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Boyett v. The Geo Group, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

March 22, 2019

CECIL BOYETT, Plaintiff,
v.
THE GEO GROUP, INC., et al, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          HON. MARTHA VÁZQUEZ, UNITED AR TATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Pro Se Tort Complaint (Doc. 1-1), which was removed to this Court on August 2, 2018. Plaintiff contends that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs after he sustained a knee injury. Having reviewed the matter under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. Section 1915A, the Court will dismiss the Complaint but grant leave to amend.

         I. Background[1]

         Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Lea County Correctional Facility (LCCF). (Doc. 1-1). He alleges that in February 2018, he received a new pair of eyeglasses that contained the incorrect prescription. Id. at 11. On or about March 6, 2018, he misjudged the distance between two steps and fell on his right knee. Id. Plaintiff did not initially believe that he was seriously injured, although he experienced a moderate amount of pain. Id. Two days later, Plaintiff twisted his right knee while sitting down. Id. He heard a popping noise and experienced a sharp, severe pain. Id. Between March 9, 2018 and March 15, 2018, Plaintiff submitted several sick-call slips to prison officials. Id. He reported pain and difficulty standing and walking. Id. A nurse dispensed ibuprofen on March 15, 2018, and prison officials stated that Plaintiff would be seen by a doctor on March 19, 2018. Id. at 11-12. Instead of providing care for his knee that day, prison officials transported Plaintiff to the Hobbs Hospital for a preexisting abdominal ultrasound appointment. Id. at 12. Plaintiff was shackled and chained during the trip, which was very painful in light of his knee injury. Id.

         Plaintiff continued to seek medical attention for his knee over the next few days. (Doc. 1-1) at 12. On March 26, 2018, a prison doctor examined Plaintiff and diagnosed with him with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Id. The prison doctor did not order x-rays or recommend surgery. Id. Instead, he ordered a knee brace and provided Plaintiff with a six-inch Ace bandage. Id. Between March 29, 2018 and April 4, 2018, Plaintiff submitted about four sick-call requests for his knee brace and a new pair of eyeglasses. Id. He received the neoprene knee brace on April 4, 2018, but Plaintiff alleges that it was flimsy. Id. at 13. Plaintiff continued to submit sick-call requests and grievances, which were mostly ignored. Id. He still experiences knee pain and has trouble walking. Id. On May 19, 2018, Plaintiff saw the prison optometrist, but the nurse refused to order his new eyeglasses on a priority basis. Id.

         On June 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed the complaint in New Mexico's Fifth Judicial District Court, No. D-506-CV-2018-1085. (Doc. 1-1). The Complaint lists five Defendants:

(1) The GEO Group, Inc.;
(2) Warden Raymond Smith;
(3) Acting Warden Vincent Horton;
(4) Chief Administrative Custodial Warden Dwight Sims; and
(5) Centurion Health Care.

(Doc. 1-1 at 2-3). Plaintiff seeks $700, 000 in damages under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (“ADA”), and state tort law.

         Defendant GEO Group removed the Complaint to Federal Court on August 2, 2018. (Doc. 1). GEO Group contends that the Complaint fails to state a claim under Rule 12 (b)(6) (Doc. 2).

         II. ...


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