The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENNIS CAVANAUGH, District Judge
Plaintiff, William Seymour Jones ("Jones"), confined at S.C.I.
Frackville in Frackville, Pennsylvania, seeks to bring this
action in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Based on plaintiff's affidavit of indigence and his prison
account statements, it appears that plaintiff is qualified to
proceed as an indigent. Therefore, the Court will grant
plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis and
direct the Clerk of the Court to file the Complaint without
pre-payment of the filing fee.
Having reviewed the Complaint to identify cognizable claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, the Court concludes that the Complaint should be dismissed for failure to
state a cognizable claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and for lack of
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 with respect to
plaintiff's state law tort claims.
Jones brings this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as
against the following defendants: Correctional Health Services,
Inc. ("CHS"); CHS Doctors Catharine Sloan and Richard Grady; Dr.
Greuiano Zara; Dr. Wynn; Ralph Green, Administrator at the Hudson
County Corrections Center ("HCCC"); Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;
Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. Medical Laboratories; Contract Health
Services; Dr. Bader Maria Pedamonte; and Bio-Reference
Laboratories. (Complaint, Caption, ¶¶ 6-15a). The following
factual allegations are taken from the Complaint and are accepted
as true for purposes of this review.
On December 13, 2002, Dr. Wynn prescribed Clonidine to Jones
for his high blood pressure but did not warn or inform him that
Clonidine could "cause diabetes and hypertitis". (Compl., ¶ 17).
From December 13, 2002 to September 2003, Drs. Wynn and Zara
continued to prescribe Clonidine to Jones, but, with "deliberate
indifference", failed to check blood and urine tests of plaintiff
to see if he had acquired hypertitis and diabetes. (Compl., ¶¶
18-24). In Count Two of his Complaint, Jones asserts that CHS failed to
provide education, warnings, training and supervision to Drs.
Zara and Wynn regarding the dangers of Clonidine and Keflex.
(Compl., ¶¶ 25-26). He further asserts that Dr. Pedamonte failed
to notify Dr. Wynn that Jones suffered from hypertitis and
diabetes after having tested Jones on April 7, 2003. (Compl., ¶
27). As to defendants, Drs. Grady and Sloan, Jones alleges that
they were required as learned intermediaries to warn Drs. Zara
and Wynn about the dangers of Clonidine. (Compl., ¶ 28).
Next, Jones claims that defendant Green failed to set policies
and procedures for prescribing medications at HCCC, which caused
plaintiff to get diabetes. (Compl., ¶¶ 29-30). He further alleges
that CHS conspired with defendants, Drs. Wynn, Zara, Grady and
Sloan, and Warden Green, Contract Health Services, and Mylan
Pharmaceuticals to cause Jones to suffer hypertitis and diabetes
by prescribing him Clonidine. (Compl., ¶ 31). The Mylan
Pharmaceuticals defendants, as the manufacturers of Clonidine,
had an obligation to warn plaintiff about the side effects of
Clonidine in causing diabetes and hypertitis, which they failed
to do. They failed to seek additional approval of the Food and
Drug Administration ("FDA") necessary to warn plaintiff and the
public that Clonidine caused diabetes and hypertitis. (Compl., ¶¶
32-36). Jones also asserts that Contract Health Services conspired with
the other defendants to prescribe plaintiff with Clonidine.
Finally, Jones alleges that Dr. Pedamonte and Bio Reference
Laboratories conspired with the other defendants to administer
and provide unacceptable blood tests, which failed to detect
plaintiff's diabetes until May 2003. (Compl., ¶¶ 37, 38).
Jones complains that he suffers diabetes and hypertitis as a
result of defendants "deliberate indifference". He contends that
he faces future loss of his eyesight and limbs, has loss of sex
drive, has nausea, nervousness, weakness, blurred vision,
frequent urination, blurred vision, numbness, joint pain, and
depression. (Compl., ¶ 40).
Plaintiff seeks compensatory, punitive, and prospective damages
in excess of $21 million. He also seeks appointment of counsel.
II. STANDARDS FOR A SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL
The Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), Pub.L. No. 104-134,
§§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 26, 1996),
requires a district court to review a complaint in a civil action
in which a prisoner is proceeding in forma pauperis or
seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity. The
Court is required to identify cognizable claims and to sua
sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A.*fn1
In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the
Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the
plaintiff. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972);
United States v. Day, 969 F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992). The Court
must "accept as true all of the allegations in the complaint and
all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and view
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Morse v.
Lower Merion School Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). The
Court need not, however, credit a pro se plaintiff's "bald
assertions" or "legal conclusions." Id.
III. SECTION 1983 LIABILITY
Jones brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
violations of his constitutional rights. Section 1983 provides in
Every person who, under color of any statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State
or Territory . . . subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party
injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other
proper proceeding for redress. . . .
Thus, to state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege, first, the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States and, second, ...