United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
ALFONSO A. DE LA CRUZ, Plaintiff,
CORIZON, LLC, Defendant.
J. DAVIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Corizon, LLC's
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint
(Motion) (Doc. 27). Plaintiff filed his Opposition to
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Response) (Doc. 29).
See Order (Doc. 12). Plaintiff is proceeding on a
Second Amended Complaint (Complaint) (Doc. 26).
Standard of Review
ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept the
factual allegations set forth in the complaint as true.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In
addition, all reasonable inferences should be drawn in favor
of the plaintiff. See Omar ex. rel. Cannon v.
Lindsey, 334 F.3d 1246, 1247 (11th Cir. 2003) (per
curiam). Nonetheless, the plaintiff must still meet some
minimal pleading requirements. Jackson v. BellSouth
Telecomm., 372 F.3d 1250, 1262-63 (11th Cir. 2004)
(citations omitted). While "[s]pecific facts are not
necessary[, ]" the complaint should "'give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). Further, the plaintiff must allege "enough
facts to state a claim that is plausible on its face."
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. "A claim has facial
plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556);
see Miljkovic v. Shafritz & Dinkin,
P.A., 791 F.3d 1291, 1297 (11th Cir. 2015) (citation and
"plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of
his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do[.]" Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (internal quotations omitted); see also
Jackson, 372 F.3d at 1262 (explaining that
"conclusory allegations, unwarranted deductions of facts
or legal conclusions masquerading as facts will not prevent
dismissal") (internal citation and quotations omitted).
Indeed, "the tenet that a court must accept as true all
of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable
to legal conclusions[, ]" which simply "are not
entitled to [an] assumption of truth." See
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 680. Thus, in ruling on a motion
to dismiss, the Court must determine whether the complaint
contains "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face[.]'" Id. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
Second Amended Complaint 
Plaintiff names Corizon, LLC (Corizon) as the only Defendant.
Complaint at 3-4. Plaintiff sues Defendant Corizon in its
individual capacity. Id. at 5. Plaintiff asserts
that Corizon was the medical provider for the Florida
Department of Corrections [FDOC] that acted with deliberate
indifference to his serious medical need, in violation of the
Eighth Amendment to the United States
Constitution. Id. at 5-6.
alleges that Corizon was deliberately indifferent to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs in that Corizon failed
to: respond appropriately to his serious medical need, a
prostate problem. Id. at 6. He states that he has
been suffering for the last four years and he has not been
provided adequate treatment to remedy his prostate problem.
Id. at 7.
seeks injunctive relief, including an immediate evaluation by
a urologist followed by prompt treatment as recommended by
the urologist. Id. at 9. He also seeks compensatory
damages, punitive damages, and such other relief as to which
he may be entitled. Id. at 10.
Summary of the Arguments
Motion, Defendant Corizon seeks dismissal of the Complaint as
moot and pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Motion at 1.
In doing so, Corizon asserts that: (1) Plaintiff's claim
for injunctive relief is moot because he is no longer
incarcerated at Franklin Correctional Institution (FCI) and
Corizon is no longer the contracted health care provider for
the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC), see
Motion at 4, and (2) Plaintiff fails to state a claim against
Corizon "when he does not identify an official Corizon
policy of deliberate indifference or an unofficial Corizon
custom or practice that was 'the moving force' behind
the alleged constitutional violation." See
Motion at 8.
response to Corizon's Motion, Plaintiff asserts that he
has properly and sufficiently stated a claim of deliberate
indifference as to Defendant Corizon based on his contention
that Corizon was the medical agency contracted to provide
medical treatment and in direct control of the health care
protocol of the FDOC. See Response at 1. He states
that Corizon is liable based on the factual allegations
raised showing "Corizon's act of omission to provide
adequate Medical care." Id.
Law and Conclusions A. Failure to State a Claim
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that (1) the defendant deprived him of
a right secured under the United States Constitution or
federal law, and (2) such deprivation occurred under color of
state law. Salvato v. Miley, 790 F.3d 1286, 1295
(11th Cir. 2015); Bingham v. Thomas, 654 F.3d 1171,
1175 (11th Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (citation omitted);
Richardson v. Johnson, 598 F.3d 734, 737 (11th Cir.
2010) (per curiam) (citations omitted). To establish an
Eighth Amendment violation, there are particular requirements
that must be met. Significantly, the Eleventh Circuit
addressed the requirements to establish an Eighth Amendment
claim concerning the deprivation of medical care:
The Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel
and unusual punishments" protects a prisoner from
"deliberate indifference to serious medical needs."
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104, 97 S.Ct. 285,
50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976). To state a claim of unconstitutionally
inadequate medical treatment, a prisoner must establish
"an objectively serious [medical] need, an objectively
insufficient response to that need, subjective awareness of
facts signaling the need, and an actual inference of ...