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Brogan v. Volusia County, Florida

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

May 24, 2018

SANDRA J. BROGAN, Plaintiff,
v.
VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, ARMO R CORRECTIONAL HEALTH SERVICES, INC., MARILYN FORD, MATT REINHART, MELISSA DENMAN, WILLIE JENKINS, MARK FLOWERS, LARRY LANGDO N, CRYSTAL MABRY, ANGELA PRUDENTE, JAMIE BRYANT, MELVINA MCCRAE, CHRISTINE GOOD, RUSTY PERRY, MAUREEN LISA O'NEIL, ALICIA SMIT H, R . N., BARBARA WHITE, R.N., ANGELA GLASPER, CATHLEEN LLOYD, SUSAN CUMMINGS, R.N. and W AYNE SCHROCK, Defendants.

          ORDER

          PAUL G. BYRON JUDGE

         This cause comes before the Court on the following:

1. Defendants' Joint Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 123), filed December 4, 2017;
2. Plaintiff's Response in Opposition to Defendants' Joint Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 134), filed December 22, 2017;
3. Defendants Angela Glasper and Susan Cummings' Joint Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 135), filed December 26, 2017; and
4. Plaintiff's Response in Opposition to Defendants Angela Glasper and Susan Cummings' Joint Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 139), filed January 5, 2018.

         With briefing complete, this matter is ripe for review. Upon consideration, the motions are due to be granted in part and denied in part.

         I. BACKGROUND[1]

         This case arises from the death of April Brogan (“AB ”) on May 1, 2015, while detained at the Volusia County Jail (the “Jail”). Plaintiff Sandra J. Brogan, as personal representative of April Brogan's estate, brings this action against twenty defendants[2]asserting wrongful death claims under Fla. Stat. § 415.1111, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 deliberate indifference and Monell claims, and negligence claims.

         On or about April 29, 2015, AB was booked into the Jail on a misdemeanor charge. (Doc. 118, ¶¶ 10, 14 (“Second Amended Complaint” or “S AC ”). During intake, and throughout her stay, Plaintiff exhibited clearly observable symptoms of opiate withdrawal. (Id. ¶¶ 5, 10-11). AB's condition progressively worsened during her detainment. Several times, inmates called Armor, requesting help for AB . (Id. ¶ 11). Armor apparently did nothing, and Volusia County officials likewise stood by, despite receiving pleas from other detainees at the Jail for help. (Id.). AB was vomiting and “passing blood” in her cell, and became extremely dehydrated. (Id. ¶ 12). The smell of AB's vomit was noticeable throughout AB's cell block for hours before she died. (Id. ¶ 14). The SAC alleges that Ar m or had a policy of only administering intravenous fluids to detainees when it was “absolutely necessary;” in this case, despite the clear necessity, Armor (and Volusia County) neglected to provide AB with an intravenous fluid treatment. (Id. ¶¶ 12-13). AB died on May 1, 2015, roughly three days after she was booked into the Jail. (Id. ¶ 14).

         Plaintiff categorically avers that “[e]ach of the Defendants knew at the outset” that AB was addicted to opiates and that she exhibited withdrawal symptoms during intake. (Id. ¶¶ 5, 10). Opioid withdrawal symptoms are “easily objectively noticed, ” and Defendants in this case were further on notice of AB's addiction because of AB's “known medical history, ” Defendants' possession of documentation showing AB failed drug tests, and AB's placement in drug treatment programs through the Jail. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 16).[3]

         On April 25, 2017, Plaintiff Sandra J. Brown initiated this action. (Doc. 1 (“Complaint”)). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on August 14, 2017. (Doc. 72). On November 17, 2017, Plaintiff was granted leave to file the Second Amended Complaint, and so filed on November 20. (Doc. 118).

         The SAC brings 26 counts. Counts 1, 2, and 22 bring wrongful death claims pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 415.1111 against Armor, Volusia County, and seventeen individual Defendants. (Id. at pp. 19-24, 77-79). Counts 3 and 4 assert § 1983 deliberate indifference claims against Armor and Volusia County. (Id. at pp. 24-29). Count 5 brings a § 1983 claim against Volusia County for “deliberate indifference and failure to train and supervise.” (Id. at pp. 29-33). Counts 6 through 21 assert § 1983 deliberate indifference claims against sixteen individual Defendants. (Id. at pp. 33-77).[4] Count 23 brings wrongful death claims based on negligence against eight individual Defendants. (Id. at pp. 79-80). Counts 24 and 25 bring negligent training and supervision claims against Volusia County. (Id. at pp. 80-83). Finally, Count 26 avers a Monell claim against Volusia County for unconstitutional policies or practices resulting in AB's death. (Id. at pp. 26).

         All Defendants -s ave t w o individual D efendant s -joined in moving to dismiss the SAC. (Doc. 123). The two holdouts eventually moved to dismiss as well, adopting the ...


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