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Baker v. Camarillo

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 6, 2018

SCOTT BAKER, Plaintiff,
JOY CAMARILLO, et al., Defendants.


          PETER G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.


         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants New Jersey Department of Corrections ("NJDOC") and New Jersey State Prison's ("NJSP") motion to dismiss Plaintiff Scott Baker's complaint. (ECF No. 2). For the following reasons, the motion is granted.


         Petitioner is currently incarcerated in NJSP, Trenton, New Jersey. He filed a complaint in Mercer County Superior Court, which defendants New Jersey Department of Corrections ("DOC") and NJSP (collectively state defendants) removed to federal court on November 28, 2017. (ECF No. 1).

         According to the Complaint, Plaintiff has been incarcerated since at least 2016 and has been taking Lisinopril for high blood pressure. He was taken to UMDNJ on May 13, 2016 for a spinal injection procedure unrelated to his high blood pressure, at which time a surgeon told him Lisinopril was a "bad drug." (Compl. ¶ 17). The surgeon told Plaintiff he should be taken off Lisinopril as it "was dangerous and was not working." (Compl. ¶ 18). Plaintiff asked defendant Joy Camarillo, an APN at NJSP, to prescribe a different medication and she agreed. (Compl. ¶ 19). Plaintiff alleges that instead of giving him a different medicine, Camarillo increased his dosage of Lisinopril. (Compl. ¶ 20).

         On June 9, 2016, Plaintiffs lip began to swell and he had difficulty swallowing. He had a headache and trouble breathing. He assumed he was getting sick and went to bed early. He awoke early the next morning unable to breathe. (Compl. ¶¶ 21-22). A nurse saw Plaintiffs distress and notified the Wing Officer that Plaintiff had to go to the prison clinic immediately. (Compl. ¶¶ 23-24). The Wing Officer called defendant Supervising Officer Doe, who told Plaintiff he could not go to the clinic until after count ended approximately one hour later. (Compl. ¶ 25). Plaintiff went to the clinic at the conclusion of count at roughly 6:30 a.m. on an emergency pass. (Compl. ¶ 27). Plaintiff needed assistance to the clinic because he collapsed on his way there. (Compl. ¶ 29). Plaintiff passed out shortly after arriving at the clinic and had an oxygen mask on his face and IV tube when he woke up. The medical staff sent him to St. Francis where he was treated for an allergic reaction to Lisinopril. (Compl. ¶¶ 30-31). He alleges he suffers from recurring nightmares and PTSD and is afraid to take any medication. (Compl. ¶ 32). He claims this incident was never reported or written up properly. (Compl. ¶ 34).

         Plaintiff originally filed this complaint in the New Jersey Superior Court, Law Division, Mercer County. The state defendants removed the complaint to this Court on November 28, 2017. (ECF No. 1). On December 5, 2017, the state defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint. (ECF No. 2). The Court conducted oral argument on January 22, 2018, with Plaintiff appearing by telephone. The state defendants presented their arguments, and Plaintiff indicated he had not received a copy of the state defendants' moving papers. The Court ordered the state defendants to serve Plaintiff by January 29, 2018, and Plaintiff to file his opposition by February 13, 2018. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff has not filed any opposition to the motion.


         When considering a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. A motion to dismiss may be granted only if the plaintiff has failed to set forth fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests that make such a claim plausible on its face. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). Although Rule 8 does not require "detailed factual allegations, " it requires "more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must "tak[e] note of the elements [the] plaintiff must plead to state a claim. Second, it should identify allegations that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Finally, [w]hen there are well-pleaded factual allegations, [the] court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016) (alterations in original) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). "[A] complaint's allegations of historical fact continue to enjoy a highly favorable standard of review at the motion-to-dismiss stage of proceedings." Id. at 790.


         Plaintiff raises the following claims: (1) violation of the New Jersey Civil Rights Act ("NJCRA"), N.J. Stat. Ann. § 10:6-2(d) and/or 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and/or battery; (2) deliberate indifference; (3) medical malpractice; (4) deliberate indifference - failure to protect; (5) state intentional infliction of emotional distress; (6) state constitutional claims; (7) federal constitutional tort; (8) state constitutional tort; (9) breach of duty to report misconduct; (10) negligence; (11) cruel and unusual punishment; (12) violations of public policy; (13) substantive due process violations; (14); New Jersey Patient Safety Act; (15) New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and Patient First Act; (16) New Jersey Patient's Bill of Rights; (17) medical malpractice - gross deviation from the standard of care; (18) medical malpractice - lack of informed consent; (19) breach of contract causing damage to intended third party beneficiary; and, (20) punitive damages.

         A. Federal ...

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