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Hayes v. Corizon, Inc.

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

November 19, 2013

KEITH HAYES, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON, INC., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ALEXANDER WILLIAMS, Jr., District Judge.

Pending is Corizon, Inc. and Melaku Ayalew's (the "Medical Defendants")[1] Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 20. Also pending is Betty Johnson's (the "Correctional Defendant") Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 16. Plaintiff has not responded.[2]

Upon review of papers and exhibits filed, the court finds an oral hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons stated below, the dispositive motions filed by these Defendants will be granted.

Background

Plaintiff states that during June of 2009, while housed at the Maryland Correctional Institution-Jessup ("MCI-J"), he fell injuring his neck. Plaintiff states that he was "virtually ignored" by medical providers. ECF No. 1. He indicates that in 2012 he was diagnosed by Dr. Labib Syed as suffering from cervical disc degeneration. Plaintiff states this condition was the "direct result of the neglect Plaintiff received after the original fall." He indicates that on February 4, 2012, he underwent neck surgery. ECF Nos. 1 & 4. He claims that the suffering he endured from 2009 through 2013 constituted cruel and unusual punishment. ECF No. 4.

Standard of Review

A. Motion to Dismiss

The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) is to test the sufficiency of the plaintiff's complaint. See Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). The dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted does not require defendant to establish "beyond doubt" that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 561 (2007). Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint. Id. at 563. The court need not, however, accept unsupported legal allegations, see Revene v. Charles County Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989), legal conclusions couched as factual allegations, see Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to actual events, see United Black Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979).

B. Motion for Summary Judgment

Summary Judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) which provides that:

The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

The Supreme Court has clarified that this does not mean that any factual dispute will defeat the motion:

By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement ...

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