedy was given within six months,
Plaintiff could consider the claim denied. Id. at
¶ 11. More than six months after filing the claim with
HHS, Plaintiff notified Defendant CoreCivic of his intent to
sue CoreCivic and Unity Health Care. Id. at ¶
13; see D.C. Code § 16-2802 (requiring
90-days' notice prior to filing a medical malpractice
suit). After giving proper notice, Plaintiff initiated suit
in this Court.
has four claims. Under Count I, Plaintiff is suing Unity
Health Care for negligence. Id. at ¶¶
27-31. In Count II, Plaintiff claims Unity Health Care was
medically negligent. Id. at ¶ ¶32-36.
Under Count III, Plaintiff sues CoreCivic for negligence.
Id. at ¶¶ 37-42. Lastly, in Count IV,
Plaintiff claims CoreCivic was medically negligent.
Id. at ¶¶ 43-48.
Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted” pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). A complaint does not “suffice
if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007)).
Rather, a complaint must contain sufficient factual
allegations that, if accepted as true, “state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “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.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion, a court may consider “the facts alleged in the
complaint, documents attached as exhibits or incorporated by
reference in the complaint, ” or “documents upon
which the plaintiff's complaint necessarily relies even
if the document is produced not by the plaintiff in the
complaint but by the defendant in a motion to dismiss.”
Ward v. District of Columbia Dep't of Youth Rehab.
Servs., 768 F.Supp.2d 117, 119 (D.D.C. 2011) (internal
quotation marks omitted). The court may also consider
documents in the public record of which the court may take
judicial notice. Abhe & Svoboda, Inc. v. Chao,
508 F.3d 1052, 1059 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
CoreCivic's Motion to Dismiss
presents two grounds on which it asks the Court to dismiss
Plaintiff's claims. First, CoreCivic asks the Court to
take judicial notice that CoreCivic did not have a duty to
provide medical care to inmates, thereby barring
Plaintiff's Count IV claim for medical negligence.
Second, CoreCivic argues that Plaintiff's Count III
negligence claim is barred as a matter of law due to
Plaintiff's assumption of the risk and contributory
negligence. The Court finds that CoreCivic was under no duty
to provide medical care to inmates. Accordingly,
Plaintiff's Count IV claim for medical negligence should
be dismissed. But, ...