United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
JOHNSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Adam Young filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging his conditions of confinement at the Cascade
County Detention Facility violated his constitutional rights
and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Mr.
Young's claims regarding housing state prisoners with
federal prisoners and Defendants Inch, Benefis Hopsital, and
Nate Johns will be recommended for dismissal. Defendant
O'Fallon will be required to respond to Mr. Young's
remaining claims. Defendant Hannan will be required to
respond to Mr. Young's ADA claim.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Young is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel and in
forma pauperis. He is currently incarcerated at Montana State
Prison but was incarcerated at the Cascade County Detention
Center (CCDC) at all times relevant to his Complaint.
(Complaint, Doc. 2.)
Young names the following Defendants: CCDC Administrator
Captain Dan O'Fallon, Director of the Federal Bureau of
Prisons Mark Inch, Department of Corrections ADA Coordinator
McKenzie Hannan, Benefis Hopsital, and Nate Johns. (Doc. 2 at
Young makes the following allegations in his Complaint: Mr.
Young was involved in an altercation with a federal inmate,
Ryan Old Chief on January 26, 2017. Mr. Young alleges that Mr.
Old Chief came at him aggressively so Mr. Young punched Mr.
Old Chief in the mouth splitting his middle knuckle on his
left hand. Mr. Old Chief then told Mr. Young he was HIV
positive. Mr. Young was cuffed up and taken to a visitation
booth. He alleges Captain O'Fallon was aware that Mr. Old
Chief was an aggressive, homosexual federal inmate who had
HIV and was known to bully other inmates but Captain
O'Fallon failed to protect Mr. Young and other inmates
from Mr. Old Chief.
Young alleges Captain O'Fallon failed to follow proper
medical treatment and procedures by making Mr. Young wait
approximately 45 minutes with no medical attention. Mr. Young
alleges that Captain O'Fallon then made him wait
approximately three hours before seeing a doctor to have his
hand stitched up. The doctor directed the nurse to order
antibiotics, x-rays, and an HIV test. Mr. Young was then
placed in solitary confinement where Mr. Young did not
receive any antibiotics until three days after a serious
four hours after he was placed in solitary confinement Mr.
Young's left hand began to ache painfully and swell and
the pain became unbearable. Captain O'Fallon told Mr.
Young that “nothing could be done.” Mr. Young
could not regain his composure and was frantic and crying.
Captain O'Fallon stripped Mr. Young out and took the
bandage from his left hand and placed him in the
“rubber room” for the rest of the night. The next
morning, Mr. Young was taken to the infirmary for x-rays and
an HIV test. The x-ray technician took x-rays and determined
that nothing was broken or fractured. The x-ray technician
asked if the nurse was testing for an infection because Mr.
Young's hand looked infected. She said she was not
because the doctor had only ordered an HIV test.
O'Fallon then took Mr. Young back to the rubber room and
later that evening he was placed in solitary confinement.
While in solitary, Mr. Young's wound was constantly
leaking pus and the pain was overwhelming. He told this to
the station officer and asked to see the doctor but Captain
O'Fallon told him he would not call the infirmary. Later,
Mr. Young showed officers that the swelling was going up his
arm and that pus was constantly draining from the wound but
the officers told him that Captain O'Fallon said nothing
could be done.
evening of January 28, 2017, Mr. Young showed officers that
the swelling in his arm had traveled to his elbow, that pus
was freely oozing from around the stitches, and there was a
putrid smell coming from the pus.
morning of January 29, 2017, Mr. Young was transported to
Benefis Hospital in Great Falls. Mr. Young was diagnosed with
cellulitus. He was placed on IV fluids, antibiotics and
morphine and prepped for surgery.
Young alleges that Captain O'Fallon failed to notify Mr.
Young's emergency contact (his wife) and when his wife
contacted the jail inquiring about Mr. Young, Captain
O'Fallon told her Mr. Young was in trouble and could not
use the phone. He did not tell her that Mr. Young had been
taken to the hospital.
Young argues he suffered unnecessary pain, serious infection,
surgeries, permanent damage to his left hand and he has
Claim 2, Mr. Young alleges that Benefis Hospital failed to
obtain proper information before treating Mr. Young. He
contends that Captain O'Fallon informed the Hospital that
he had cut his hand and placed it into a toilet to induce an
infection. He argues this misinformation caused the Hospital
to place Mr. Young on the wrong antibiotics which resulted in
three additional surgeries. It was only after these three
additional surgeries that Dr. Miller asked him about his
injury. He alleges the Hospital did not obtain the proper
paperwork regarding Mr. Young's injury.
Young left the Hospital after two weeks, five surgeries, and
37 stitches. He was told by Dr. Miller that he would likely
never have full use of his left hand again. Dr. Miller also
told Mr. Young that he would need a lot of physical therapy
which he did not receive. He also claims that the Hospital
allowed CCDC Officers to take pictures of Mr. Young's
injury after each of the five surgeries which he contends is
a violation of his HIPPA rights.
Claim 3, Mr. Young alleges that Bureau of Prisons Director
Mark Inch, Captain Dan O'Fallon, and Nate Johns failed to
follow proper policies and procedures in failing to separate
state and federal inmates at CCDC and as a result they failed
to protect Mr. Young from a known aggressive inmate.
Claim 4, Mr. Young alleges Captain O'Fallon and
Department of Corrections ADA Coordinator McKenzie Hannan
failed to provide Mr. Young with reasonable accommodations
under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing
to provide him with assistance to effectively exhaust the
grievance process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
and the ADA. Specifically, he alleges he was released from
the Hospital on February 12, 2017 and returned to the
Detention Center in a splint with 37 stitches up by his elbow
on his left arm, down the back of his left hand, and halfway
up his middle finger. Mr. Young is left-handed and was unable
to write with his right hand. He was placed back in solitary
confinement and was unable to seek assistance from other
inmates. He requested grievance forms and when he finally
received a grievance form it took several more days to get a
pencil. He requested reasonable accommodations from Captain
O'Fallon and Ms. Hannan to write his grievances pursuant
to the ADA and was told he could use his teeth or feet.
(Complaint, Doc. 2.)
Young is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court
must review his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915,
1915A. Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B) require the Court
to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis and/or by a
prisoner against a governmental defendant before it is served
if it is frivolous or 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. A complaint is
frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989). “A case is malicious if it was filed
with the intention or desire to harm another.”
Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2005). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege the
“grounds” of his “entitlement to
relief.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a
complaint “that states a claim for relief must contain
. . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). That is, a complaint must “contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). A
complaint's allegations must cross “the line from
conceivable to plausible.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 680.
is a two-step procedure to determine whether a
complaint's allegations cross that line. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662.
First, the Court must identify “the allegations in the
complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual
allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if
they are “merely consistent with liability, ” or
“amount to nothing more than a ‘formulaic
recitation of the elements' of a constitutional”
claim. Id. at 679, 681. A complaint stops short of
the line between probability and the possibility of relief
where the facts pled are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability. Id. at 678.
the Court must determine whether the complaint states a
“plausible” claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
679. A claim is “plausible” if the factual
allegations, which are accepted as true, “allow[ ] the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at
678. This inquiry is “a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id. at 679
(citation omitted). If the factual allegations, which are
accepted as true, “do not permit the court to infer
more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint
has alleged-but it has not “show[n]”-“that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id.
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'”
Erickson v. Pardu,551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); cf. Fed.