United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendants, the United States
Bureau of Prisons, F.C.I. Cumberland, Jane Doe Staff Member,
and John Doe Staff Member's Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 8). The
Motion is 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 Defendants' Motion.
Thomas William Wooten is a federal inmate presently housed at
the Federal Correctional Institution
(“FCI”)-Allenwood, in White Deer, Pennsylvania.
Wooten alleges that in October of 2014, while designated to
FCI-Cumberland, he underwent a pacemaker implantation at the
Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, and was forced by
prison officials to leave the hospital earlier than his
surgeon advised. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 9, 10, 11, ECF
No. 3-1). He pleads that the surgeon recommended he remain in
the hospital for 72 hours after his surgery and that the
failure to follow the surgeon's orders resulted in his
suffering complications and necessitating additional surgery.
(Id. at 3-4).
Williams, Legal Assistant at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office
of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, reviewed BOP's
computerized inmate records. (Williams Decl. ¶ 3, ECF
No. 8-2). Upon review, Wooten has never filed any
administrative remedies while housed in the BOP.
(Id. ¶ 4). Nor has Wooten filed any
administrative tort claims. (Id. ¶ 5).
November 28, 2016, Wooten filed an Amended Complaint that
raised claims of personal injury arising after the October,
2014, implantation of a cardiac pacemaker. (Am. Compl.).
Wooten alleges that Defendants were deliberately indifferent
to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth
Amendment and filed the Complaint under Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics,
403 U.S. 388 (1971). (Id.). He seeks compensatory
Standard of Review
Motion to Dismiss
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.” King v.
Rubenstein, 825 F.3d 206, 214 (4th Cir. 2016) (quoting
Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44
(4th Cir. 1999)). 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
filed his Amended Complaint pro se. Pro se pleadings are
liberally construed and held to a less stringent standard
than pleadings drafted by lawyers. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)); accord Brown v.
N.C. Dep't of Corr., 612 F.3d 720, 722 (4th Cir.
2010). Pro se complaints are entitled to special care to
determine whether any possible set of facts would entitle the
plaintiff to relief. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5,
9-10 (1980). But even a pro se complaint must be dismissed if
it does not allege “a plausible claim for
relief.” Forquer v. Schlee, No. RDB-12-969,
2012 WL 6087491, at *3 (D.Md. Dec. 4, 2012) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted).
Conversion to a Motion for Summary Judgment
case, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, or in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 8). A motion
styled as a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for
summary judgment implicates the Court's discretion under
Rule 12(d). See Kensington Vol. Fire Dept., Inc. v.
Montgomery Cty., 788 F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D.Md. 2011),
aff'd sub nom. Kensington Volunteer Fire Dep't,
Inc. v. Montgomery Cty., 684 F.3d 462 (4th Cir. 2012).
This Rule provides that when “matters outside the
pleadings are ...