United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Russell, III, United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Correct Care
Solutions, LLC's (“Correct Care”) Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
17). Also before the Court is Baltimore County,
Maryland's Motion to Dismiss Defendants John and Jane
Does 1-8 (“Doe Defendants 1-8”) and Deborah J.
Richardson (ECF No. 16). The Motions are ripe for
disposition, and no hearing is necessary. See Local
Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons outlined below, the
Court will grant Correct Care's Motion and deny Baltimore
Gelin (“Ms. Gelin”) was admitted to the Baltimore
County Detention Center (“BCDC”) on November 4,
2013. (Am. Compl. ¶ 30, ECF No. 12). Baltimore County
employs Correct Care to provide healthcare at BCDC.
(Id. ¶ 10). Upon Ms. Gelin's admission,
Correct Care noted her history of mental illness and signs of
benzodiazepine and opiate addiction, withdrawal, bipolar
disorder, depression, and psychosis. (Id.
¶¶ 31-35). BCDC and Correct Care staff, however,
did not provide her with medication, failed to timely refer
her to mental health professionals, did not sufficiently
protect her from abusive fellow inmates, and did not place
her on special observation. (Id. ¶¶ 41,
44-46, 48, 50, 53, 54). Ms. Gelin then took her own life on
November 14, 2013. (Id. ¶¶ 55, 58).
November 11, 2016, Ms. Gelin's parents, Edward and
Deborah Gelin (the “Gelins”) sued Baltimore
County, Baltimore County Sheriff Jay R. Fisher, and BCDC
employees Kyle Shuman, Roselor Saint Fleur, Victoria Titus,
Jennifer Sevier, Diane Bahr, Michael Salisbury II, Michelle
Rawlins, Nicholas Quisguard, Myesha White, Joseph Lux,
Gregory Lightner, Carl Luckett, and Doe Defendants 1-10 (the
“Original Complaint”). (See Compl., ECF
No. 1). The Gelins alleged the following counts: violations
of Ms. Gelin's constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (2012) against all the individually named
Defendants (Counts I-III); violations of Ms. Gelin's
constitutional rights under § 1983 against Baltimore
County and Sheriff Fisher (Count IV); violations of the
Maryland Declaration of Rights against all the individually
named Defendants (Counts V-VI); Negligence, Gross Negligence,
and Wrongful Death against all the individually named
Defendants (Counts VII-IX); and Negligent Hiring, Retention,
and/or Supervision against Baltimore County, Sheriff Fisher,
and Doe Defendants 1-10 (Count X). (See id.
¶¶ 87-182). For all Counts, the Gelins seek
compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys'
fees and costs. (Id.).
February 8, 2017, the Gelins filed an Amended Complaint.
(See Am. Compl.). In the Original Complaint, the
Gelins alleged that Sheriff Fisher was “in charge of
managing and operating BCDC.” (Compl. ¶ 10). The
Gelins amended their complaint to allege that instead,
Richardson was “responsible for administering the
Department of Corrections and in charge of all persons
employed by the County to operate BCDC, ” (Am. Compl.
¶ 11). The Gelins further amended their Complaint to
reflect that Defendants Shuman, Saint Fleur, Titus, Sevier,
and Bahr were employed by Correct Care and were acting as
agents of Correct Care and Baltimore County. (Id.
¶¶ 12-17). The Gelins correspondingly amended their
Complaint to allege that Correct Care was liable for
Negligent Hiring, Retention, and/or Supervision.
(Id. ¶¶ 180-85).
County filed its Motion to Dismiss on behalf of Richardson
and Doe Defendants 1-8 on March 6, 2017. (ECF No. 16).
Correct Care filed its Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment, on March 7, 2017. (ECF No.
17). The Gelins filed Responses to Baltimore County's and
Correct Care's Motions on March 20 and March 21, 2017,
respectively. (ECF Nos. 20, 21). Correct Care filed a Reply
to the Gelins' Response on March 28, 2017. (ECF No. 22).
To date, the Court has not received a Reply from Baltimore
Standard of Review
purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency
of a complaint, ” not to “resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses.” Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44 (4th Cir. 1999) (quoting
Republican Party v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th
Cir. 1992)). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does
not contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), or does not “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face, ” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is
facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555). Though the plaintiff is not required to
forecast evidence to prove the elements of the claim, the
complaint must allege sufficient facts to establish each
element. Goss v. Bank of Am., N.A., 917 F.Supp.2d
445, 449 (D.Md. 2013) (quoting Walters v. McMahen,
684 F.3d 435, 439 (4th Cir. 2012)), aff'd sub
nom., Goss v. Bank of Am., NA, 546 F.App'x
165 (4th Cir. 2013).
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must examine the
complaint as a whole, consider the factual allegations in the
complaint as true, and construe the factual allegations in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Albright v.
Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268 (1994); Lambeth v. Bd. of
Comm'rs of Davidson Cty., 407 F.3d 266, 268 (4th
Cir. 2005) (citing Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232,
236 (1974)). But, the court need not accept unsupported or
conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to
actual events, United Black Firefighters v. Hirst,
604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979), or legal conclusions
couched as factual allegations, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
County moves to dismiss all Counts against Richardson and Doe
Defendants 1-8 for failure to meet § 1983's statute
of limitations. Correct Care moves to dismiss the lone Count
against it for failure to state a claim. The Court considers
each set of Defendants in turn.